After English rugby hit an all-time low in the World Cup last weekend, international football returns to raise spirits. We hope.
In marked contrast to the rugby, England’s footballers keep on winning and will be looking to extend their 100 per cent Euro 2016 qualifying record tonight.
Their opponents, Estonia, will offer a stubborn challenge but are unlikely to prevent a home win.
All signs are pointing to a low scoring match. In eight games, the visitors have scored a meagre four goals and are yet to get off the mark away from home.
They’re actually pretty tight at the back, having conceded six goals in qualifying so far.
Estonia will pile men behind the ball with the hope of bagging an opportunistic winner. They’ll be set up in a way to frustrate their opponents.
England, meanwhile, will be without captain and recently-crowned record goalscorer Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United forward has good form against Estonia, having scored in the previous two encounters between the sides.
Arsenal’s Theo Walcott or Tottenham hitman Harry Kane are likely to lead a depleted forward line.
Neither player has exactly been racking up the goals for their club. Kane, however, has been knocking them in for his country, netting against both San Marino and Switzerland.
He’s 5/2 with Betway to be the first goalscorer which is short enough and I’m not sure there’s really any value in that market.
A 1-0 England win won’t exactly stir the soul, but looks the likeliest result to me and is available at 13/2 with Betway.
Sporting Index are offering a spread of 3-3.2 on the total goals index and I’m definitely a seller at that price.
I’m predicting a tight first half from the Estonians, before England take control and get a winner after the break.
When the teams last played each other in October, it took a 73rd minute Rooney free kick to break the deadlock. It would not be a surprise if we get a similar outcome tonight.
Rather than England to be winning at half-time and full-time at 1/2, I’m more interested in Sportingbet’s 3/1 quote for a draw/England double result.
Sell Total Goals 3 (Sporting Index)
Draw / England 3/1 Sportingbet)