Montenegro coach Branko Brnović struck a hopeful note as he spoke to the media ahead of Friday's game with Russia. "We are facing a good team, physically very well prepared and with a lot of international experience. We've got a tough task, but we know what those three points would mean to us and we will do everything to get them."
It will be the second time that Brnović has faced Fabio Capello, who was England manager when Brnović debuted at the helm in a 2-2 draw in October 2011. That result sent England to the finals and Montenegro to the play-offs but Brnović said: "This time one of us will not be happy, as draw is not a good result for either side."
Captain Mirko Vučinić added: "It is not time for big words, it is time for a big football game. We must be 'all for one, one for all', that is the only recipe for a good result in important matches."
Manchester City FC forward Stevan Jovetić believes Montenegro can beat Russia on Friday. "Of course I believe in us," he said. "We can play a good game and get three points." Montenegro and Russia are level on points in Group G, but trail Sweden and pacesetters Austria, making this an important fixture. "We are under pressure, but that is part of football," said Jovetić, 25. "We are not youngsters, but experienced players, who have played a lot of big games. Pressure cannot be an excuse. We must show what we know and do all we can to win."