Sterling The Value Bet Against San Marino
England v San Marino
A straightforward win for England against San Marino on Thursday is anticipated in a game where Raheem Sterling can run riot…
England looked good against Switzerland last time out as Danny Welbeck scored twice in a 2-0 win to make it back-to-back wins since the disappointing World Cup campaign. Previously, Roy Hodgson’s men had beaten Norway 1-0 in an international friendly and have now kept three consecutive clean sheets.
Captain Wayne Rooney scored England’s only goal in the match against Norway and now has four for the season for club and country. However, he was red-carded last time out for Manchester United in yet another display of the petulance that has littered the 28-year-old’s career.
Danny Welbeck’s brace against the Swiss came just before his Arsenal debut and he has since gone on to score four goals in six appearances for the Gunners; including a Champions League hat-trick against Galatasaray last week.
San Marino’s Euro 2016 campaign began with an untypically-narrow 2-0 defeat to Lithuania. The minnows have still won only one game in their history – against Liechtenstein in a friendly in 2004 – and have now conceded 63 and scored just one in their last 13 international fixtures. They remain the joint-lowest ranked (208th) team – alongside Bhutan – on FIFA’s official rankings list.
Daniel Sturridge is not included in the England squad due to the injury he picked up last time he was away on international duty. That won’t worry Hodgson too much, however, as the Three Lions looked a lot more fluid the way that they set up without the Liverpool man against Switzerland.
Calum Chambers has been called up to replace the injured John Stones, while Nathaniel Clyne, Kieran Gibbs and Jonjo Shelvey are all also included in the squad.
The two nations were drawn in the same World Cup 2014 qualification group with England winning 5-0 at Wembley and 8-0 in San Marino. Rooney and Welbeck each scored a brace in the London meeting, with the England captain also getting on the scoresheet in the reverse fixture.
England have beaten San Marino in all four meetings, scoring at least five in each game. They did famously, however, go 1-0 down inside nine seconds – the fastest goal ever scored in FIFA World Cup qualification – when they met back in 1993.
Of course the Match Odds is not a market we can get involved in with England priced at 1/100, the draw at 14/1 and San Marino at 33/1. If you want to double your money on the Handicap market then you need to be looking at England winning by seven or more, with England -6 priced at 21/20.
Goalscorer markets do provide some value, however, and I particularly like the look of the 9/2 about Raheem Sterling scoring first and the 2/1 that he scores 2 or more.
The Liverpool forward’s pace will cause no end of problems for the San Marino defence
…and the youngster could have a field day if England can get him on the ball in deep positions allowing him to run with it at his feet.