Montenegro were, as expected, put to the sword by England on Friday night, in a crucial World Cup qualifying match at Wembley, leaving just Poland standing in the way of the finals. Roy Hodgson’s men endured a somewhat nervy goalless first-half, with Rooney’s second-half goal breaking the deadlock.
On Tuesday, England will be facing a team who cannot qualify for the tournament finals, however this may prove more of a hardship for the three lions as Poland can play in a more relaxed style, with nothing to play for except pride. They also possess players that could cause serious damage, so a victory is far from a forgone conclusion.
England unsurprisingly are firm favourites to beat Poland and progress unhindered to the finals, with Paddy Power offering 2/7 that there won’t be an upset and England will go through with a victory. A win is essential, as Ukraine are playing San Marino, and with no disrespect to the tiny landlocked nation a victory against Ukraine is unlikely to say the least.
It’s more than likely that Poland will face an England team unchanged from that which demolished Montenegro, and Bet365 offer 10/1 for Townsend to break the deadlock, although an on-form Rooney will be the one to watch at 9/2 also from Bet365.
A great atmosphere is certainly guaranteed at Wembley, with up to 18,000 Poland supporters making up nearly a quarter of the crowd. This will certainly be a boost to the visitors so it’s essential England get an early lead. England like to do things the hard way however, and a favourite bet is for a half-time draw and England win with the best offer coming from Paddy Power at 11/4. Paddy Power offer 8/11 that England will maintain a half-time lead to win the match.
With an early goal for England, it’s likely a few more could follow, however a more cautious approach is likely, given that a Poland lead would cause the home side considerable pressure. A correct score of 2-0 is 5/1 at Stan James, although it does seem unlikely that Poland won’t score at all. An England victory of 2-1 seems good value at 9/1 off Bet365. A draw doesn’t seem unlikely, and can be backed at 5/1, however this would be a hugely unsatisfactory result, and would mean England would go into the play-offs, a huge disappointment given their impressive qualification campaign.
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