England v Montenegro | Thursday 14th November 2019, 19:45 | ITV
It is fair to say that the build up to this match has been overshadowed by an incident between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez on Monday morning.
The result of Sterling’s indiscretion means that England are without their most in-form player and arguably their greatest attacking threat. The Manchester City winger has managed eight goals in eight games for England this calendar year, having previously managed just four in his first 47 caps.
As a general rule in recent times with England matches against opposition that they should beat, I have taken the England victory and Both Teams To Score angle but a combination of Sterling’s absence and a more competent defensive display against Bulgaria in their last match, leads me to look for an alternative market.
Montenegro have failed to score in their last three matches, with losses to Kosovo and Czech Republic and a home draw with Bulgaria. While they did manage 10 shots on-target across those games and are probably ‘due’ a goal but that isn’t enough to convince me that they will score at Wembley on Thursday night.
Instead, I will play it relatively safe and simply take a couple of scorelines – England 2-0 is 6/1 with BetVictor while a 3-0 home victory is 11/2 with the same firm.
Gareth Southgate’s side won three of their five home qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup by either of these scorelines. While their victories in this campaign have generally seen more goals, I believe that Sterling’s absence reduces their attacking output and Montenegro won’t pose enough threat to get on the scoresheet.