England is desperate to get back to purely football matters this month. Marcus Rashford, Ross Barkely, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane all netted in a 6-0 of Bulgaria in Sofia.

The match at the Vasil Levski National Stadium had to be stopped multiple times due to racist chanting from sections of the home support. This was also a problem seven month earlier when England visited Podgorica in the reverse fixture of this match-up.

Three days earlier, the Three Lions had lost their first qualifier for ten years and one day in Prague, going down 2-1 in the Czech Republic.England sit top of Group A on 15 points with the Czechs on 12 and Kosovo on 11 and those two play each other also on Thursday.

Just a point here would ensure England qualify for Euro 2020, when these two last met, England came from a goal down to win 5-1.

Montenegro, since becoming an independent nation in 2007, they have never qualified for a major finals. Last month, they drew 0-0 at home to Bulgaria before going down 2-0 in Kosovo three days later. That means they are still winless in this group with just three points from their seven matches.

They’re above Bulgaria at the bottom only only on head-to-head away goals as both fixtures between the two struggles ended all square. They can not relay on the back door route of the UEFA Nations League play-offs.

In League C4, they beat Lithuania home and away, drew with Romania away but lost their other three matches.They finished 35th in the UEFA Nations League overall rankings so will not get a play-off place.

Team news

England

Raheem Sterling will play no part in the upcoming game due to “a disturbance in a private team area” between him and Joe Gomez toward the end of Sunday’s game at Anfield.

Predicted XI:Pickford; Alexander-Arnold, Maguire, Mings, Chilwell; Henderson, Winks, Mount; Rashford, Sancho, Kane.

Montenegro

Montenegro remain without Stevan Jovetic, who is still recovering from a cruciate ligament rupture which occurred back in April.

Predicted XI:Petkovic; Raspopovic, Simic, Lagator, Bulatovic; Jovovic, Vukcevic, Hocko, Boljevic, Vesovic; Mugosa.

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