Sports Betting Weekly

England v Lithuania

When: Saturday, 28 March 2015 @ 00:45 (FINISHED)
Where: Wembley Stadium
Having opened their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Switzerland in Basel, the general consensus was that England had already passed their sternest test in Group E – and in truth, Roy Hodgson’s men have barely had to break a sweat in the three games they’ve played since then.

The Three Lions currently sit six points clear at the top of the table having won all four of their fixtures by an aggregate scoreline of 11-1 and it looks almost unthinkable that their 100% record will be under any kind of threat when fourth-placed Lithuania visit Wembley on Friday evening.

Though the team placed 94th in FIFA’s latest rankings have garnered as many points as Slovenia and Switzerland in the group so far (six), they have done little to suggest they’ll have any kind of say in the final reckoning as expected wins over minnows San Marino and Estonia have been followed by one-sided defeats to the two teams above them in the table, including a 4-0 home loss to the Swiss.

As such, Igoris Pankratjevas’ men travel to England with very little hope of causing an upset, and the bookmakers have reflected this fact by naming the hosts as 1/8 favourites for the tie, with the Lithuanians seen as 22/1 outsiders and the draw priced at 9/1. Of course, such odds will do little to set the pulse racing, so in order to turn a profit from what should be a largely one-sided affair, we will have to turn our attentions to the handicap and correct score markets to eke out some value.

Although England have put themselves in a position where they can practically sleep-walk their way through the rest of qualifying, we think it’s fair to say that with the talent at their disposal and a raft of in-form strikers, Hodgson’s side should be more than capable of running up a score in this one.

The two sides have never met in European competition before, but England’s average of scoring just shy of three goals a game and the fact that Lithuania have conceded six in their last two fixtures makes the home side overturning a three-goal deficit look great value at 16/5. Of course, with that margin sitting right on the form-line based on what we’ve seen so far, you may feel safer taking the 13/10 on England -2, but they could equally improve on their average here and beat -4 at 15/2.

Given the above analysis of England’s Group E goalscoring, it should come as little surprise that the bookies are viewing 3-0 as one of the most likely scorelines at 11/2 and you can also get 4/7 on England winning by any margin to nil. In terms of picking a first goalscorer for England, Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck is actually the man in form with five goals in qualifying so far and you can get 4/1 on him again showing his best in an England shirt – though should he start, Harry Kane will be looking to impress on his senior international debut and presents an interesting alternative at odds of 3/1.