Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Nations League clash between Romania and Montenegro, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Romania will be bidding to make it back-to-back wins in the UEFA Nations League when they continue their 2022-23 campaign at home to Montenegro on Tuesday night.
The hosts are currently bottom of Group 3 of League B, boasting three points from their three matches, while Montenegro sit third, picking up four points from their opening three games.
Romania opened their Group 3 campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Montenegro on June 4 before suffering a 1-0 loss at Bosnia-Herzegovina three days later, which left them bottom of the section after two matches.
Edward Iordanescu‘s team are still at the foot of the table, but they will enter this game off the back of a 1-0 success over Finland on Saturday, with Nicusor Bancu registering in the 30th minute of the contest.
Romania unsurprisingly failed to qualify for the finals of the 2022 World Cup, with their last participation in the competition coming back in 1998, when they reached the round of 16.
The Tricolours were also absent from Euro 2020, while they finished third in Group 1 of League B in their previous UEFA Nations League campaign, picking up eight points from six matches.
Romania’s victory over Finland proved to be their first success in any competition since last November, and they will be bidding to make it back-to-back wins for the first time since last September.
Montenegro, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday, with Adam Marusic netting in the 77th minute to earn his side a point on home soil.
The Brave Falcons started their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 2-0 success over Romania on June 4 before suffering a 2-0 defeat away to Finland three days later.
A total of four points from three matches has left them third in the section, just a point behind leaders Bosnia-Herzegovina, so they will be eyeing first spot in the group and promotion to League A.
Montenegro finished fourth in their World Cup qualification section to miss out on the 2022 competition, while they were also not present at last summer’s European Championship.
Miodrag Radulovic‘s side secured promotion to League B by finishing top of Group 1 of League C in the 2020-21 competition, picking up 13 points from six matches during an impressive campaign.
Romania Nations League form:
Romania form (all competitions):
Montenegro Nations League form:
Montenegro form (all competitions):
Romania will have to make a late check on Octavian Popescu, who was substituted early in the second half against Finland on Saturday, so it would not be a surprise to see Razvan Marin come in for a start.
Head coach Iordanescu is likely to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack, though, with George Puscas again set to lead the line for the home side.
Puscas is the leading goalscorer in the squad with eight, while Alexandru Maxim has seven in 56 caps, and the 31-year-old is expected to start, having been unused against Finland.
As for Montenegro, head coach Radulovic has not reported any fresh injury concerns from the 1-1 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday.
Marusic, who was on the scoresheet for the home side, should again play off the right, with Stefan Mugosa operating in one of the two positions through the middle.
Sead Haksabanovic featured in an advanced area against Bosnia-Herzegovina and that could again be the case here, while Milan Mijatovic should get the nod between the sticks.
Romania possible starting lineup:
Nita; Ratiu, Chiriches, Burca, Bancu; Olaru, Marin; Sorescu, Maxim, Marin; Puscas
Montenegro possible starting lineup:
Mijatovic; Vesovic, Vujacic, Tomasevic, Vukcevic; Marusic, Raickovic, Jankovic, Jovovic; Mugosa, Haksabanovic
We say: Romania 0-0 Montenegro
Montenegro recorded a 2-0 victory when the two sides locked horns on June 4, but we are expecting this match to be a lot closer. Both managers will be wary of losing the fixture, which could create a tight match, and we are predicting a goalless draw on Tuesday night.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.