Roy Hodgson’s Englishmen may enter the final World Cup qualification double-header as hot 7/20 favourites to win Group H, but with an easier set of games to wrap things up Ukraine could be the value call at 5/2.
The Three Lions have yet to beat a side other than San Marino and Moldova in Group H.
Draws have become disappointingly common during the splutter towards Brazil, with as many stalemates as successes.
Their inability to beat so much as one of their vaguely credible opponents so far makes a mockery of the fact that they are widely expected to post consecutive triumphs in their remaining fixtures.
Poland held England to a draw in Warsaw.
The Poles allowed a strong Three Lions outfit the share of the possession appropriate to their animal alter-ego in Warsaw, but Wayne Rooney’s first-half goal came from the only shot on target the visitors could muster.
England have failed to beat Waldemar Fornalik’s men by more than a single goal in the sides’ last four meetings and with the hosts again likely to have to take the impetus, Poland may delight in frustrating them once more.
Montenegro have conceded just one away goal in qualifying.
Branko Brnovic’s side know a thing or three about keeping it locked down on the road, having allowed a solitary Robert Lewandowski strike to register during their previous four Group H away trips.
The fact that that England have yet to beat the first of their Wembley visitors has been trumpeted from the roof tops, but they’ve also failed to score past them after the 31st minute.
Such statistics hint at the worrying conclusion that if Hodgson’s men fail to get their noses in front early then they are prone to run out of ideas against their visitors.
Ukraine were comfortable winners against the Poles earlier in qualifying and finish off affairs against San Marino.
England’s primary Group H victory rivals started their mid-qualifying renaissance with a comfortable 3-1 victory in Poland so they should head into the return leg with a high degree of confidence.
Should three points be secured while England fail to roll over Montenegro, those who have taken advantage of bwin’s Group H winner odds about the Yellow-Blue will already be counting their dough ahead of what should be a glorious stroll against the San Marinese.