England got off to a winning start, as expected in Moldova this evening with a convincing 5-0 thrashing of the 151st world ranked country.
Very little, if anything can be taken from this result given the lack of quality England came up against, although big money was made from this match given the generous odds the bookmakers were giving on England pre-game.
Frank Lampard scored from the penalty spot inside 3 minutes to all but seal my winning on a massive bet with odds of 1.35 placed and tipped. When he doubled the lead later the -1.5 Asian handicap was matched, with generous odds of 2.05 matched by me on Betfair.
On top of that, I was able to rob Bet365, backing England to win by -2.5 and -3.5 goals at very, very generous odds. Was anyone expecting anything less than England thrashing a side that don’t ever compete well in qualification?
Steven Gerrard will be 34 when the 2014 World Cup in Brazil starts and Frank Lampard will turn 36 during the competition. Both players were in Roy Hodgson’s starting line up this evening and will be interesting to see if he sticks with both or either player throughout and them take them to Brazil. Pace has never been an essential part of either player game.
Roy Hodgson gave starts to both Tom Cleverley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to get more experience under their belt, whilst Danny Welbeck made a substitute appearance midway through the second half. Otherwise, it was the usual first team with 27-year old Leighton Baines playing at left back in place of the injured Ashley Cole.
After a solid Euro 2012, Glen Johnson made a couple of defensive errors which he’s been known to do so throughout this career. I still anticipate Hodgson dropping him in the coming qualifiers for the upcoming Kyle Walker of Tottenham.
Joe Hart wasn’t tested in this game whilst John Terry looked like a rock against some lacklustre opponents. Birmingham City’s Jack Butland has done nothing to threaten Hart’s position at the start of the English Championship season.
England host Ukraine on Tuesday. Expecting another 3 points for Roy Hodgson’s side, I will not be backing them at the terrible 2/5 odds on offer. England were 6/5 to beat Ukraine back in June. And that wasn’t the most convincing victory either.
On Tuesday, Germany are 1/3 to win in Austria, Netherlands 4/9 in Hungary, Switzerland 1/3 at home to Albania, and Scotland 4/6 home to FYR of Macedonia (we’ll see how they do today versus Serbia) amongst a general lack of value spotted at this early stage. All those odds from Bet365.
Long term bets, Italy are now 1/2 (Paddy Power) to win Group B, Switzerland 11/10 (Paddy Power) to win Group E, England 1/3 (Sky Bet) to win Group H and Spain 4/11 (Paddy Power) to win Group I. Bookmakers not offering many bets right now.