After a spirited performance last time out vs Norway, Gibraltar continue their World Cup Qualifying campaign this afternoon when they face Montenegro in Podgorica.
Photo (C) William Gracia
After the match against Norway on Wednesday, Gibraltar travelled on Thursday morning to Montenegro, for the first meeting between the two sides in senior international football. Montenegro come into this game on the back of a 2-1 away victory at Latvia last time out, and the 63rd ranked nation in world football will be looking to make it back-to-back wins to start the group and keep pressure on the likes of Netherlands, Norway and Turkey.
For Gibraltar, many of whose players only got three games of football in since the end of December, before this international break, this game will be a test of their fitness and endurance, with the triple-header likely set to see some sort of changes needed in order to keep legs fresh for the game vs Netherlands on Tuesday. Veteran duo Roy Chipolina and Lee Casciaro may start on the bench, while the likes of Ethan Jolley and Andrew Hernandez are among those who have travelled for today’s game, after missing out vs Norway.
The hosts, managed by Miodrag Radulovic, will have to ponder changes as well, with a home match vs Norway to come on Tuesday, but with goal difference the first separator for teams on equal points, Monaco striker, and all-time Montenegrin top scorer Stevan Jovetic would be expected to get the nod up top. Levante midfielder Nikola Vukcevic was not involved in the win at Latvia and is a doubt to be involved today, while key defender Stefan Savic may be rested, with the Atletico defender preferred for the key match vs Norway in three days time.
The hosts come into this game as big favourites to extend their four-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, at a best price of 1/11 to win. The draw can be taken at 13/1, with a Gibraltar win as high as 70/1. Jovetic is a talented striker with vast experience at the top level, and is 11/4 to score first, although after Erling Haaland was shut out by Gib last time out, perhaps it is wiser to look at alternative striking options such as Uros Durdevic (14/5) or Sead Haksabanovic (28/5). Both Teams To Score currently sits at best price of 16/5.
FG’s Predicted Lineups:
Montenegro: Mijatovic; Marusic, Simic, Vujacic, Radunovic; Scekic, Kosovic; Boljevic, Jovetic, Haksabanvoic; Beciraj
Gibraltar: Coleing; Jolley, Wiseman, Mouelhi, Barnett, Olivero; Walker, Ronan, Annesley, Pons; De Barr