Live on ITV1: Fri: 20:00. Victory for England over San Marino may be a foregone conclusion but how many will they win by? Peter Sharkey previews the match
It’s not often that the most popular result in bookmakers’ correct score markets is 5-0, but BetVictor’s 9/2 for England to overhaul international minnows San Marino by that score in their World Cup qualifier at Wembley has, according to the firm, proved the most favoured outcome amongst punters.
If the Three Lions score early, it could be double that and as England’s qualifying group might be settled on goal difference, a sizeable number of backers expect them to show no mercy and rack up as many goals as possible.
Such an attitude accounts for the appeal of BetVictor’s 4/7 odds for the match to yield more than 5.5 goals, while more precise folk may prefer the 5/1 offered by bet365 against England securing a 6-0 win. In a subtle variation on the goalfest theme, Ladbrokes chalk even money against England winning when kicking off with a five goal handicap.
Paddy Power’s 80/1 on price for England to win looks as sure a banker as punters will ever see, but the firm has not be overwhelmed with smaller bets – these odds are more suited to professional gamblers. Instead, the average punter is content to take prices such as Stan James’s more attractive 11/5 for Wayne Rooney to open the scoring, a market in which Danny Welbeck is priced at 3/1 by BetVictor.com. Elsewhere, Andy Carroll is 11/4 (bet365) to notch a hat-trick, while William Hill offer even money about the game’s opening goal arriving inside the first ten minutes.
Those anticipating an uncomfortable early ride for the home team can get 9/1 (bet365) against England winning, but only after the first half has ended with honours even. Alternatively, Ladbrokes post 7/2 against both teams scoring.
Even if San Marino do score, there are only a tiny few who do not expect England to eventually win, in which case a much sterner test looms on the horizon for Roy Hodgson’s men in the shape of Poland in Warsaw next Tuesday. A much wider array of prices for that match will be available on Betrescue.com immediately following Friday night’s Wembley clash, but at the time of writing, Steven Gerrard and Co are even money (Stan James) to collect three points next Tuesday with Poland priced at 11/5 by William Hill.
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