Moldova v England, Friday, September 7, 7.45pm
By Josh Powell
England kick-off their World Cup qualifying campaign with a trip to Eastern Europe to face Moldova. Moldova are ranked a staggering 141st in the FIFA rankings which sounds pretty awful when you consider they are behind such notable footballing countries as Tahiti, Bermuda and St Kitts and Nevis.
Don’t read too much in to those rankings though as England are third behind Spain and Germany. Even the most optimistic fan will tell you that is wildly inaccurate and the Three Lions are certainly far from being the third best team in the world.
Anyway, here’s all the numbers and stats you need to know before placing a bet on Friday night’s game.
- Since Roy Hodgson took over in charge, England are unbeaten in seven games (not including pens). Winning five of them and drawing two
- In those seven games the Three Lions have kept four clean sheets
- England haven’t lost a game in 90 minutes on foreign soil since June 2010
- England have only scored one goal in seven of the last 12 matches
- Moldova have played 14 games since the start of 2011 and won just the two
- The Eastern European outfit haven’t scored in the last five games and conceded eight along the way
- In three of England’s last seven games a Manchester United player has scored first
- In four of England’s last five games they have been drawing at half-time. Moldova have been drawing at half-time in two of their last five.
So how do those trends look in the market? Well with England’s good record under Roy Hodgson and Moldova struggling to pick up a win it looks like England are the obvious choice at a skinny 2/7. With the Three Lions’ recent success defensively the value appears to be with England to win to nil which is 5/6.
With England’s recent struggle to be ahead at the break it might be worth looking at the draw/England result in the half-time/full-time market which is priced up at 11/4. With Manchester United players on target since Roy Hodgson took over Danny Welbeck is generously priced at 4/1 to open the scoring or 11/10 to find the net at anytime. If he starts Tom Cleverley looks reasonable longer-shot value at 14/1 to get the first goal or 5/1 to score at anytime.
England to win 1-0 is 9/2 as is the 2-0 result and both of those may be worth a small play looking at the recent trends.