Rooney To Run Riot On Peru At Wembley Send-Off
Roy Hodgson’s England side will look to head for hotter climates with a final Wembley win on their backs as they take on Peru in London on Friday. In this preview, I’ll give you the best bets for the game ahead.
England’s first World Cup warm-up friendly comes on the back of a win and two friendly defeats since qualifying for this summer’s tournament as UEFA Group H winners. Roy Hodsgon’s men beat Denmark 1-0 thanks to a Daniel Strurridge goal last time out, but previously lost by the same scoreline to Germany and 2-0 against Chile back in November of last year.
The qualification campaign had ended on a high with back-to-back wins over Montenegro and Poland seeing England secure their place in Brazil by a solitary point from the Ukraine. Now, seven months on, the serious preparation begins.
Peru, meanwhile, failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup after a disappointing CONEMBOL qualification where they finished in seventh place ahead of only Bolivia and Paraguay. Former assistant Pablo Bengoecha has since replaced Sergio Markarian as first team manager with la Blanquirroja winless in their last six matches going into this game. This will be Bengoecha’s first game in charge.
Phil Jagielka has claimed that he will be fully fit for the World Cup, but may only play a bit-part in this Friday’s game after only returning for the final two games of Everton’s season. Roy Hodgson has already earmarked Jagielka and Gary Cahill as his first-choice centre-halves for the tournament proper.
Phil Jones continues to recover from a shoulder injury and has been joining in with training this week, while Wayne Rooney also believes that he is back to full fitness as he prepares to end his World Cup hoodoo.
This is the first meeting between the two sides in over 50 years. Back in 1962 England won 4-0 thanks in large part to a Jimmy Greaves hat-trick; three years earlier Peru won the only other meeting between the two nations.
It’s always advisable to approach betting on friendly matches with some caution. The primary objective for England in particular will be to get players fit for the World Cup and also try out new combinations and tactics throughout the side; although there is also a need for a cohesive performance and the desire to arrive in Brazil with a few positive results in the bag. Hodgson must find the balance between these two purposes.
At odds of 1/3 in the Match Odds betting England carry very little appeal given the nature of the fixture. They should win, but I wouldn’t want to be risking my hard earned for just a 33% return. Peru are 8/1 and the draw is priced at 19/5.
Instead, I’d prefer to look to the goalscorer markets. Wayne Rooney is making all the right noises ahead of the World Cup and I feel this could be the tournament where he makes a big impact. Back the Manchester United striker to score first at odds of 11/4 and anytime at 8/11.
The likes of Adam Lallana and Ross Barkley are likely to be introduced as second half substitutes and can make an impact on the game when they are. They can be backed at odds of 13/8 and 15/8 to score anytime, respectively.