Preview: UEFA Euro 2020 Live: England v Montenegro

England v Montenegro
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Liver coverage from Wembley as England take on Montenegro in their penultimate Euro 2020 qualifier.

This is England’s 1,000th international game. To celebrate, the squad will take to the pitch wearing individual legacy numbers on their shirts. Three lions boss Gareth Southgate won’t be wearing his, but his number is 1,071.

For Montenegro this is a dead rubber, they can no longer qualify for next summer’s finals and are short of several key players, so this could be a game of damage limitation for them. Of course, for England a draw will send them through, but the alarming complacency displayed last month away to Czech Republic will have concerned the management. This is an opportunity for younger, hungrier players to send a message to the rest of the squad – rest on your laurels and you could find yourself watching the finals on TV. 

James Maddison, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Trent Alexander Arnold and Tammy Abraham are all ready in terms of quality and if they force their way in, it will be difficult to shift them out. These guys have played without fear this season and can bring that to the England at just the right time.  A brave new attacking England  could do great things next summer but finishing the qualifying campaign in style is a necessary step in that progress. Tonight then, meaningless for Montenegro but very significant for England.

UEFA Euro 2020 Live: England v Montenegro – Thursday at 7.00pm on ITV.