England v Italy – An un-friendly affair for goal backers


England's World Cup preparation continues on Tuesday as they welcome Italy to Wembley. Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) shares his best bets.

England v Italy | Tuesday 27th March 2018, 19:45 | ITV

Following Friday’s tidy win in Amsterdam, Gareth Southgate has a chance to learn more about his squad as England host Italy this Tuesday.

The England boss has successfully experimented in friendlies during his time, with the Three Lions keeping three consecutive clean sheets.

Southgate may opt to continue with a back-three this Tuesday, but no doubt changes will be aplenty. Jack Butland looks set to be handed a chance between the sticks, while Eric Dier, Harry Maguire, Dele Alli, Adam Lallana and Jamie Vardy could all be brought into the starting XI.

Seven of 11 England games under Southgate have seen Under 2.5 goals, including each of the last five. Four of five games at Wembley under his reign have seen fewer than this mark, with England keeping a clean sheet on each of those four occasions.

Rebuilding Italy

Following the failure to qualify for the World Cup, Italy are amidst a rebuilding period, much like England’s opponents on Friday, Holland.

Luigi Di Biagio took temporary charge last month and will continue indefinitely as Italy look to plan ahead. This could be Gianluigi Buffon’s last game for his country should he start.

Italy lost 2-0 to a Lionel Messi-less Argentina on Friday. The Italian’s held out until the 75th minute on that occasion. Slow starts have been a theme of the Azzurri’s recent games. Four of their last five have been goalless at half-time.

Worrying Wembley

We’ve come to associate Wembley and England with dull low-scoring affairs, so I guess it’s a bit of a surprise to see that just 26/58 (45%) England games at the new Wembley have seen Under 2.5 goals. Obviously there is such a variety of opposition included in that sample, so we have to be wary not get too sucked in.

However, it gets interesting when we delve a bit deeper. 20 of England’s last 35 (57%) games at Wembley have seen Under 2.5 goals and their 30 friendlies at the nations home of football boast an average of 2.43 goals per game. The numbers indicate goals were more regular during the early years at the new Wembley, and maybe part of this change is down to the end of the so called ‘Golden Era’.

Bet against goals

With all things considered there is no surprise to see Under 2.5 goals trading at a best price of 57/100.

At 31/40 ‘No’ in the both teams to score market draws the most appeal.

The 7/1 about the 0-0 draw and the Draw/Under 2.5 goals double at 13/5 also catch the eye. England’s November friendlies against Germany and Brazil both ended goalless.

Best Bets

England v Italy – Both Teams to Score ‘No' (31/40 Bet Victor)

About Author

I’ve been passionate about sports betting since the moment I could do it. I’ve always strived to do more than anyone else and have gained a wealth of experience in the field. A degree in Politics and International Relations (the University of Nottingham) just confirmed the need to pursue a career in the industry! I pride myself on my football knowledge and follow football on all fronts, as well as my beloved Spurs. I’m also a keen Darts follower.

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