MARK STINCHCOMBE (@MarkStinchcombe) delivers his favourite fancies from Monday’s UEFA World Cup qualifying coupon.
Montenegro v Romania | Monday 4th September 2017, 19:45 | Sky Sports
With just three games to go, Group E is shaping into a four-way battle for qualification for Russia; second-placed Montenegro host fourth-placed Romania here with both sides desperate for the points.
Since becoming an international side in 2007, the closest the Balkan hosts have come to qualifying for major tournament was a 3-0 play-off defeat to Czech Republic in 2011.
This looks to be their best chance yet and they could even top the group after Poland’s hammering to Denmark on Friday night. This has been a great improvement on their last campaign where they only managed 10 goals in the entirety – here they have already scored 17. And unlike some ‘smaller’ nations, they’re not reliant on one man either – nine different players have scored for them.
With Stevan Jovetic up top, partnered by Fatos Beciraj, who’s recovered his goalscoring touch, and marshalled at the back by Atletico Madrid’s Stefan Savic, they aren’t a bad team.
Romania are clinging on to hope of qualifying for Russia as they sit four points behind Montenegro and Denmark both on 13 points as this could be argued as must win. Christoph Daum was appointed Romania boss last summer and it’s safe to say he’s under pressure from his home media.
Having faced criticism from newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor, he flew into an emotional rage describing the publication as “only good for wrapping fish“. This led to a journalist from the newspaper presenting Daum with a fishing rod!
So with a lot on the line (no pun intended) I don’t think the result will be a very low scoring one as the market anticipates. Indeed when they last met in a 1-1 draw a year ago, Nicolae Stanciu missed a last minute penalty, with 17 shots in the match.
Indeed since the start of 2015, Montenegro’s matches are averaging 3.00 goals-per-game, and I think we’ll see a match played out closer to that, than the 2.15 per-game that Romania’s have seen.
I’m on Over 2 Goals on the Asian Goals line with 188BET at 21/25. If there’s exactly two goals, I get my cash back. But if there’s three or more goals, we’ll be in profit.
Poland v Kazakhstan | Monday 4th September 2017, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Staying with Group E, and goals, Poland will be looking to bounce back as soon as possible after their 4-0 drubbing in Denmark reduced their lead at the top to just three points.
They are great going forward with Robert Lewandowski, Arkadiusz Milik and Anderlecht’s Lukasz Teodorczyk in attack, with Kamil Grosicki and Jakub Błaszczykowski wide and Piotr Zielinksi supporting from midfield.
However, defensively they are vulnerable, and have the third-worst defence in the group. They carelessly let a two-goal lead slip in the reverse fixture and have even conceded to both Gibraltar and San Marino in the last few years!
They are 1/7 to win here but I think we can boost that to 23/10 (888) by backing Both Teams To Score as well. The Kazak’s have scored home and away against Denmark, and did the same in the previous campaign to Netherlands and Czech Republic, as well as scoring in Turkey – all of which ended in defeat.