There will be plenty of attacking pedigree on show in Podgorica from the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool, but there are also two big talents from Juventus and Fiorentina on the other side who could be vital in deciding the outcome of this match.
As focused on the Premier League as we are, the temptation is to look to the likes of England’s Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jermain Defoe to score first tonight, but it must be remembered that the hosts have the deadly Serie A pairing of Mirko Vucinic and Stevan Jovetic.
Vucinic is often the cause of much frustration among Juve fans with his profligacy (hence the imminent summer signing of Fernando Llorente) but he is still a constant threat to any backline and played a big part in the Old Lady’s Serie A title win last season. He can be backed at 7/1 to open the scoring against England, or 2/1 to score at any time.
Jovetic has averaged a goal every other game for La Viola this season (12 in 24), and although he is yet to break his duck in this qualifying campaign, he has an impressive overall international record of ten goals in 24 caps. The 23-year old is 8/1 to score the first goal, or 9/4 to score any time.
Elsewhere, the hosts do have more potential scorers than Vucinic and Jovetic, with Andrija Delibasic grabbing four goals in just two games in qualifying, though this comes with the significant asterisk that they all came against San Marino.
The same goes for joint second top scorer Fatos Beqiraj (two goals in two games v San Marino). However, if like some you think that England’s backline is just as vulnerable as San Marino’s, then both Delibasic and Beqiraj can be found at 11/4 to score at any time.
One outside shout is Elsad Zverotic. The Young Boys defender has bagged two goals as an ever present in qualifying, and can be backed at attractively long odds of 28/1 to score the opener, or 8/1 to score at any time.
The visitors enjoyed a rout in San Marino on Friday, and the notable thing about it was that the eight goals came from seven different scorers, albeit one of them was poor Sammarinese defender Alessandro Dalla Valle.
Two of those goal-getters, Rooney and Lampard, are among the favourites to score again in Montenegro, and with good cause as they are joint-top scorers for England in qualifying so far, with both grabbing four goals from three appearances.
All the talk regarding Rooney has surrounded his sending off the last time England visited Podgorica in 2011, but you can back him to redeem himself with the opening goal of the game at 4/1, a goal any time at 11/10 or perhaps even a brace at odds of 11/2.
Lampard has still not been offered a new contract at Chelsea but he continues to score mountains of goals, and it would be of no surprise if he does so again, even if it comes from the bench. He is 2/1 to score any time and 15/2 to score the last goal of the game.
Elsewhere, you can look to captain Gerrard to score any time at 5/2, while some of the other scorers against San Marino have good any time odds such as Ashley Young at 3/1, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at 11/4, and Defoe (the only player to score twice on Friday) at 7/5.
For an outside shout, I would look to Tom Cleverley, who was replaced early in the second half in San Marino, presumably to stay fresh for this game. He’s 4/1 to bag one at any time.
But while good cases can be made for a number of English players, the same can be said about the aforementioned Vucinic and Jovetic and with their odds looking far more tempting, it may be worth looking past Rooney and co in this instance.
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