England continue their European Qualifying campaign with a tough test at the Podgorica City Stadium in Montenegro on Monday night.
England go into Monday night’s game full of confidence after an impressive 5-0 demolition of Czech Republic at Wembley, putting them top of Group A after the opening fixtures.
Raheem Sterling stole the headlines with a hat-trick but there were other impressive performances for Jadon Sancho on his first competitive start as well as encouraging debuts for substitutes Callum Hudson-Odoi and Declan Rice.
Montenegro on the other hand started their European Qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw away against Bulgaria. Being denied three points with a late penalty from the hosts.
Gareth Southgate does have some fresh injury concerns ahead of tonight’s game. Tottenham’s Eric Dier suffered an early injury in the last game at Wembley and was replaced by Rice, so the 20-year-old will be hoping to get his first start in Podgorica.
According to Sky Sports News, Hudson-Odoi is set to make his full debut on Monday night with Sancho expected to miss the game with an unspecified injury.
Despite struggling for game time at Chelsea this season, 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi certainly made an impact on his first international appearance with his shot leading to England’s fifth goal in the game.
Other injury concerns include Jordan Henderson, who could win his 50th cap on Monday night, as well as Dele Alli as both midfielders will face fitness tests before the game. This could mean a debut for Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse.
There are also questions on how much youth Southgate will be willing to play in a hostile away environment. The England manager told BBC Sport;
“I have no hesitation in playing them [the young players]. This is part of their education and to be a top team we have got to adapt to every environment we go into.
“Playing at Wembley is always going to be a different sort of experience to going away from home but the only way they can learn and improve is to go through these experiences.”
Dangers of Montenegro
England will be respectful of their opponents on Monday night as the Three Lions have drawn their last two away games in Podgorica.
But there are unlikely to be many familiar faces with Athletico Madrid’s Stefan Savic ruled out, as well as former Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic.
Montenegro’s main goal threat is expected to come from Stefan Mugosa. He scored Montengro’s goal in their draw with Bulgaria and was also on the score sheet three times in five UEFA Nations League appearances.
How to follow the game
You will be able to follow the action from the
Podgorica City Stadium on ITV, with kick-off at 7:45pm.