England may have started their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup with two wins but, the performances England put up in achieving those wins have been so far removed from the ones expected by England fans, that there were plenty of boos ringing around Wembley on Saturday evening. Many of those boos were for Wayne Rooney, and caretaker manager Gareth Southgate is expected to show the nation that he actually has a pair by benching the England Captain and all-time leading scorer for their match against Slovenia on Tuesday night.
Hopefully, it will be a move that pays off as Southgate tries to build a team that will at least be competitive in Russia in 2018, however many of the England players will have to start taking a great deal more responsibility in the absence of Rooney.
England also have to qualify for those finals in Russia, though their statistics in in their past matches against Slovenia and in recent qualifying campaigns – suggest that this is a match they should win.
England have won all four of their previous matches with Slovenia, though the most recent two were only by one goal. England also had to come from 1-0 down at half-time in the 2016 Euros Qualifiers to win 3-2, whilst they won 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers.
To England’s credit, they have won their last 14 qualifiers, and are defending an unbeaten run of qualifiers that stretches 31 games (Won 24 Drawn 7) all the way back to 2009, ironically just a few days short of when Gareth Southgate was sacked by Middlesbrough – let’s hope that’s not an omen.
However, Slovenia are also on a decent run of their own, and they’ve only lost 1 of their last 9 qualifiers at home, though that was in the aforementioned defeat by England in 2015.
The bookies a dangling a patriotic carrot by going 7/10 for an England win and, though that probably won’t tempt the masses who know England are playing poorly at the moment, the big-hitters may well lump-on nearer the time. However, if odds-on aren’t for you, then you might want to consider the 11/10 that England win the second-half. They might not have done that against Malta on Saturday, but they have done that the last twice they played Slovenia, and their last 6 goals against them all came in the second-half.
You may also want to consider the 11/8 that both teams score, as that would have been a winning bet in 3 of the last 4 matches between the teams.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a bookie buster, then how about the 33/1 that Slovenia are winning at half-time, and England win the match – which is what happened the last time they met.
England Win The Second-Half @ 11/10
Both Teams To Score @ 11/8
Slovenia-England Half-time/Full-time @ 33/1