CAN England maintain their 100% start to Euro 2016 qualifiers? Lithuania lie in wait here, Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) gives us his thoughts.
England v Lithuania | Friday 19:45 | ITV1
I think betting on England is generally as straight-forward as it gets. They're like a reliable racehorse that generally runs to form. They're like a steady girlfriend that is there for you after a hard days work with a cuddle and a cuppa. Just don't expect her to take you by the hand and throw you into the bedroom. Things generally go to script with England, and for a punter that's good.
Look at these qualifiers for example. Every other top seed has dropped points, not reliable England though. Yeah but their group is easy? Well, were you saying that at the end of June when Switzerland were taking Argentina to extra-time in the World Cup? Yeah, thought not.
Friends, this isn't a new phenomenon either. Roy Hodgson's side haven't lost a meaningful qualifier for eight years. Only Italy can surpass that. In many ways they're the ultimate flat-track bullies, consistently crushing poorer sides but finding the step up in class too hard when they reach a tournament. Kinda like Arsenal.
Their opponents on Friday are Lithuania. Don't expect any stress. Igoris Pankratjevas' side have lost to Slovenia and Switzerland already in this campaign but will certainly feel they're in with a shout of finishing in third and nabbing a play-off spot.
So what's the betting angle? Well, I always like backing England to win to nil against this kind of side but at 9/20 it's far too short. Therefore I'll take a look at the correct score markets. Actually my colleague Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) wrote a great piece about the Win To Nil/Correct Score comparison. I'll side with his view and take a look at the correct scores here.
3-0 England is priced up at 5/1 with Paddy Power while 4-0 is 8/1 (BetVictor). With those two scorelines on my side I feel pretty confident. England have won to nil in four of their last five qualifiers, and at home I feel they can score more than two.
They scored five against San Marino and three against Slovenia. I see Lithuania more like the latter side. It may well be 2-0 but at 19/4 I'll pass.
England v Lithuania – England to win 3-0 (5/1 Paddy Power)
England v Lithuania – England to win 4-0 (8/1 BetVictor)
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