With the Euros just around the corner, two of the three participating home nations are in friendly action on Sunday. Jake Pearson has the best bets.
England’s 1-0 victory over Austria was hardly the encouraging performance that most fans would have been hoping for in the lead up to a major tournament, Gareth Southgate’s side looking a little lackluster as they limped their way to victory, but the Three Lions were missing an awful lot of key players, and there is still reason to be optimistic ahead of Euro 2020.
England host Romania in their final warm-up game before they face Croatia on Sunday 13th June, and this looks a good opportunity for Southgate to give his strongest XI a good run out.
However, that will not include Harry Maguire, who could potentially miss the entirety of the group stage, and it will be interesting to see if Southgate opts for four or three at the back.
While Austria were not on the same level as England, they did pose a threat on one or two occasions, notably when Jordan Pickford tipped Marcel Sabitzer’s effort onto the crossbar in the second half.
Romania have scored ten goals in their last six matches, and they grabbed a goal against both Spain and Sweden in qualifying, so there is a distinct possibility that they could grab one against England.
With England a very short price to score, the 5/4 available about Both Teams To Score is certainly tempting.
Even if Romania do grab a goal, though, that shouldn’t be enough to stop England from winning the match, which makes a standout price of 9/4 for England to win and Both Teams To Score also worth considering.
Scotland defied expectations in the first of their two Euro 2020 warm-up friendlies on Wednesday evening, twice leading against the Netherlands before a late Memphis Depay free-kick meant they had to settle for a draw.
Scotland were adventurous against the Dutch, something we haven’t really seen from Steve Clarke’s side since the former Kilmarnock boos took charge, with Kieran Tierney particularly impressive from a left-sided centre-half position.
Scotland are not a possession team however, and pressing high against a team that like to have the ball, which they did extremely well against the Netherlands, is completely different to being allowed the ball and having to dictate the match yourselves, which is surely what Luxembourg will allow Clarke’s side to do.
Defensively, Scotland are difficult to break down, and Luxembourg will find it tough to score against the Tartan Army, particularly given the hosts have scored just three times in their last six matches.
Offensively, however, Scotland are far from prolific, and in fact, they have only scored more than two goals in a single game on one occasion since Steve Clarke’s appointment, and that was against the Faroe Islands.
Under 2.5 goals has landed in eight of Scotland’s last 11 matches, and it looks a good bet that it will do so again, but with Scotland heavily fancied to win the match, it makes sense to back Scotland to win and Under 2.5 Goals, particularly given the true price of both individual selections (Scotland win = 1.69, Under 2.5 Goals = 2.009) multiply to 3.4, which means the 11/4 (3.75) on offer with a couple of firms is a decent amount of value.
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