Two almost inseparable foes clash again for top spot this Tuesday. No it’s not Manchester United v Manchester City, or Real Madrid v Barcelona. It is England against Montenegro.
England may have beaten Montenegro to the top in their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign but they are yet to defeat them in their short history. The Three Lions are 3/4 to notch their first ever victory over the Montenegrins on Tuesday, who are 7/2 to stun Roy Hodgson’s men with a home win.
Odds of 13/5 for a draw look good on the basis of that being the outcome on both of the previous two meetings between England and the Brave Falcons.
While England fans wait to see if it will be third time lucky when the sides meet again in Podgorica, here are a few stats to chew over before you have a bet:
1: The number of participants still in this season’s Champions League in the two squads (assuming David Beckham hasn’t been drafted in as emergency cover by the time you read this). Juventus’ Mirko Vucinic gives some real quality to the hosts’ attack – he is 2/1 to score at anytime.
2: Montenegro have only failed to score in just two of their last 17 home matches, a bad omen for England’s injury-depleted defence. The odds that both teams to score on Tuesday night are 19/20.
5: Wayne Rooney has scored five goals in his last four England appearances – his rich vein of form for club and country could help him amend for his red card the last time England were in Montenegro and the Manchester United star is 4/1 to score first in Podgorica.
19: England have scored in the first half of 19 of their last 25 games. England are 23/10 to score more goals in the first half than the second.
29: England’s 29 goals in their last ten away fixtures (excluding the Euro 2012 finals) are significantly more than the 18 they have fired in their last ten home matches. You can back Roy Hodgson’s side to score in both halves at odds of 39/20.