A big game for the Three Lions who better not kid themselves that Thursday night’s stroll will be replicated in this winner-takes-all clash.
Win, and England can ‘look forward’ to the finals next summer. Lose – and it’s relegation to Group B.
There’s a lot at stake and given Croatia beat the Three Lions at the World Cup semi-finals it could get tastier than a British government cabinet meeting.
The good news for us is that there’s enough motivation and attacking talent in both sides to ensure we don’t see another 0-0 bore-fest like last month, although the behind closed doors aspect didn’t help.
There’s little between the sides – as both sides proved that night and in beating Spain 3-2.
Verdict: Both teams to score @ 13/20 looks the play for our Sunday sanity, if nothing else.
It might be as obvious as suggesting that Kerry Katona revels in shameless self-publicity, but these teams don’t really score much. In 2018, NI have six goals from eight games, having failed to score in five of those, including a 1-0 away defeat to Austria.
The Austrians are a little better, with 10 in nine, but it’s not as if they’re prolific. They’ve failed to find the net in three of their previous four fixtures – the other being that victory over Northern Ireland.
A 1-0 or a 1-1 therefore seems very likely, perhaps even the most likely results.
Verdict: We reckon we’re in a fairly safe position to back under 2.5 total match goals at 4/7.
For a fourfold, we’ll absolutely have that.
In their last nine games, Finland have kept seven clean sheets.
Remarkably, over that same stretch, when the opposition have won (Greece 1-0, Romania 2-0) Finland have failed to score. Which means that in that time, Both Teams to Score would not have been triggered once in a match involving Finland.
In the Nations League, the Finns have only conceded that single goal to Greece, and on Sunday evening they’re faced with a fairly meagre Hungary side – whom they beat 1-0 in Helsinki in September.
We reckon that even if Finland lose, they’ll probably also fail to score. And if they win or draw, form tells us they won’t concede in doing so.
Verdict: ‘Both teams to score – No’ is 4/6, we’re all over that.
Finland hold the whip hand in League C Group 2 but Greece can take advantage of any slip ups with a victory over Estonia.
Creativity has never been a strong suit for the 2004 European Champions. While they’re usually as functional as an IKEA flat pack, new manager Angelos Anastasiadis takes charge for just the second time and knows he has to put this tie beyond Estonia sharpish, to keep their own fading hopes of topping the Group, alive.
There’s been a pattern to Greek’s results with 1-0 home wins, solid if unspectacular, followed by single-goal defeats on the road – their 1-0 away win to Estonia, being the exception.
Estonia on the other hand, have lost five of their last six games, with just a miraculous 3-3 draw away to Hungary interrupting that run.
A home win is long odds on, but we’ll risk Greece to get at least a couple of goals more than Estonia, to win this tie.
Verdict: Greece -1 on the handicap @ evens
And maybe we’ll even postpone those Monday morning Blues just that little bit longer.
*Price correct at time of posting