The domestic season is now over, so let the bickering begin. Before England have kicked a ball at the World Cup most pundits will have had their say on what will work, what won’t work and everything else in between. Of course, it’s hard to say what will be deemed a success for England in Russia, simply because expectations are at an all time low.
Punters though, can, and should, to be a little less emotional about the Three Lions when it comes to the World Cup. The idea is to make money, not to lump on blindly in the vague hope of success. In light of that, here are three bets centred around England for the upcoming Finals (14th June – 15th July) that should be given a second look:
Raheem Sterling to be England’s Top Scorer 7/1 (Ladbrokes, Coral)
Plenty of punters will be ploughing into Harry Kane (best-priced at 5/4 Bet365, Hills) to grab the most goals for England, but is it truly a given that the Spurs man gets the goals?
For that matter, is there any value in that price? Sterling, although having just two England goals so far in his career, is coming off a wonderful season for Man City (23 goals in all comps).
He is almost guaranteed his place in the starting XI and the same can’t be said for Dele Alli (8/1), Marcus Rashford (10/1), Jesse Lingard (12/1) or Jamie Vardy (7/1).
Sterling was wrongfully made the scapegoat for the debacle at Euro 2016, but, in a similar vein to David Beckham after his red card at World Cup 1998, he has let his club football do the talking ever since. He really looks like the value bet.
England to be eliminated in the quarter-finals 5/2 (William Hill)
England’s World Cup draw – Belgium, Tunisia, Panama – is thoroughly decent and, if they play to their potential, it is very likely they will get out of the group. However, when looking at a good draw, it is often overlooked who the Last 16 opponents will be. Once again, England look to on to a good thing as they will face one of Colombia, Japan, Poland or Senegal. That means, looking at it objectively, England have a fair chance of making the quarters.
The only issue is that, regardless if they come first or second in the group, Brazil or Germany will likely await them in the quarters. That may just be a step too far for Southgate’s young team. Stage of elimination bets can be tricky to predict with all the different combinations, so check out the latest World Cup free bets for ways to back England for free*.
England vs Belgium, Group G, 28th June, Draw at 12/5 (Betfair)
If all goes to plan, both England and Belgium will be going into the final group game with six points, with both sides all-but-qualified. If so, can you really see either side going all out for the win? Especially if, as mentioned above, there is no discernible advantage to winning the group? Would Southgate really care if England face, say, Colombia or Poland in the Last 16? Would Roberto Martinez?
That price from Betfair won’t still be available if the group stage unfolds with the form guide, and it may just represent a bit of a bargain right now. Of course, that can all be dismissed if England ‘do an Iceland’ once again in the fixtures against Panama and Tunisia. Let’s hope Southgate and the lads hit the ground running this time around.
Betting odds are presented at the time of writing. Please check them with the respective betting site. *T&Cs apply to all betting offers and sign-up bonuses. 18+, please gamble responsibly.