Minnows San Marino unlikely to hold up England for too long
The experts tell us there are no more easy games in international football but, in that case, a fixture against San Marino is surely the exception that proves the rule.
In 129 matches, they’ve managed just one victory – against Lichtenstein – and four draws. The most recent of those came against Estonia at the Stadio Olimpico in November and it was celebrated wholeheartedly by their fans in Serravalle. But home supporters are likely be outnumbered by England fans this Saturday, who’ll be expecting to see Roy Hodgson’s team to rack up a seventh successive victory in Group E and put themselves on the brink of winning the section with time to spare.
England’s away performances in the group haven’t been entirely convincing but they’ve still beaten Switzerland and Slovenia, their biggest rivals on paper, and Estonia, and it’s impossible to believe they won’t rack up a few goals against San Marino’s part-time mixture of postmen, electricians and accountants.
San Marino will again pack their penalty area and hope to keep the score-line respectable but England captain Wayne Rooney will have more incentive than most to open the floodgates as he could conceivably become his country’s all-time record goalscorer this weekend.
There is still no Jack Wilshere, Daniel Sturridge or Danny Welbeck for England but all 22 players named by Hodgson for this game and the one against Switzerland next week are available, though it’s unlikely that the manager will stray too far from his strongest XI, which is bad news for Pierangelo Manzaroli’s men.
We have priced England at 23/5 to win 4-0 and the same odds for a 5-0 away win. Theo Walcott should get a start and is 10/3 to score his team’s first goal.
The match kicks off at 5.00pm on Saturday, September 5th at the Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.