San Marino V England
Saturday 5th September. 5PM. ITV 1
The first international week of 2015/16 has arrived, and Roy Hodgson’s England couldn’t ask for an easy start to the new season as they head to Serravalle to take on one of the minnows of European football.
This is a formality for England and will be little more than a training session. However, some of the subplots make it a must watch game as the Three Lions look to place one foot in next summer’s finals in France.
With Switzerland to visit Wembley on Tuesday, it should be a good warm up for the boys. Come on England!
Wayne Rooney Set For England Record
Saturday’s clash in San Marino might be little more than a training session, but it could be a landmark event in English football history as captain Wayne Rooney looks to become the nation’s all-time leading scorer.
The 29-year-old will lead Hodgson’s side in what will be his 106th international cap, and he needs just two goals to surpass Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 England goals. Ironically, Charlton also played 106 times for the national side, so it would be a fantastic time for Rooney to reach the half-century.
Rooney did score once in England’s last trip here, as the Three Lions posted eight against the minnows. With Hodgson set to try out a few upcoming stars, the visitors should be hungry. The likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Ross Barkley will be eager to take their chances.
Motivation might be a little hard to come by as the result is guaranteed before a ball has even been kicked. However, with places at Euro 2016 up for grabs, we should see a strong performance.
Minnows Just Hoping To Score
San Marino have already enjoyed a successful campaign after sealing a rare point courtesy of a 0-0 draw against Estonia. The minnows will be dreaming of a shock result against England, but the reality is that the part-timers are playing for pride more than anything else.
Pier Manzaroli’s side know just how difficult this contest is, and the players will all be hoping to write their name in history simply by getting on the scoresheet. Unfortunately, that seems very unlikely. It should be one of Joe Hart’s easiest clean sheets.
In the two recent games at Wembley, we’ve seen the minnows put up a brave fight before the floodgates opened. However, on home soil, England could play with a little more freedom. The timing of the first goal could have a massive impact.
Whatever happens, we should be treated to a few goals as England look set to continue their 100% record. A place in France awaits.
San Marino V England Betting
Unsurprisingly, England enter as overwhelming favourites and are priced just 1/100 with Bet365. Meanwhile, San Marino are available at 100/1 to cause a major upset while the draw ca be backed at 40/1.
The question isn’t whether England win, it’s by how many. In some ways, playing away from Wembley could make it easier for the Three Lions, and we’re backing them to roar through to an easy win.
England will want an early goal to create the foundations for an easy win. Fifteen minutes is a long time for San Marino to keep the doors shut, and we expect Hodgson’s men to break the door down at some stage.
England to score first goal before 15:00 @ 5/6 with Bet365
It’s quite hard to find value in such a one-sided affair. However, the one market that appeals to us is the correct score.
We predict that it will be somewhere between 4-0 and 9-0 to England, with our preferences being somewhere near the middle. While we wouldn’t get too involved, 7-0 is our selection for a little interest during the game.
England to win 7-0 @ 8/1 with SkyBet