ENGLAND EURO 2021 SPECIAL MARKETS!
England weren’t especially convincing against Austria in their first warm-up friendly, but of those that featured either from the off or via the bench, only Jordan Pickford, Declan Rice and Harry Kane will be virtually guaranteed a spot on the opening day of the Euros against Croatia.
The win did however come at a cost, with Trent Alexander-Arnold limping from the field, though having initially picked four right backs, Gareth Southgate was always unlikely to pick the same player in that position for both friendlies.
Fringe members, including those that failed to make the final squad were largely utilized, so there should be a more experienced feel to the line-up this time around.
That’s especially the case as there were no Man Utd, Man City or Chelsea players involved, with those three sides having recently competed in European finals.
That will mean the likes of Ben Chillwell, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford will all come back into contention.
The victory was also the fifth on the bounce for England, during which time they’ve conceded just the single goal and plundered 14 at the other end.
Given the abundance of attacking options available and fierce competitions for places, expect a bit more thrust at the sharp end as those that start here will be seeking to press their claim for the opening game against Croatia.
Indeed, the need for caution won’t be as prevalent here as in the tournament itself, with the performance arguably of greater importance than the result.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is one to keep an eye out for in the goalscorers market, having only come on as a second-half substitute for Kane against Austria, with Southgate likely to want his main marksmen wrapped up in cotton wool rather than taking unnecessary risks.
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Given England are likely to be on the front foot from the get go, the half time/full time market holds plenty of appeal, and in fact five of the Three Lions’ past six victories have seen that bet come in.
Home advantage certainly will do no harm, with England winning 14 of their last 15 on these shores, leading at both half time and full time in nine of the last 12 of these.
That includes both friendlies they played in 2020, against Wales and the Republic of Ireland, winning each of those by 3-0 scorelines.
In addition, England hold a stellar record ahead of major tournaments this century. They’re yet to lose a pre-tournament friendly from 24 such matches, winning 16 of the last 18, despite having faced the likes of Portugal, Belgium and Mexico over this spell.
England To Win To Nil
Romania failed to qualify for the Euros and finished third in their Nations League group, five points adrift of Austria.
They were already behind at the break in a recent 1-0 defeat to Germany in their most recent encounter with a top side, while their previous such game saw Spain thump them 5-0 in Madrid during the qualifiers.
The visitors have just lost at home to Georgia, leaving them a poor W3-D1-L6 since October, with the four teams that failed to beat them Belarus, Norway, Northern Ireland and North Macedonia. With just one clean sheet in 15 appearances now, this encounter only appears to have one inevitable outcome.