Motivated Switzerland won’t be rolling over for England at Wembley
Who would have thought that a penalty against San Marino could have attracted so much media interest?
So much has been made of Wayne Rooney equaling Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record that it’s almost been overlooked that England became the first country, apart from hosts France, to book their place at Euro 2016 when winning in Serravalle on Saturday.
Considering their disastrous World Cup in Brazil, that’s a notable achievement by Roy Hodgson’s squad, especially as leading striker Daniel Sturridge hasn’t played a single minute and they are still missing several players who will be expecting to be in the squad next summer.
Rooney would almost certainly have broken the record had he not been substituted in the second half against the wilting part-timers, giving game time (and goals) to Harry Kane and Theo Walcott. But maybe Wembley would be a more fitting venue for the Manchester United captain to surge past his much-feted contemporary’s total and Switzerland are more suitable opposition than San Marino.
Switzerland need just two points from their final two games to ensure they’ll be joining England in France next summer but will have revenge on their minds after two Danny Welbeck goals won the reverse fixture at the start of the campaign. They’ve drawn on two of their last three visits to Wembley but have never won in England and an expectant home crowd will be disappointed if they improve on that record this time.
England have won all seven qualifiers to date and are targeting a faultless campaign which could help their FIFA ranking and seeding next summer so expect Hodgson to start with his strongest available XI which should mean recalls for Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph.
Wembley can inspire visiting sides to new heights, however, and Switzerland, who reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Brazil, are no mugs. They might well force a draw (which we are pricing up at 13/5) against an England team that will already be thinking ahead and could also be worth an interest at 21/20 in our handicap betting getting a goal start.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday, September 8th at Wembley