Montenegro host Bulgaria this weekend in a game which both teams need to win, in order to have a chance of qualifying for the European Championship. When the two nations met in March, both sides struggled to convert their chances and Montenegro edged the game 1-0.
Montenegro have picked up five points so far in group G and have only lost once, ultimately putting them in third place. Against Bulgaria this weekend, they will have the home advantage which has proven to be vital over the last few years. Group leaders Hungary were unable to break down the stubborn Montenegro defence as they drew 0-0, which is the only game the visitors haven’t won so far.
Despite the first three games being low scoring, Montenegro’s latest game away to Lithuania ended 2-2, but coach Miodrag Radulovic will be extremely disappointed by his sides inability to maintain the lead after almost completing a comeback. This defensive complacency will have to be discarded this weekend if the hosts are to pick up a victory.
Unfortunately for Bulgaria, they sit in last place on two points and they have been unable to pick up a victory thus far in qualifying. Bulgaria lost their opening two games without scoring a goal, but their last two performances have improved, which includes an impressive 1-1 draw with Serbia. Bulgaria’s biggest issue and the main reason why they have suffered is due to a lack of goal scoring threat, however the recent Montenegro performance will serve as encouragement.
Their opponent will be hard to breach but given Bulgaria’s position in the table, they must show enough bravery and courage to attack, in an attempt to win the game. This obviously makes them more open to transitions but it is a risk that Mladen Krstajic must consider.
Given that Montenegro is a hard place to visit for the opposing teams, they should just edge the tie. Bulgaria have to attempt to win the game but I am not convinced they have enough firepower upfront.
The final prediction is Montenegro 1-0 Bulgaria.