England square-up to San Marino amid high-scoring expectations
England, sitting pretty on top of Euro 2016 qualifying Group E, could potentially secure their place in France with a win against minnows San Marino, who they face on Saturday.
As the microstate are yet to win a qualifying game, the Three Lions are widely expected to to flex their scoring muscles against the hosts, with Coral offering a fantastic 4/1 match special (max stake £20) for England to win by eight or more.
History suggests a goal fest should certainly be in the offing for the guests (heavy odds-on 1/100 match favourites), who smashed five past La Serenissima with no reply at Wembley in the reverse, and have clocked up 25 strikes against San Marino in their previous four meetings.
Of course Wayne Rooney is the centre of attention ahead of the clash, as the England skipper has an opportunity to equal or surpass Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time Three Lions scorer record of 49.
Currently on a haul of 48, Rooney, who has hit four in his last three fixtures against San Marino, is also available in a cracking Coral special. Punters can back the courageous captain at a nifty 9/2 to hit a hat-trick, also with a maximum stake of £20.
Meanwhile, Tottenham striker Harry Kane, tipped to one day replace Rooney in leading England’s line, is yet to be on target for Spurs this season. So Three Lions fans will be hoping the forward can spark his season here, with Kane a tempting 9/4 to net last.
The young striker stated ahead of the match: “San Marino is a good chance for us to get the three points and hopefully get some goals as well. If called upon, I will be ready to hopefully get some goals and get three points for the team.”
Another fledgling Three Lions talent that could make a mark over the international break, is re-called Swansea City schemer Jonjo Shelvey. The former Liverpool player is looking for a second cap, and could feature against Pierangelo Manzaroli’s men, against whom he is evens to strike against anytime.
Roy Hodgson has a gaggle of goal threats to choose from, with Theo Walcott (9/4 to notch the opener), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley also vying for starting places.
As for San Marino, the Apennine Mountain minnows are real outside shouts at 100/1 to win, or even at 33/1 to snatch a draw. The hard-working hosts’ main hopes for sneaking a goal include striker Alessandro Bianchi, who is 25/1 to open the scoring, and midfielder Maicol Berretti (a 20/1 shot in the anytime market).
Betting tips: Back Rooney at 9/2 to score a hat-trick (max stake £20) and break England’s all-time scorer record