England vs Kosovo: Euro 2020 Qualifier
England can move a step closer to next summer’s European Championships on Tuesday evening as the Three Lions host Kosovo at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.
Gareth Southgate’s England have made a perfect start to qualification, claiming a maximum of nine points from three games, scoring 14 goals in the process. Tuesday’s opponents, Kosovo, currently occupy second place in Group A and England boss, Southgate, has described them as his side’s toughest opponents.
Speaking of the Kosovo game after the weekend’s 4-0 win over Bulgaria, Southgate explained, “"It will be a very different style of game. Kosovo will be very high pressing, hard-working, a more attacking threat than we faced on Saturday. Maybe there will be more space to play up front. Whatever we learned from Saturday's game this is a completely different challenge."
Kosovo Dare to Dream
Kosovo are one of UEFA’s newest members but are already forging quite a reputation. The Balkan state are unbeaten in their past 15 games in all competitions, winning the last two.
Kosovo coach, Bernard Challandes, has labelled England as the “best team in the world” but insists that his side are coming to win. Challandes said, “I think it is in my philosophy that if we don't dream it is unnecessary to play such games, we should dream and do all that is possible to disturb England. For me as a coach it is not easy to have a good mix for the evaluation of this game. If I say 'we come to win', I think a lot of people think that is pretentious; if I say 'it is not possible to win against England', I must change my job. It is clear for me it will be a very, very hard game but it is a possibility for our very young team to show what is a very, very high level."
Despite sweeping past Bulgaria on Saturday, England are set to make a number of changes to their starting line-up, none of which are enforced. Full backs, Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose are set to make way for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Chilwell whilst Jadon Sancho is expected to come in in place of Marcus Rashford.
Sancho will line up in attack alongside two of European football’s most in-form players; Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling. England captain, Kane, scored a hat-trick at the weekend to take his England tally to 25 goals in 40 internationals. Discussions around Wayne Rooney’s England scoring record were inevitable and the current England captain is now just 4/5 to surpass Rooney’s 53-goal haul.
Ahead of the visit of Kosovo, Kane dominates the bookies’ goal scoring betting. Here are some selected odds on a few pre-match markets:
First Scorer (courtesy of Betway)
Harry Kane – 5/2
Marcus Rashford – 3/1
Callum Wilson – 10/3
Raheem Sterling – 17/4
Jadon Sancho – 6/1
Anytime Scorer (courtesy of Betfair)
Harry Kane – 2/5
Callum Wilson – 4/5
Marcus Rashford – 8/11
Raheem Sterling – 5/6
Jadon Sancho – 8/5
To Score a Hat-Trick (courtesy of William Hill)
Harry Kane – 10/1
Marcus Rashford – 12/1
Callum Wilson – 16/1
Raheem Sterling – 22/1
Next month will mark ten years since England last lost a World Cup / European Championship qualification match. Since going down to a 1-0 defeat to Ukraine in October 2009, England have recorded 33 wins and 9 draws from their 42 subsequent qualifiers. With such an impressive record in qualifiers, England are a very short price to win in 90 minutes, therefore you may want to look at alternative betting markets for value. In the handicap betting markets, England -1 is 1/2 with Coral whilst the same bookmakers are 5/4 on England -2.
England to win with over 3.5 match goals could be the best bet of the day. England’s three group games so far have amassed 15 goals whilst Kosovo’s four games have seen 12 goals scored. BoyleSports, Coral and Paddy Power are all offering odds of 13/10 on this result. Alternatively, SpreadEx are offering 4/7 on England to be winning at half-time and full-time.
Match Odds (courtesy of Unibet)
England – 2/13
Draw – 15/2
Kosovo – 20/1
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