Sam Allardyce’s reign as England manager begins on Sunday afternoon as the Three Lions face Slovakia in Trnava.
The road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia starts here for Allardyce and his squad, who will be looking to put the disappointment of this summer’s European Championships behind them.
Those hoping for revolution from the new boss would so far have been disappointed.
Only one uncapped player, Michail Antonio, has been added to Roy Hodgson’s group, and Wayne Rooney has been retained as captain.
However, as England fans well know, a new manager brings renewed hope and optimism that this could finally be the man to end the years of hurt.
A win against Slovakia will have supporters dreaming of lifting the famous trophy in Moscow.
Allardyce will be happy to get his toughest task out the way first against a side who made it to the knockout stages from England’s group at Euro 2016.
The Three Lions were held 0-0 by Slovakia in Saint-Etienne, with that game providing a blueprint for how the hosts will approach things on Sunday – making it as difficult as possible to be broken down.
The organised and physical side, captained by former Liverpool man Martin Skrtel, only conceded eight times while qualifying for the Euros, managing a 2-1 win over Spain along the way.
Despite tournament failings, England’s recent qualification record is second to none.
They won ten out of ten last time around and are 21/20 with Betway to win again on Sunday.
I suggest backing them at that price.
It’s a near identical situation to when England travelled to Switzerland in 2014.
Low on confidence after a failed major tournament, they began with their toughest assignment, and dispatched their opponents confidently, with Danny Welbeck scoring twice in a 2-0 win.
I see a similar hard-fought victory this time around.
It won’t be pretty, however, and I will be selling total goals at 2.15.
England 21/20 (Betway)
Sell total goals 2.15 (Sporting Index)