Most ardent England fans would probably have to go back to the 1996 European Championships, when the then England team truly excited fans with a 2-0 win over Scotland and a 4-1 thumping of the Netherlands, to say England were worth 10 out of 10. However, as the final qualifier of Group E fast approaches – the current England team can complete their own little bit of history by winning an unprecedented 10 out of 10 qualifying games, and only Lithuania stand in their way.
The old adage “the bigger they are the harder they fall” will certainly mean Lithuania will want to stop England’s impressive run, but Roy Hodgson will be equally keen to make sure England wrap-up qualifying with an unblemished record, one that leaves the Press with no rope to hang him with before the big event next year – and so what are the value bets?
The bookies bet 10/1 Lithuania, 4/1 the draw, and 2/5 England, and that 2/5 may well have plenty of takers considering England coasted to a 4-0 triumph when hosting Lithuania earlier in the group. Lithuania’s home record isn’t all that bad though having beaten Estonia and San Marino, but the better quality teams of Switzerland and Slovenia have both took 3 points here. I certainly wouldn’t but big-hitters off taking the 2/5 about England but, in the search for a bit of value, I prefer to back England to win 1-0 and 2-0.
England to win 1-0 @ 5/1 (Skybet, Hills, 888)
England to win 2-0 @ 23/4 (888, Unibet)
If you’re looking for a similarly priced bet for England to win, but with a bit of difference, there’s a good case for backing the half-time/full-time result to be Draw/England. England have only once scored in the first-half in their 4 away matches, whilst Lithuania have only once conceded a goal before half-time in their 4 home matches.
Half-time/full-time: Draw/England @ 13/4 (888, Unibet)
If you’re looking for a bet in the top goal-scorer market, then it may be worth considering that it was Rooney who broke the deadlock against Lithuania, whilst their other 3 goals came from Wellbeck, Sterling and Kane. It’s likely that it will be one of the front players who score first again, and Wellbeck looks a decent price after his confidence boosting goal against Estonia.
Wellbeck to score first @ 9/2 (Bet365)