By Sean Goff | World Cup 2014 qualifiers
England are overwhelming favourites to beat San Marino at Wembley on Friday night (8pm) but won’t have many takers at the 1/200 on offer.
But punters expecting a goal-fest in the Group H qualifier can reduce those odds in their favour by backing San Marino with a five-goal start. The Three Lions are 4/6 to win the game on the handicap (+5) and 11/2 to draw in the same market against the part-timers ranked 207th in FIFA’s World Rankings.
Here’s some statistics about how bad San Marino are…
- San Marino are officially the world’s worst team with a FIFA ranking of 207
- While Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll and Jermain Defoe will command multi-million pound salaries throughout their playing career San Marino’s journeymen earn their living as barmen, accountants and students
- Since 2004, they have played 47 matches, conceded 211 goals – an average of 4.5 goals every game – and scored just seven.
- Roy Hodgson’s side face a nation that occupies 24 square miles of Italian ground and has a population of 30,000
- They’ve won the Eurovison 15 times in the past 20 years
- England won 6-0 at home and 7-1 away when the pair last met in the 1994 World Cup qualifiers
- The minnows of world football actually held the record for the fastest World Cup qualifying goal at 8.3 seconds in that second game against England
- San Marino haven’t scored in their last 19 competitive matches
- They have only scored 19 goals in the last 22 years
- The word ‘San Marino’ actaully means ‘no goals’ in San Marisian
- Manuel ‘Goals’ Marani is San Marino’s second-highest scorer of all time with two goals in 31 appearances
- Alex Gasperoni is the joint-fourth highest goalscorer in San Marino’s history with 0 goals.
- He has a degree in owl catching was recently dismissed from his job for refusing to work nights
- Goalkeeper José Luis Chilavert scored 53 goals in his club & international career for Paraguay
- They lost their last game 6-0 at home to Montenegro
- San Marino have only ever won one match which was a friendly against Liechtenstein in 2004
- Manager Giampaolo Mazza, a PE teacher, has been in charge for 14 years