England are back in World Cup qualification action tonight as they travel to already eliminated Malta who are yet to earn a point with 6 games gone.
25/1 on England? – No Coral Account? Get one here →
Slovakia and Slovenia, England’s main rivals in Group F, go head to head at the same time on Friday so a win for Southgate’s side at the Ta’Qali National Stadium should take them to within touching distance of Russia 2018.
The trip to Malta will signal a new era for English football, for the first time in almost 15 years England will be looking for a new talisman after all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney announced his retirement from international duty earlier this month. With a relatively young squad it’s time for a new hero to step forward.
Harry Maguire and Nathaniel Chalobah have been rewarded for their positive starts to the new campaign with a call up to the senior squad. Southgate has been clear that players must be playing regular first team football if they are to have any chance of boarding the plane to Russia next summer.
Jack Butland looks set to take over as England’s number 1 following Joe Hart’s dismal start to the season and Jordan Pickford pulling out of the squad due to injury. At the other end of the field Harry Kane is expected to lead the line and is 9/4 to open the scoring.
The Three Lions have not lost a qualifier of any kind since 2009. Malta on the other hand have not won a competitive game in front of their home fans since 2006! England should win comfortably.
England are as short as 1/40 in some places to win, so where’s the value?
For me it’s on the handicap. England -3 is 7/5 and with Sturridge, Kane and Sterling all looking to prove a point you have to fancy England to sweep Malta aside with ease.