Of the four Euro 2012 qualifiers taking place this week, Czech Republic’s game against Montenegro looks by far the easiest to call.
For while at one stage Montenegro looked like challenging England for top spot in Group G – not least when they held the Three Lions to a 0-0 draw at Wembley in October 2010 – they fell away and only narrowly held on to second spot from Switzerland and a resurgent Wales.
Indeed, had Wales started the campaign as they finished it, it would have been Gary Speed’s side who were preparing to play in Prague tomorrow evening.
But it was Montenegro who limped over the line and they go into the first leg as 4/1 underdogs to establish a lead ahead of the return fixture in Podgorica.
It would be a remarkable achievement if they were able to do this, with Montenegro having failed to win a game since a 1-0 win over Uzbekistan in March.
Since then, Branko Brnovic’s men have lost to Wales, Switzerland, and Albania and drawn with England and Bulgaria.
All three defeats came away from home, making it difficult to envisage a Montenegro success on Friday evening at Stadion Letna.
While the Czechs are hardly in the best of form either, as two wins from their last six matches will testify, they do at least have a good home record having won three of their last four games in their own country without conceding a goal.
Furthermore, their only failure in this sequence came against reigning world and European champions Spain, who beat Czech Republic 2-0 last month.
It is therefore easy to see why Czech Republic go into the game as 7/10 favourites to secure a first leg advantage, with the draw priced at 5/2 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
With Montenegro struggling to hit the back of the net in recent competitive fixtures – they scored just seven goals in eight Group G games – a bet on a Czech Republic win to nil could help to improve returns for those looking to bet on the home side.
At odds of 29/20, a successful £25 free bet on Czech Republic to beat Montenegro to nil would return £61.25, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
If Montenegro are to get a goal, it is likely to come through star striker Mirko Vucinic.
The Juventus forward has history of scoring past Czech Republic’s Petr Cech having struck twice when playing for former club Roma against Cech’s team Chelsea.
Vucinic, Montenegro’s joint-top scorer in qualifying, is priced at 2/1 to carry this form into the game on Friday and score at any time.
However, even if Montenegro do score Czech Republic have the firepower to seal the win having scored ten goals in their last four matches.
Michal Kadlec has scored a goal in all but one of those games – the 2-0 defeat to Spain – making him extremely good value to score at any time at odds of 6/1.
As for the final result, with Czech Republic in good touch in front of goal and robust in defence, a 2-0 home win looks tempting at 6/1.
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