Despite having already qualified for the Euro 2016 finals, England are fancied to maintain their 100% record in the qualifiers when they host Estonia on Friday at 7.45pm – and you can read all our analysis and best bets below.
The Group E clash is only the third time the two countries have met and, despite Estonia still have a faint hope of qualifying for the finals, that hope is very faint as they would need Switzerland to lose both their remaining games, one of which is at home to group E whipping boys San Marino. Estonia may be motivated by the fact Wayne Rooney will miss the game but, the argument against that being a significant advantage is, they’ll also be plenty of England players with a point to prove to make sure they’re on the plane to the finals as part of the squad next year.
Roy Hodgson also took plenty of flack when he was installed as England manager and, after masterminding the only 100% record in this year’s qualifiers, he’ll be keen to make sure that his squad maintain that record to avoid the almost certain and unwanted negative publicity that would greet anything but another victory.
Estonia have also struggled on their travels so far in the group, having failed to score a single away goal, losing 3-0 to Switzerland, and 1-0 to both Slovenia and Lithuania, whilst they could only manage a 0-0 draw in San Marino.
The fact that England have also beaten all those sides doesn’t bode well for the Estonians, and neither does England’s home form which reads 5-0, 3-0, 4-0 and 2-0. England did only win 1-0 in Estonia, but more goals are expected this time around – and 2-0 and 3-0 both look worth backing, although big-money punters may just decide that the 4/7 for England to simply win to nil is just too big to resist.
England to win 2-0 @ 27/5 (Unibet, 888)
England to win 3-0 @ 23/4 (Unibet, 888)
The first goalscorer market may also be popular and, after his performance for Arsenal against Manchester United last weekend, Theo Walcott may be a popular choice. However, after scoring in 3 of his last 4 England games, and scoring first against Switzerland, Harry Kane may well take up the mantle in Rooney’s absence.
Harry Kane to score first @ 16/5 (BetVictor)
An interesting fact is, that apart from Rooney, only Jagielka and Wellbeck have scored first-half goals for England so far in the competition and, if you think Estonia may be dogged enough in defense to still be drawing at half-time, the draw/England half-time/full-time result at 17/5 might tickle your fancy.
Half-time/full-time result: Draw/England @ 17/5 (888, Unibet)