ENGLAND 0-0 MONTENEGRO

England XI: Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Winks, Mount, Sancho, Kane, Rashford

Montenegro: Mijatovic, Vesovic, Sofranac, Simic, Lisi, Hocko Lagator, Vukcevic, Jovovic, Haksabanovic, Beciraj

ENGLAND 0-0 MONTENEGRO

6: Signs of life from the England! Harry Winks plays a delightful pass into the onrushing Jadon Sancho, but Montenegro goalkeeper Mijatovic hacks it away. I can’t imagine it’ll be long before we see the opener folks.

3: Interesting that ITV have abbreviated Montenegro to MNE instead of MON. I say interesting, it’s barely noteworthy but raised my eyebrows.

Decent start… for the visitors! They’ve won a couple of corner kicks down that left channel to keep England at bay.

ENGLAND 0-0 MONTENEGRO

1: Well it’s hardly a packed house – but I can’t really blame the good people of England. It’s freezing, the opposition aren’t up to much and it’s baltic outside.

Paul Gascoigne, Wayne Rooney and Fabio Capello are in attendance. What a night out that would be…

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates (Image: GETTY)

James Maddison benched

19:35: I think we’d all like to know why Leicester’s in-form James Maddison is not in the starting XI this evening.

Gareth Southgate has provided an answer of sorts.

“He is a good player,” he told ITV. “We have some very good players in that midfield area but he has speed and power and is a goal threat. He has some fantastic attributes, we have missed having him with us but he is in good form at the moment with four goals.

“This is a brilliant night for everyone who has been involved down the years. It is a special night for us. We want to put a performance on with a young team that excites people.”

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates (Image: GETTY)

Twitter Reaction

Joe: Love that England side, about time we started an attacking and progressive midfield three.

Matt: How Harry Kane and Harry Winks waltz into the England team on current form baffles me!

Tim: There’s a few players in England XI who wouldn’t get in squad if they played for Sheffield United. As it’s always been so. Not saying they won’t be great players. But they aren’t in England’s best XI available for me. Cue Mount and Sancho hat tricks…

Where’s Ian?

19:20: And there’s me tuning into ITV to see Ian Wright sitting alongside Roy Keane and Lee Dixon – only for Ashley Cole to have replaced him?

So where’s Ian? He’s heading for the jungle to eat some Buffalo testicles. That’s not factually correct – they could be any animal testies…

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VAR

19:15: Hate hearing about VAR, hate reading about VAR and hate writing about VAR. But I’m going to make an exception – just this once.

England’s Premier League has promised to improve and speed up the use of the VAR system following several controversial decisions and widespread criticism from fans and pundits.

The Premier League, using the technology for the first time this season, said in a statement that VAR was discussed at length during a shareholders meeting on Thursday and Mike Riley, its chief referee, accepted that “improvement is required”.

“The Premier League and PGMOL (match officials) committed to improving the consistency of decisions, speeding up processes and increasing communication to fans,” it said.

Riley told clubs that speed and consistency of decision-making “are priority areas of work and will improve as the officials become more experienced with the technology and protocols”.

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates (Image: GETTY)

The opposition…

19:10: Are they any good? The short answer is no. Although I said that about the Czech Republic and look what happened there…

Montenegro are winless so far in their seven games in Group A, drawing three and losing four. They have scored only three goals, conceding 15, and went down 2-0 to Kosovo last time out.

Their last win, in any competition, came in October 2018 when they beat Lithuania in the Nations League. I think we all remember where we were on that famous night…

Montenegro arrived in London with a lengthy injury list that includes former Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic, now at Monaco, and Atletico Madrid defender Stefan Savic.

Incredibly, there is a player who was born in England in their squad. Uncapped goalkeeper Matija Sarkic was born in Grimsby and is on loan at Scottish Premier League side Livingston from Aston Villa.

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates (Image: GETTY)

Team News

19:05: Gareth Southgate hands starts to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jadon Sancho and John Stones.

With Raheem Sterling missing out as punishment for his part in a spat with Joe Gomez on Monday, Southgate opts to play Borussia Dortmund forward Sancho in his place.

There was also a first England start since March 2018 for Liverpool midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain as he looks for a regular berth in Southgate’s side.

Stones came back into the defence after recovering his fitness as Tyrone Mings dropped to the bench having made his debut last time out in the 6-0 win in Bulgaria. He was joined among the substitutes by Gomez as well as James Maddison, who is still awaiting his debut for the senior side.

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Mason Mount and Trent Alexander-Arnold were the other changes as Southgate made five alterations from the game in Sofia.

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates (Image: GETTY)

The Youth…

19:00: The starting XI named by Southgate for the landmark millennial match was the youngest England team since 1959 with an average age of 23 years and 255 days.

Twitter reaction

Kieran: Why hasn’t Gareth Southgate not started James Maddison, Fikayo Tomori or Tammy Abraham? Didn’t he say he’ll pick players on their form?!

Oliver: What a surprise James Maddison is on the bench. What a joke. Generally think Gareth Southgate doesn’t like him and will keep making up excuses as to why he doesn’t start games.

Noel: Gareth Southgate! Tyrone Mings comes in and is an absolute beast and you bring back John Stones?! Good job loads of England games are against League 1 standard or GS would be gone.

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates (Image: GETTY)

The situation

18:45: My situation is that I’ve gobbled up my beef stew waaaaay to early and will be raiding the vending machine for Peanut M&M’s later.

England’s situation is much better.

The Three Lions boast five wins from their opening six Group A qualifiers, however defeat in the Czech Republic last month means their progression is not yet assured.

A draw against Montenegro will be enough to seal England’s place at next summer’s finals, while Southgate’s side could even make it through with defeat at Wembley, if Kosovo were to lose to the Czechs.

Either way, England will be confident their spot in the draw, which takes place in Bucharest on November 30.

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates (Image: GETTY)

The starting XI…

18:40: Well I was under the impression Gareth Southgate was going to name more youngsters than ever – and he’s stuck to his word. No start for James Maddison or Callum Hudson-Odoi though.

England XI: Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Winks, Mount, Sancho, Kane, Rashford.

Subs: Trippier, Pope, Rose, Gomez, Mings, Tomori, Rice, Maddison, Hudson-Odoi, Wilson, Abraham, Henderson.

Montenegro: Mijatovic, Vesovic, Sofranac, Simic, Lisi, Hocko Lagator, Vukcevic, Jovovic, Haksabanovic, Beciraj.

Subs: Sarkic Raspopovic, Sekulic, Vujacic, Bulatovic, Kojasevic , Kopitovic Mugosa, Boljevic, Jankovic, Petkovic.

Are we going to discuss it?

18:35: Oh go on then… we can recap it quickly. Only briefly though because I’ve heard so much about that I could swear I was in attendance…

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One man who will not be able to influence the outcome of England’s 1000th match is arguably their best player.

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has been sidelined by Gareth Southgate after a physical altercation with Joe Gomez on Monday.

The pair clashed during Liverpool’s 3-1 Premier League win over Manchester City on Sunday and Sterling’s emotions boiled over into international week as he left Gomez with a scratch on his face – Southgate then opting to not consider the City man for this game.

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates (Image: GETTY)

Evening…

18:30: Hello everyone and welcome to our LIVE coverage of England vs Montenegro.

I know what you’re all thinking.

“Jamie, England are playing their 1000th fixture – do you have something special lined up?”

It’s a good question. And the answer is a resounding NO. You’ll be receiving the same standard fare you’ve had for the past three years. You’re welcome.

The FA, however, will be doing something special with plenty of pre-match pomp and some of the biggest names to wear the shirt in attendance.

It will then be up to the current crop to make sure the evening does not end on a sour note and that the nation is toasting Euro 2020 qualification after the celebrations.

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates

England vs Montenegro LIVE: Euro 2020 score, news and updates (Image: GETTY)

ENGLAND vs MONTENEGRO

England had no absentees from training on Wednesday morning as Gareth Southgate prepares his side for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

Thursday’s match at Wembley will be England’s 1000th fixture and could see the Three Lions seal their place at next summer’s tournament.

Raheem Sterling was part of the training session despite being sidelined for the game as a disciplinary measure following an altercation with team-mate Joe Gomez – who was also present.

Fabian Delph withdrew from the squad through injury on Monday night, joining fellow midfielder Ross Barkley and goalkeeper Tom Heaton in being forced to return to their respective clubs.

Jordan Henderson trained with the rest of the group for the first time having joined them at St George’s Park on Tuesday, while fellow midfielder Declan Rice was able to take part after illness saw him miss out on the first full day of work.



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