Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Slovenia V England
Sunday 14th June. 5PM. ITV
Roy Hodgson’s men bring the curtain down a successful 2014/15 campaign with the trip to Slovenia as they look to extend their competitive winning run to six straight qualifiers.
The new-look England have already beaten Switzerland and Estonia away in qualifying and should be confident here. From a fan perspective, let’s just hope it provides better entertainment than last weekend’s dour showing in Dublin.
Make no mistake; England are already on their way to France next summer. Still, the Three Lions will be hoping to take another step to the finals by sealing three points in the bag.
Come in England.
Hosts Still On Track For Qualification
While Sunday’s opponents are running away with Group E, Sreko Katanec’s men have a genuine hope of claiming the second automatic qualification spot and will be determined to at least earn a place in the play-offs.
The hosts boast nine points from their five previous matches, including a potentially crucial win against Switzerland away. Having already played England at Wembley, even a draw could be pivotal in the race to join the Three Lions in France next summer.
A point might not be out the question either as the Slovenian’s can look to frustrate their superior visitors with a rigid defence that is supported by a world-class goalkeeper in either Inter Milan’s Samir Handanovic or Jan Oblak.
They managed to take a shock lead at Wembley last November, if they repeat that feat in Ljubljana then the Three Lions could be in for a really tough battle.
Can England Make It Six Of The Best?
Last Sunday’s trip to Dublin might have been the most boring of any England team, but Hodgson’s men will be eager to get back to winning ways as they return to competitive football and the mixture of experience and youth should give them a great chance here.
Captain Wayne Rooney, who had reportedly been on a stag do in Vegas just before, looked sluggish against the Irish but will be eager to put things right in Ljubljana. The No.10 has scored four goals already in Group E and is just two away from equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 in a Three Lions shirt. Will Sunday be his chance to do that?
With the tournament’s leading scorer, Danny Welbeck, missing, it paves the way for Theo Walcott to stake his claim for a return to the forefront. Meanwhile, the likes of Raheem Sterling will want to perform much better than last weekend whilst Charlie Austin and Jamie Vardy will be itching for competitive playing time.
Hodgson faces a few other selection questions, notably in the full-back areas. As long as they keep organised, though, they shouldn’t face too many problems.
Slovenia V England Betting Tips
This is one of the trickier trips of England’s Euro 2016 qualifying campaign but they should be confident about winning, as is reflected by Bet365’s odds of 5/6 on an away win. Meanwhile, the draw could have potential at 5/2 whilst Slovenia are available at 10/3.
Sunday’s clash at the Stozice could be a potentially frustrating one for England and we’re anticipating a spirited show from the hosts. However, it’s worth noting that Jordan Henderson’s own goal at Wembley is the only goal conceded by the Three Lions this term and Joe Hart could be in for a quiet afternoon.
The Three Lions might need patience at the other end, but we expect them to find a way through at some stage.
[quote_center]England to win to nil @ 15/8 with Bet365[/quote_center]
If England do break the deadlock early then they could score to or three. At this moment in time, Theo Walcott has to be a great shout to get amongst the goals.
The Arsenal man scored four goals in his final two games of 2014/15 and has been utilised in a more central attacking role for England in recent months. If he starts, we think he’s well worth a punt.
[quote_center]Theo Walcott to score anytime @ 21/10 with SkyBet[/quote_center]