How England will beat Montenegro

The mission is simple; win away in Montenegro and go to the top of the group but how can England go about it?

England should beat a side like Montenegro comfortably but football has evolved to a point where no match is easy and the Montenegrins have shown great form to currently sit two points ahead of England in the table.

It’s not going to be a nice atmosphere, especially for younger members of the England squad who could find the hostile reaction they receive, quite intimidating.

Firstly, England need all over their experienced players to show up and bring their best games. They also need leadership skills from all of their more experienced players.

This will help the side cope with the verbal abuse, stay composed and execute whichever game plan Roy Hodgson wants to use for the 90 minutes.

Discipline is key because England should enjoy a lot of the ball, which means they will be vulnerable on the counter attack. Defensively England need to stay in good shape and give themselves the best chance of keeping a clean sheet.

That discipline should also spread throughout the rest of the team. Everyone will remember Wayne Rooney’s red card the last time England played in this country and they cannot afford a repeat of the same.

Hodgson has to bring his very best managerial skills to the table and he will be tested in a personal and professional sense.

He is the manager so any vulnerable players in the side who may be worried about verbal and racial abuse will look to him, he needs to get the right balance and use the right system, which will give England a chance at taking a result.

Finally, England need some luck because the hostile home crowd is going to encourage the referee to favour Montenegro.

Crucial decisions during this game need to go England’s way because it may come down to just the odd goal, which England may concede if the referee makes some big decisions against them.

England should be confident. They are in arguably better shape than the last time they went to Montenegro, they have plenty of different options and they have the players to secure three points, which will put England top.

They will not want to be facing a spell in the play-offs to reach the tournament next year.

Can England win?

image: © Ethan.K

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