Euro 2016 betting: England can get the win they need to top Group B

 
Ben Cleminson
England v Wales - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016
A repeat of last week's win over Wales would ensure England top Group B (Source: Getty)

At half-time against Wales Roy Hodgson must have been wondering if the man upstairs had something against him.

England completely dominated their opening fixture against Russia yet succumbed to a 92nd minute equaliser by Vasili Berezutski.

And then Gareth Bale’s free-kick just before the interval crept past Joe Hart to leave the Three Lions in serious danger of being dumped out at the group stage of a second major tournament in a row.

Hogdson didn’t panic, though, with the introduction of Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge proving inspired decisions.

Sturridge’s injury time winner now means England are top of the group going into this evening’s final game in Saint-Etienne against Slovakia, who beat Russia 2-1 on Wednesday.

Hodgson’s men have looked good going forward in both games and there certainly seems to be a degree of dynamism and youthful exuberance that we haven’t seen in an England team for quite some time.

The main worry for Three Lions supporters is the weakness at the back. England simply concede too many goals.

Hart can normally be counted on to provide the vital final line of defence and the confident keeper won’t let Thursday’s mistake affect him.

However, he will have worries about his defenders because they aren’t that strong.

This is not going to be easy, but England are the superior side and should be backed at 4/5.

Perhaps an even better bet, though, is the 11/10 Betway are offering for both teams to score.

That has happened in all four games that these sides have been involved in so far at the tournament and neither team can simply settle for a draw, as a Wales win against Russia would push them into the coveted group winner spot.

Slovakia have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 games across all competitions. They’re not going to try to shut up shop here against an England outfit that are as strong going forward as they are weak at the back.

A very open game looks on the cards and for that reason I can also see the logic in buying total goals at 2.55 with Sporting Index.

That said, I’m more interested in the firm’s time of the last match goal market which is set at 60-63 minutes.

Both England matches have featured an injury time goal, while Slovakia’s two games have seen scores in the 80th and 81st minutes.

There is every reason to think that as the minutes tick by this contest will open up further and a late goal looks highly likely. Buying at 63 minutes is the way to go.

Interestingly, Betway are refunding all correct score and goalscorer bets if there’s a goal scored after 84:59, so if you’re interested in either of those markets make sure you bet with Betway.

Qualifying as group winners could make a huge difference to England progressing to the semi-finals and possibly even the final itself, so let’s hope they can get past the plucky Slovakians.

Punter

England 4/5 (general)

Both teams to score 11/10 (Betway)

Buy time of last match goal 63 (Sporting Index)

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