Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Nations League clash between Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Struggling for a chance to top their group in the UEFA Nations League, Balkan neighbors Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina meet on Saturday in Podgorica.
While the visitors have made an unbeaten start to the new season and are level on points with Finland, early leaders in Group B of League B, their hosts lost away to the Finns on Tuesday.
Continuing their action-packed summer schedule, Montenegro return to home soil this weekend to claim a second win at the Podgorica City Stadium.
After losing to Finland midweek – when they couldn’t find an answer to two first-half goals in Helsinki; only manages one shot on goal – Miodrag RadulovicWith three points from two games, the s men are third in their group.
Montenegro, who previously beat Romania 2-0, have defeated Greece in their first Nations League competition since promotion from League C and beat the Netherlands to a draw in two of their last three home games against established regional rivals on Saturday.
Like Bosnia, the Montenegrins failed in their attempts to reach a first-ever World Cup in Qatar 2022 as Radulovic’s side picked up just one point from three games towards the end of the process, ultimately nullifying their challenge.
The Brave Falcons fared far better against more modest opponents in their final season in the Nations League – finishing first in Group 1 of League C ahead of Luxembourg, Azerbaijan and Cyprus – but are now in a completely different season as they adapt to life in the second tier of competition level.
After settling for a 1-1 draw in Finland on the opening day, Bosnia went even further on Tuesday when they defeated Romania at Zenica’s Bilino Polje stadium.
backup striker Smail Prevlyak The deadlock broke midway through the second half, with the home side holding on to take three valuable points in their bid to return to League A.
The former RB Leipzig man scored for the second time in days after netting a late equalizer in Helsinki, helping his side to just their fourth win since international football resumed in September 2020.
With just two points from six games against Italy, Poland and the Netherlands, who were relegated from the top tier of the Nations League at the end of the year, the Dragons also finished a distant fourth in their World Cup qualifying group.
So after such a tough time over the past few months, head coach Ivaylo Petev can’t wait to face less popular opponents in the upcoming games.
Form of Montenegro Nations League:
Montenegro form (all competitions):
Form of Nations League Bosnia-Herzegovina:
Form Bosnia-Herzegovina (all competitions):
Following an away defeat – and just days before the last game of an opening quartet in the Nations League – Montenegro could make changes on Saturday but Miodrag Radulovic will still name an experienced side.
while captain Stefan Jovetic Lazio are without a full-back this month Adam Marusic is expected to return to the starting XI with 53 caps after a mid-week break Zarko Tomasevic manage the defense of the hosts in the absence of Atlético Madrid Stefan Savic.
If Jovetic is still unavailable, Stephen Mugosa – a goalscorer in the win over Romania – will compete with the record cap holder Fatos Beciraj for a seat at the front.
Meanwhile, Bosnia should retain the core of their winning side with captaincy from Tuesday night Edin Dzeko Leading the line forward and Anel Ahmedhodzic from Malmo starting in central defence.
Should Dzeko, 36, be given a day off at such a busy time, Smail Prevljak could be called upon to improve on his two goals so far this summer from the start.
Both Miralem Pjanic and Rad Krunik will be back after the former was benched midweek and the latter was completely absent from the Romania visit.
Montenegro possible starting line-up:
Petkovic; Vesovic, Vujacic, Tomasevic, A. Vukcevic; Marusic, Jankovic, Raickovic, Jovovic; Haksabanovic; Mugosa
Bosnia-Herzegovina possible starting line-up:
Sehic; Susic, Hadzikadunic, Ahmedhodzic, Kolasinac; Gojak, Pjanic, Besic; Stevanovic, Dzeko, and Krunic
We say: Montenegro 1-2 Bosnia-Herzegovina
The visitors, who have enjoyed better results away from home than in Bosnia in the last 12 months, can be confident they will take at least a point from their trip across the border.
With more experience at top European clubs, they should have an advantage over Montenegro this weekend and could even take first place in Group 3 depending on how Finland fare in Romania.
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Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com predict under 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their football best tips.Under 3.5:Data