Rashford to impress in expected England debut against Australia
Holly Thackeray | May 25, 2016
England v Australia
- International friendly
- Friday, May 25th
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST
- Stadium of Light, Sunderland
- Live on ITV1
England and Australia renew rivalry
England’s Euro 2016 preparation continues, with next stop the Stadium of Light for a penultimate warm-up match against long-standing sporting foes Australia, ahead of the final friendly fray in June versus Portugal.
This is only the sixth scuffle between the Three Lions and their Oceanic arch rivals, though it also belongs to a rich tapestry of historical tussles in cricket and rugby among other sports in which contests with this Commonwealth nation are legendary.
The Ashes aside, as for football, England have run out winners against the Aussies three times and are 1/4 odds-on favourites with Coral to enjoy a fourth fixture success in Sunderland on Friday evening.
However, back in 2003 when the Socceroos last travelled to the UK from Down Under, it was Harry Kewell and co who stunned home fans with a 3-1 win, and the spirited Asian Cup champions are 10/1 to spring another surprise in the Northeast.
Fresh from four successive 2018 World Cup qualifying wins, including 19 goals notched and just one conceded, the in-form Aussies are 19/4 to split the spoils against much tougher opposition.
Rashford raring to go in Aussie encounter
Last time out, England put on a mixed display against Turkey, with the Three Lions eventually running out 2-1 winners despite leaking their first ever goal to the Crescent-Stars.
Heroic hitman and Premier League Golden Boot winner Harry Kane cracked in the opener against Turkey and is 3/1 to do so again, or the same price to help himself to a double or more. While, ferocious fellow forward Jamie Vardy notched the winner but will be missing this match to get married.
In his stead all eyes will be on the expected debut of teenage Manchester United marksman Marcus Rashford, who arrives in the England camp after FA Cup victory, and could now start as Daniel Sturridge is reportedly a doubt with an injury niggle.
As the young-gun may now lead the line alongside Kane in Sunderland, Rashford is 7/2 to run riot with the first goal, or 6/5 to strike a blow on his bow anytime.
Supporting Rashford should be skipper and fellow Red Devil Wayne Rooney, as England’s all-time top scorer returns to the ranks too.
As all of Dele Alli, Jack Wilshere and Raheem Sterling started the last match, Rooney is 10/11 to bag from a likely midfield role, with Ross Barkley 2/1 in the same market. Though fringe players such as Andros Townsend and Danny Drinkwater may also get a chance to shine before Roy Hodgson cuts his preliminary Euro 2016 squad down to 23.
Socceroos seeking shock result
Australia are, however, unlikely to follow the script in England as the Three Lions attempt to flex their muscles in these prestigious friendlies to garner confidence ahead of the France finals.
For this match talisman Tim Cahill is absent, though Crystal Palace midfield marshal Mile Jedinak (6/1 to convert anytime) will be manning the engine room after his own FA Cup disappointment, and has been on target twice in his last three international outings.
While, Celtic and Queens Park Rangers midfielders Tom Rogic (5/1) and Massimo Luongo (7/1) both struck for the Socceroos last time out against Jordan, as well as recently finding the net against Tajikistan, so make for menacing midfield options. Eredivisie-based forward Tomi Juric, meanwhile, is a shout to dispatch up top at 10/1 for the first strike.
Stop by our football page for further previews and features.
Or, read more on the Three Lions in our Euro 2016 England archive.
Coral’s top tip: Back Rashford at 7/2 for the first goal.