Football Previews

Montenegro vs England predictions & match preview

By William Eldridge

Published: 15:47, 24 March 2019

England will be hoping to build upon their 5-0 win over the Czech Republic with a victory away to fellow Euro 2020 group A hopefuls Montenegro.

Gareth Southgate’s side impressed on home soil as they convincingly defeated Jaroslav Šilhavý’s side to get their qualification campaign off to a perfect start.

Read on for Montenegro vs England TV channel info, team news, predicted XIs and stats.

When is Montenegro vs England?

Competition: Uefa Euro 2020 qualifying Group A

Venue: Podgorica City Stadium

Date: Monday, 25 March

Kick-off: 7:45 PM GMT

Where can I watch live?

England’s game against Montenegro can be viewed by UK residents on ITV, channel 103 on Sky and channel 103 for Virgin Media users.

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The two nations have rarely fought it out with just four meetings between the sides occurring prior to this fixture. The last time they played each other, England won 4-1 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, goalscorers including Wayne Rooney, Andros Townsend and Daniel Sturridge.

Montenegro wins: 0 Draws: 3 England wins: 1

Match preview

Heading into this game, it is England who will be flying high after their professional – and at times, blistering – performance against the Czech Republic on Friday evening.

A superb team performance – personified by a hat-trick by Raheem Sterling – saw the Three Lions shoot straight to the top of Group A. Southgate will be expecting his side to carry on with the excellent form that has seen them remain undefeated in their last six games.

For Montenegro, they would have been hurting last summer having narrowly missed out on potential qualification to the World Cup in Russia, finishing third in their group behind Poland and Denmark.

They now have the task of hosting World Cup semi-finalists in England, who have never beaten Montenegro as the away side, drawing twice.

Montenegro drew 1-1 with Bulgaria in their opening fixture in Euro 2020 group A and will go into the match with Southgate’s men knowing that a single point once again would be a terrific result.

Can England win anything with kids?

It is pretty well documented now how Southgate intends to blood young players into the senior England set-up on a regular basis, providing that they are performing above and beyond on a domestic level.

There were just three players over the age of 25 in England’s starting line-up against the Czech Republic on Friday as Southgate continues to develop a new era of England internationals.

At just 18-years of age, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho has proven himself on the international stage in recent months, while the likes of Dele Alli, Ben Chilwell, Calum Hudson-Odoi and Declan Rice are all under the age of 23 yet considered both mature and talented enough to represent their country.

The older players who started on Friday – both Kyle Walker and Jordan Henderson are just 28 – signify the strength in depth England have at a youth level, with Southgate simply spoilt for choice in every position.

With a Nations League semi-final around the corner and Euro 2020 on the horizon, talk has turned to whether Southgate’s Young Lions will be able to end England’s long wait for a trophy.

The old adage “you can’t win anything with kids” has rung true for many an international team over the years, but there is a growing belief among fans that silverware is no longer beyond England.

Having experienced extensive success at several youth levels, a senior trophy – with youth at its heart – would complete an impressive turnaround for the England set-up.

Will Montenegro make the Euro 2020 party?

Montenegro have never qualified for a major tournament in their history. So the task for manager Ljubiša Tumbaković is simple; ensure Montenegro qualify for their first major tournament.

The closest they have come was in 2012, where they fell at the final hurdle in the Euro 2012 qualification play-offs, losing to the Czech Republic who ironically could stand in their way this time around too.

The group consists of England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria – who they drew with in their opening match last week – and Kosovo.

Montenegro will know that two wins over Kosovo will be a must to ensure they give themselves a chance, with key matches against the Czech Republic and the home fixture against the Bulgarians pivotal towards their advancement.

As said above, any points against the English will be considered a welcome bonus.

Is Raheem Sterling England’s new hero?

His performance against the Czech Republic reminded people – if they really needed it – of what a player Sterling has developed into.

A natural talent in his Liverpool days, under the guidance of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and England boss Southgate, Sterling has transformed into the complete modern attacker.

His positive attitude on the pitch is clear to see; his reading of the game, ability to glide past players with ease, the timing of his runs into the penalty area to poke home from close range – Sterling is a role model of a footballer.

After Harry Kane, Sterling is arguably the second most important player in the England ranks at present. Southgate has recently ‘promoted’ Sterling into the ‘leadership group’ at the top of the England hierarchy, cementing his place and his importance to his nation’s future.

With 19 club goals so far this season, plus five England goals since October, Sterling is knocking on the world-class door.

Team news

Prior to the Czech Republic game, England had a number of players withdraw from the squad due to injuries. Eric Dier was substituted early at Wembley on Friday and has returned to Spurs due to a muscular injury.

Otherwise, England should have a fairly complete squad with Southgate expected to change one or two faces from the previous starting line-up.

Montenegro will be missing a former Premier League attacker, with ex-Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic ruled out due to injury.

Predicted Line-ups

Predicted Montenegro XI: Petkovic; Marusic, Simic, Tomasevic, Stojkovic; Ivanic, Vukcevic, Jankovic, Mugosa, Vesovic; Beciraj.

Predicted England XI: Pickford; Trippier, Maguire, Keane, Rose; Ward-Prowse, Rice, Henderson; Sterling, Kane, Sancho.

Squawka Prediction

This game should be a sterner test for Southgate and his men, who haven’t exactly impressed in recent years when travelling to Montenegro.

But that was before Southgate and this new generation of English football, with the strength-in-depth and maturity levels throughout the Three Lions camp surely enough to see England get a positive result.

Recent years have seen England qualify with perfection, winning all of their qualification games en-route to a major tournament. Don’t be surprised if England can pull this off again this time around, starting with a win against Montenegro.

Montenegro 1-3 England