“You think you’re the Big Man now” – allegedly the words of Raheem Sterling, aimed towards Joe Gomez as the pair reportedly got into a physical confrontation in a St George’s Park canteen ahead of England’s fixture against Montenegro. Both have since put down their handbags and resolved their dispute, though Sterling was removed from the squad.
There’s no doubt the story will rumble on in the coming days and overshadowing what will be a routine England win and qualification for the Euros.
But away from the drama – let’s focus on the football and the best bets for Thursday night’s clash. England may be 1/25 favs but there’s still be some value to be found.
In Sterling’s absence, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford are likely to flank Harry Kane up top. Rashford has seen a resurgence in form since netting the opener last month against Bulgaria. Since that goal he has racked up six more in seven games for Man Utd. In form and full of confidence, I think Rashford is well worth backing here in the First Goalscorer market at 3/1.
All five of England’s group victories have seen the Three Lions winning HT/FT, so unsurprisingly the price on this is very short, currently at 3/10. Four of these games, however, have seen England score at least two goals in the first half – I expect a fast start here and 11/8 on 2-0 Half-Time Anytime Correct Score looks a solid enough play. (If England go 2-0 up at any point in the first half this is a winner).
While England can be expected to start fast, they’ll probably finish strongly too. This marks England’s 1000th game and the players and staff will want to mark the occasion (and Euro Qualification) in emphatic fashion. Expect to see the likes of Tammy Abraham and James Maddison to get some minutes towards the end and look to impress. Montenegro are also pretty toothless in attack, only bagging 3 goals all campaign – they shouldn’t pose much threat.
There shouldn’t be any taking it easy here – England (-3) at 9/5 in the Handicap Betting should be comfortable enough.
- First Goalscorer – Marcus Rashford: 3/1
- Half-Time Anytime Correct Score – England 2-0: 11/8
- Handicap Betting – England (-3): 9/5