Our betting expert with tips for Wembley clash, Wales’ trip to play Belarus, plus a Cristiano Ronaldo punt to savour for Manchester United fans
It really is a question of ‘how far?’ when England come home this evening.
After giving the racists of Hungary a suave two-fingered salute, and a four-goaled stuffing, the Three Lions return to Wembley, where the knee-booing is rarely if ever accompanied by obscene monkey chants, at least not out loud.
You won’t see many fascist blackshirts hurling their pints on the pitch either. Not at London prices.
Gareth Southgate’s pre-Hungary observations about English football’s own problems with bigots and thugs after the “carnage” of the Euros Final were typically intelligent and measured.
And whatever critics think of his selections, he did draw yet another oak-hearted show from his side, in the Puskas Arena bear pit.
Southgate knows that this afternoon’s visitors Andorra (5pm) represent a day off and a golden opportunity to take stock.
We’re in the dark about exactly how large the desires of club bosses will loom in his thoughts – but I’d expect a meaningful reshuffle, very possibly including Harry Kane, and that has to lower goal expectations.
I like the look of the 6/5 (Betway) UNDER 4.5 England goals.
Two games into qualifying and Wales travel to Russia to play Belarus (2pm) already on a win-or-bust mission.
But Covid and visa issues have conspired to seriously weaken them as a goal threat. They weren’t all that to begin with. Gareth Bale hasn’t scored in his last 16 games for Wales, but is 6/5 ‘anytime’ here. Daft.
In the past 12 months, the Welsh have played 18 games all told and failed to score in eight, with 11 ‘UNDER 1.5 goals’ scorelines.
Take UNDER 1.5 at 17/10 (BetVic).
Elsewhere in World Cup qualifying, back an Italy WIN tonight at 21/20 (Mansion) – hosts Switzerland (7.45pm) are in tatters from Covid and injuries.
He’s 9/2 for the Golden Boot too and why not? Ronaldo scored 45 times in 58 games all told last season, and 48 in 52 the time before.
United were 10 goals behind City in the 2020-21 ‘top-scoring team’ race – 9/2 (Sky, BetVic) that their new No.7 helps them win it this time looks fair.
Last week: Winner at 5/4