England Preview + Betting Tips: Arsenal Starlet A Danger But Sturridge Form Is Key
England finish-off a hugely disappointing 2014 World Cup when they take on surprise package Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte this evening. Here are betting tips.
England finish-off a hugely disappointing 2014 World Cup when they take on surprise package Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte this evening.
Expectations were low going into the tournament but nobody could really have envisaged England would have nothing left to play for heading into the final group game.
Group D was always going to be tough and it wasn’t labelled as the ‘group of death’ for nothing, but even with victory tonight this years World Cup campaign will go down as one of the worst in recent history.
Costa Rica were meant to be the ‘whipping boys’ but they’ve turned out to be anything but, with impressive victories over Uruguay and Italy securing them a place in the knockout phase with a game to spare and they only need a point tonight to ensure top spot.
However, despite having just pride left to play for, England should be desperate to avoid heading home with anything less than three points on the table and they’ll want to give the travelling fans something to cheer about, so I can see them picking up their first win of the tournament, which is worth a bet at odds of 1.83.
Boss Roy Hodgson had decided to make wholesale changes and has already confirmed his starting eleven, with Steven Gerrard dropping to the bench and Frank Lampard set to captain the side.
Leighton Baines has been ruled out of the game with a groin injury so youngster Luke Shaw will start at left-back, while Ben Foster will start in goal in place of Joe Hart.
Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Gary Cahill make up the rest of the defence, while Jack Wilshere will start in midfield. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains out so Ross Barkley, James Milner and Adan Lallana will play behind Daniel Sturridge in attack.
As for Costa Rica, assistant manager Paulo Wanchope claims they will also rest a few key men tonight, which should certainly work in England’s favour and make for an open game.
Daniel Sturridge may not have been at his very best against Uruguay but he’s still been a rare shining light in this World Cup for England and he’ll play a key role in leading the line this evening. With the likes of Lallana, Barkley and Wilshere behind him, Sturridge is going to have to play a mature game, link-up well with those around him and make clever runs. He’s always dangerous and I think odds of 2.25 for the Liverpool hitman to score at any time are worth a punt.
For Costa Rica, Arsenal starlet Joel Campbell is the one to watch. He showed his quality against Manchester United in the Champions League last season for Olympiakos and he’s been excellent for his country so far at the World Cup. If he starts, the England back-line will have to keep a close eye on him.
After a positive start that saw us sitting second in the bwin Bloggers Betting League, things turned south during the second round of fixtures England’s loss to Uruguay certainly didn’t help. However, we’ve been having some good fortune in the first goalscorer market, and hopefully we’ve have some lucrative picks for you today.
Both teams to score (odds 1.62)
With two under-strength sides on show and little left to play for, we should have an open game and while England have looked reasonably dangerous in attack, the defence has been poor, so I can see both teams getting on the scoresheet.
England to win & over 2.5 goals (odds 2.65)
For the same reasons as above, I can see there being at least three goals in this game and with England boasting a stronger overall squad, I think the Three Lions will win the game. They are 1.83 to pick up the three points, but for added value combining and England win with over 2.5 goals gives us odds of 2.65.
Sturridge to score at any time (odds 2.25)
As previously mentioned, Sturridge will play an important role tonight and against a weakened Costa Rica defence, odds of 2.25 for him to score at any time seem worth a bet. If you want to spice things up even further then backing the Liverpool man to score first in a 2-1 win is on offer at odds of 23.00.
bwin World Cup Blogger’s League
We are taking part in the bwin World Cup Blogger’s League, a betting competition between top football sites, to follow our progress head to www.bwinbetting.com.
All of the odds included are sourced from bwin.com and you can find more on bwin’s World Cup offering, including Double/Treble returns, here.
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