Montenegro v England: Rooney factor can favour visitors this time

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Despite trailing their hosts by two points in their bid to top Group H, England are odds-on 4/5 favourites to get the better of Montenegro.

And while some could be tempted to take the 7/2 odds regarding the unbeaten group-toppers, that price should be approached with caution.

The draw looks a better call at 5/2, considering each of the two previous meetings of these sides have ended level, but several factors suggest patriotic punters can be rewarded here.

Not least of those reasons is the fact that the Three Lions have scored more goals on the road than any other side in World Cup qualifying, registering 14 times in just three matches.

That means Roy Hodgson’s side have on average notched in excess of four goals per game on their travels, and they are a big 9/1 to find the net on four or more occasions in this bout.

As another means of profit-making, it may be a wise move for punters to invest in the travelling side in half markets.

Roy Hodgson’s men have headed into half-time in front in their past five games consecutively, and are 27/20 to win the first half here also.

They also led at the break when last meeting Montenegro, in a match where a last-minute equaliser robbed them of victory.

England are 13/8 to go one better here, by leading at both the half-time and full-time whistle, as many believe they would have on their last visit but for Wayne Rooney’s senseless dismissal.

And with close scrutiny certain to centre on Rooney, he will be determined to make amends back in Pogdorica by proving a positive Three Lions influence.

Ladbrokes have a number of Rooney specials available, with 7/4 the price that his first significant involvement in the game is a goal, and 5/1 regarding his initial contribution being an assist.

As he has struck five times in his past four international appearances though, including three deadlock-breakers, the best value may be found in Rooney opening the scoring at 5/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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