AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: England v Slovakia

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s a night of football on ITV with England v Slovakia from Wembley. If the World Cup Qualifiers have bored you senseless then the Premier League bounces back on Saturday and (possibly more importantly) if you are a fan of Coronation Street – it’s back on Wednesday. In other words normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

One thing we did find out yesterday is there is no such thing as a certainty.

These were the Star Sports prices before the France game which ended 0-0:

1/100 France
80/1 Luxembourg
40/1 DRAW

Even though 1/100 is small enough not to make any conceivable difference you just wonder how many accas had France shoved in as an ‘automatic’ selection – particularly as it was a night of short priced favourites in most of the qualifiers.

For a long time during England’s latest game against Malta I was expecting similar sensational scenes before Harry Kane broke the deadlock after 53 minutes. The later goals on 85, 90 and injury time flattered England hugely who were very lacklustre and frankly poor for my money against a Maltese side they should have crushed.

They will need to raise their game for Slokakia as, on paper, it’s a tighter affair at the top of Group F – although the odds heavily favour England.

England won the reverse fixture 1-0 last year (95th minute winner) and they also met in the Euros which finished 0-0. Arguably 180 minutes of football without a single goal so don’t expect much tonight.

They currently have a two point lead over Slovakia and a win for England tonight will take them five points clear of their opponents with two games left to play.

England’s manager Gareth Southgate has said he will make some changes for the Slovakia game but that the core of the side would remain the same.

He said: “We are all aware of the challenge they pose but we also feel they are a team we can beat.

“It is an opportunity. We have a home game to put us within touching distance of Russia, which is exciting. Qualifying groups come down to these type of games.”

England v Slovakia
FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifier
19:45 ITV

(Maximum 10 matches)
Sep 2016 WORLD CUP Slovakia 0 – 1 England
Jun 2016 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS Slovakia 0 – 0 England
Mar 2009 INTERNATIONAL England 4 – 0 Slovakia
Jun 2003 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS England 2 – 1 Slovakia
Oct 2002 EURO CHAMPIONSHIPS Slovakia 1 – 2 England

I’m not expecting much to happen quickly so will be backing the DRAW at half-time at 5/4 with Star Sports. It’s got the built in bonus of being able to switch off at 45 minutes having collected if it really is that bad.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)

BACK DRAW HALF-TIME 6 points win at 5/4 with Star Sports

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