AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: England v Montenegro

England might not have had the best start off the pitch to the international break but they can make it through to Euro 2020 with the minimum of fuss against Montenegro this evening.

Raheem Sterling has been dropped for tonight’s game following a clash in training with team-mate Joe Gomez, following an on-field argument during the Liverpool v Manchester City game at Anfield on Sunday, but England should be too good for their hosts regardless.

England v Montenegro
UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier
19:45 ITV HD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD*
(Maximum 10 matches)
MAR 2019 EURO 2020 QUALIFYING Montenegro 1-5 England
OCT 2013 WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING England 4-1 Montenegro
MAR 2013 WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING Montenegro 1-1 England
OCT 2011 EURO 2012 QUALIFYING Montenegro 2-2 England
OCT 2010 EURO 2012 QUALIFYING England 0-0 Montenegro

England’s last fixture was marred by horrendous racism in Bulgaria but on the pitch they were far too good, winning 6-0 in a performance which could and perhaps should have seen three or four more goals. Sterling will be missed but Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho is hardly a sub-par replacement and Southgate has a pretty full hand to pick from.

Harry Kane, who has eight goals in qualifying for England so far, will lead the line along with Sancho and there’s also an in form Marcus Rashford, fresh from scoring in four of his last five games for Manchester United, to put in attack. James Maddison, who has been sensational for Leicester this season, could well force his way into midfield and he could be joined by Mason Mount and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both of whom have been in excellent form for Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.

Defensive issues will be a concern at Euro 2020, especially with the lack of an in-form defensive midfielder – or indeed centre-backs – but England’s attacking depth should prove to be too much for a Montenegro side that has already felt the full force of England at their best – the Three Lions won the reverse fixture 5-1 in March.

Montenegro are joint bottom of the group with the lamentable Bulgaria, and it’s hard to imagine them putting up too much of a threat. England have scored 26 goals in qualifying, averaging 4.33 goals per game, and they should be able to rack up a reasonable total. The Czech Republic went down 5-0 here and England also scored five against Kosovo, whilst Bulgaria were beaten 4-0, so a high flying correct score could be value in a comfortable win.

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