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England v Montenegro: Lions to shake drawing curse at Wembley

| 11.10.2013

England must complete a first in Group H if they are to take a giant stride towards Brazil 2014, but with key personnel fit and raring to go, Roy Hodgson’s men can grab the win they crave against Montenegro at Wembley.

Robbed of both Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge for England’s last qualifier against Ukraine, the goal threat from the visitors was noticeably reduced in a tricky-looking tie in Kiev.

However, while a point sufficed in a typically tepid away display by the Three Lions in the group, caution is no longer an option in these remaining home fixtures at an expectant Wembley.

It’s 4/11 that England can take the points against Montenegro and although they are yet to beat any of the other opponents in the group aside from Moldova and San Marino, this is the time for England to reverse that trend.

Montenegro have proved tricky customers in the past, though the Balkan side received a 4-0 chastening against Ukraine back in June and let in another two in their most recent draw with Poland, indicating they can be exposed at Wembley.

Exactly how Hodgson will line-up remains a mystery, though his pre-match patter suggests in-form Premier League strikers Rooney and Sturridge are certain to start and this is most welcome news for England fans.

Sturridge’s explosive start to the season has seen him net six times for Liverpool in the league, while Rooney has also hit three goals himself and has thrived in his preferred number 10 role for Manchester United.

On paper this looks a potent combination and punters can get either 11/8 on Rooney to score in an England victory or 2/1 on the Sturridge wincast.

Worth noting also though, that England have both scored and conceded against all three of the teams directly below them in Group H and have not kept three straight clean sheets since 2007 – so the 6/5 on both teams scoring seems worth a shout.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.