England start their Euro 2016 journey tonight with a trip to Basel to face Switzerland. While England hopped on a plane home from Brazil without a World Cup victory to their name, the Swiss took Argentina to extra-time in the last 16 knock-out round and the home side will fancy taking three points off Roy Hodgson’s men this evening.
The Three Lions were at their usual lethargic best at Wembley last week, beating Norway 1-0 in yet another uninspiring international friendly. Despite Wayne Rooney’s spot-kick ending a run of five England games without a win, the optimism around the national camp is low and the side took a hammering harder than Audley Harrison in the press. That hasn’t stopped punters getting their patriotic pounds down however, and there’s far more cash on England at 2/1 than Switzerland at 6/4.
Roy can expect few favours off his former side tonight as the two heavyweights in qualification group E go toe-to-toe but England are getting plenty of support in Paddy’s book.
- Looking at the cash purely on either team to win, England have almost two-thirds of it on their shoulders with just 39 per cent of the coin on the Swiss
- Even when you take the draw into account, almost half of the cash is still on England, despite the woeful nature of their victory over Norway
- In the W-D-W market, 49 per cent of your money is on England, 31 per cent is on Switzerland and 20 per cent is sat firmly on the fence in the shape of a draw
England have lost just one of their last 19 meetings with Switzerland, winning 68 per cent of them which in theory should give punters who backed them plenty of confidence. However in theory, Jack Wilshere should be able to avoid constantly running into opposition players when there’s space around him, so theory might not be all it’s cracked up for.
Dancing Danny Sturridge is absent due to a thigh strain so punters have been piling on to England captain Wayne Rooney to open the scoring at 6/1. England have five goals in their last six games and three of them have been scored by Wazza so it’s no surprise to see him top of the pile. Raheem Sterling could benefit from his Liverpool team-mate’s absence as Roy Hodgson looks to reshuffle his attack. The Liverpool youngster could get his chance in the centre behind Rooney and almost a quarter of the book is on the 10/1 shot to score his first international goal.
Making up the top five are new Arsenal man Danny Welbeck (10/1) and Switzerland’s talisman Xherdan Shaqiri (8/1). Shaqiri bagged a hat-trick against Honduras in the 2014 World Cup and his first ever international goal came in a Euro 2012 qualifying game against England in Basel in September 2010.
It says a great deal about Roy Hodgson’s tenure as England manager that the fifth most likely scorer according to punters cash is in fact, nobody at all. A depressing thought.
Ona more optimistic note, 30 punters are on England to win 5-0 at 500/1 and one punter has gone even further backing Phil Jones to score the opener in a 5-2 win for England. If there’s one thing Monday night is crying out for, it’s a seven-goal thriller.