BEN CLEMINSON PREVIEWS SAN MARINO V ENGLAND AND GIBRALTAR V IRELAND
ENGLAND are in San Marino tomorrow evening for the Euro 2016 qualifier that is the latest instalment of this utterly one-sided rivalry.
The Three Lions have won all five previous meetings, scoring 31 goals and conceding just once – that famous Davide Gualtieri strike after eight seconds in 1993.
England went on to win that game 7-1 and a similar margin of victory is expected as Roy Hodgson’s men bid to continue their 100% record in Group E.
All eyes will be on Wayne Rooney with the striker out to break Bobby Charlton’s long-standing record of 49 England goals.
A brace will put Rooney clear at the top and the omens are good. The 29-year-old has four goals in three appearances against these opponents and will have plenty of chances to add to that haul.
San Marino have won just once in their history and that was against fellow European whipping boys Liechtenstein. Only Gibraltar and Andorra have conceded more in this European campaign.
Betway offer 4/6 that Rooney overtakes Charlton which will tempt many in a game where profitable betting opportunities largely rely on England flexing their supremacy. They are just 1/100 to win.
Rooney’s goal minutes can be bought at 80 with Sporting Index for those expecting him to reach the landmark in style.
The visitors to the Stadio Olimpico won the last meeting here 8-0 in 2013 and a repeat of that scoreline can be backed at 10/1 with Betway. Sporting Index traders pitch England supremacy at 5.4-5.6.
But, although England have won every qualifier so far, they have hardly looked like world-beaters in scraping past Estonia 1-0 and needing a late Rooney goal to see off Slovenia last time.
San Marino are so bad, though, that anything over than a heavy England win is unthinkable.
Up against part-time players who make their livings as a lampshade seller, an olive oil producer and a leisure centre manager, for example, the Three Lions will have far too much for the Sammarinese no matter what sort of side Hodgson plays.
The 5-0 correct score and the 6-0 correct score are both worth a wager at 9/2 and 11/2 with Betway. Buying England -5 on Sporting Index’s handicap at 13.5 is a decent bet too with the market making up 25 should England win by six goals or more.
Buy England -5 on the handicap at 13.5 (Sporting Index)
England to win 5-0 at 9/2 (Betway)
England to win 6-0 at 11/2 (Betway)