England has just one more chance to guarantee themselves top spot in Group G when they travel to Podgorica on Oct. 7th to take on Montenegro. A win or draw by England will see them take the Euro 2012 qualifying group and book them passage to next year’s European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
England currently sits on top of the group with 17 points from five wins and two draws after seven games. Montenegro is in second place, six points behind, on three wins, two draws and a loss. However they have a game in hand on England.
A win on Friday would put Montenegro three points back with another game to play, which is an away game against third-place Switzerland on Oct. 11th. If Montenegro happened to win that match they’d be level with England at 17 points. And even though England has a far superior goal difference at the moment, the tie-breaking process is determined by head to head results.
Sportsbook 5dimes.com has a Montenegro win listed at +492 with an England victory at -137. The odds of a draw are listed at +255. Visit 5Dimes.com to bet on the Montenegro vs England Euro 2012 qualifying match or to check up to date odds for all Euro 2012 qualifiers. 5Dimes.com is one of the best sports betting websites online, especially due to the fact that they offer better lines than the majority of sportsbooks online.
The first meeting between these two clubs ended in a 0-0 draw at London’s Wembley Stadium back in October of last year. This means an England draw or win will see them win the group while a loss means they’d have to wait on the outcome of Montenegro’s game against Switzerland next Tuesday. If England finishes in second place they will enter the playoff round against another second-place nation in a home and away two-legged series.
It seems like a lot of trouble to go through, so you can bet England will be trying to sew things up on Friday. The problem is they might be happy to settle for a draw and this could backfire on them. They need to go out for a win. Manager Fabio Capello needs to employ two strikers up front instead of having Wayne Rooney waste all of his energy chasing balls down by himself all night.
The game is obviously huge for Montenegro as well, because a loss or draw to England means they’ll have to battle it out with Switzerland for the playoff spot. Switzerland sits just three points behind them at the moment and plays in Wales on Oct. 7th before the showdown at home with Montenegro four days later.
It’s interesting that both of these teams actually control their own destiny. One of them will definitely make Euro 2012 as group winner and the other may join them after the playoff round. However, England’s definitely in the driver’s seat going into the clash. They’ve also won all of their road games in Euro qualifying and have only allowed one goal against, which came in a 3-1 win in Switzerland.
In typical England fashion, this game will likely go down to the wire. They may not win it, but should be able to leave Montenegro as group winners by securing at least a draw.
Play: Draw +255
Written by: Ian Palmer