Live on Skysports 1: Fri 20.00: Punters are being drawn to Stan James’ 12/5 about the stalemate in Montenegro while 6/1 on 1-1 has appeal.
Given Montenegro’s tiny population, no-one would be surprised if the country’s national football team aspired to grab the occasional win against San Marino or force a draw against nations such as Luxembourg. Yet on Friday night, the Balkan team could condemn England to a runners-up place in the Euro 2012 qualifying Group G should they beat Rooney & Co in what promises to be an exceptionally tense evening.
Yet despite having forced a goalless draw at Wembley 12 months ago, Montenegro go into this potential cliff-hanger as Skybet’s 4/1 underdogs, with England priced as 4/5 odds-on favourites.
This is only Montenegro’s second qualifying tournament as FIFA members, but with the majority of their players performing in Europe’s best leagues, it would be foolish for England to be complacent. Punters too are hedging their bets with a considerable volume of money taking advantage of Stan James’ 5/2 odds posted against the draw. In similar vein, Totesport report ‘steady demand’ for their 11/10 about the opening 45 minutes finishing all-square. That could make for a nail-biting second period.
Montenegro’s impressive 0-0 draw at Wembley was achieved without the services of two of their Serie A stars: Mirko Vucinic, a 9/1 shot (bet365) to open the scoring and Stevan Jovetic, attractively priced at 10/1 by Betfred to notch the first goal. England must beware this duo, though assuming they can subdue this potentially dangerous pairing, there’s no doubt they have enough quality to emerge victorious.
Indeed, England are 11/10 with Paddy Power to retain a clean sheet and 7/4 (Ladbrokes) to secure a victory without conceding a goal. Nonetheless, bet365’s evens for both teams to score inevitably catches the eye.
Of course, Fabio Capello’s charges need only a point to qualify as group winners and Betdaq’s 9.0 (8/1) chalked against another 0-0 holds tremendous appeal for those anticipating a nervy night. In the same market, Partybets offer an enticing 6/1 about a 1-1 outcome.
However, if England score first (4/7, Boylesports), the likelihood is they will secure maximum points. Patriotic types may, therefore, fancy the 6/1 posted by Sportingbet for Andy Carroll to open the scoring, perhaps combined with Boylesports’ 5/1 for England to win 1-0. Carroll to score in a 1-0 win, however, comes in at a juicy 28/1 courtesy of .