England vs San Marino Preview

Jake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016

England host minnows San Marino at Wembley this Thursday and will be determined to boost their goal difference in Group E by putting in a strong performance.

While England’s recent run has not been particularly stellar, Roy Hodgson will be looking to Thursday’s fixture as a game which can help instil much needed confidence and shape to his side.

That England should take 3 points from the game is almost a given considering they are playing officially the world’s worst side (FIFA has San Marino ranked 208th).

Hodgson will be hoping for a relatively stress free game, without injuries and preferably featuring plenty of goals for England.

Team wise, Hodgson’s only real concern is Daniel Sturridge, the Liverpool striker having sustained a thigh injury in the Premier League that will rule him out of England’s next two fixtures at minimum.

England will not however be lacking firepower up front with the Three Lions able to call on the abilities of skipper Rooney, Rickie Lambert and Danny Welbeck.

In the 4 games England have played against San Marino they have scored a total of 26 goals, at an incredibly high average of 6.5 goals per match. Expect more of the same on Thursday evening.

In the last fixture between the two sides, Roy Hodgson’s men ran out 8-0 with Defoe scoring a brace in addition to goals from Oxlade-Chamberlain, Young, Lampard, Rooney, Sturridge and an own goal from San Marino’s Della Valle.

How to bet on the game

While there is no value in backing either side (England are priced 1/250 and San Marino an unrealistic 66/1), there remains a number of markets that might interest bettors, as well as provide real value.

First goal scorer is a great market in games where one side is so obviously superior and Danny Welbeck looks good value to net first with Paddy Power at 3/1.

A call on correct score is usually a fraught exercise but England look good to put at least 6 past San Marino over the course of 90 minutes.  With an average of 6 goals a game against their opponents, England have previous form and can be backed at 13/2 to score 6 on the night, again with Paddy Power.