England vs Brazil - Friendly - Match Preview

England vs Brazil – Friendly – Match Preview – England will be hoping for another positive result when they host Brazil at Wembley. Gareth Southgate’s much-changed team will be looking to grab a win following their 0-0 draw with Germany on Friday.

After an encouraging display last time out, England will look to push on with another good display. Southgate’s young lions put in a dogged display against the World Champions, with a number of players putting in good performances. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was awarded man of the match and the Chelsea loanee will have put himself at the forefront of Southgate’s mind ahead of next year’s World Cup. Alongside Loftus-Cheek, Jordan Pickford stood out, twice preventing Timo Werner from opening the scoring in impressive fashion.

Loftus-Cheek impressed against Germany in the last friendly Photo Credit: skysports.com

Joe Gomez and Tammy Abraham also both made their full debuts, with Abraham coming closest to scoring for the home side. Whilst both didn’t really do a lot wrong, I think it’ll be tough for them to force a way into the 23-man squad when everyone’s fit. Southgate started the game with a back three, a formation that the Englishman has favoured in recent games.

If England are going to be successful this summer and beyond, I think it’s a system they need to stick with. With a full complement of players, the system suits the players available best. It allows Dele Alli to get closer to Harry Kane from a central area and allows the likes of Adam Lallana, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling the space to create chances.

Brazil’s front three will be a handful for the England defence Photo Credit: skyports.com

Brazil come into this match off the back of a 3-1 win against Japan. Gabriel Jesus continued his fine run of form with the third and final goal, his 12th strike of the season. With an array of attacking talent including Phillipe Coutinho, Willian and the world’s most expensive player, Neymar, it’ll be a stern test for England’s rear-guard.

England have a good record in recent years against Brazil, losing just one of their last four games. That defeat came back on November 14th in 2009, meaning Tuesday’s match will be exactly eight years on. The last four meetings between the two sides have yielded ten goals, averaging at exactly 2.5 a game. With that in mind, I think that there will be goals in this game.


Prediction: England 1-2 Brazil









England vs Germany - Friendly - Match Preview

England vs Germany – Friendly – Match Preview – England face Germany at Wembley tomorrow night, with fans excited to see Gareth Southgate’s experimental three lions side in action.

Southgate’s squad has been decimated by injuries, with a number of high-profile players withdrawing from the squad. Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling are just a few key players who will be unavailable for the match, which offers the opportunity for several uncapped players to seize their chance.

Loftus-Cheek is set to start against Germany Photo Credit: skysports.com

Southgate yesterday called up Burnley midfielder Jack Cork, with a number of midfielders out injured. Cork has had a fine season for Sean Dyche’s side and has been a revelation since joining for £10million in the summer from Swansea City. It has also been confirmed that uncapped Crystal Palace loanee, Ruben Loftus-Cheek will make his debut tomorrow, whilst Tammy Abraham and Joe Gomez will be hoping to do the same. With Kane out injured, Southgate is yet to reveal who will captain the side. Joe Hart and Gary Cahill are amongst the main contenders, should either be chosen to start.

With the World Cup looming, the opportunity for fringe players to make their mark is huge. Southgate has been very strong in his selections, refusing to pick higher-profiled players if they’re not playing regularly for their club. Jack Wilshere, Chris Smalling and Danny Drinkwater have all been a victim of this. This refreshing approach could well lead to a more unified England set-up and whilst nobody is expecting much in Russia, it could be a catalyst for future success.

Marcel Halstenberg is set to start for Germany Photo Credit: rblive.de

Germany have named Marcel Halstenberg in their squad, with the Leipzig defender looking to earn his first cap for his country. Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze have also both been re-called to the set-up following injuries. With big names like Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Mats Hummels all available, it could be a tough night for this young England side.

England have only won one of their last four meetings with Germany, which came back in 2016. The last meeting ended in a 1-0 defeat for them, with a new-look team going down to a Lukas Podolski wonder strike. England’s more recent performances against ‘the old enemy’ can give them confidence, with the last three games all finishing with just one goal between the teams.

With England so heavily depleted, I can only see one winner on Friday night. Even if Germany rest some of their star players, I think they’ll have too much for Southgate’s men.


Prediction: England 0-2 Germany









Lithuania vs England - Match Preview

Lithuania vs England – Match Preview – After England’s dramatic last-gasp victory over Slovenia last time out, The Three Lions have secured their place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Can they finish the qualification campaign in style with a dominant performance over Lithuania?

Lithuania have only picked up the one victory so far, against group whipping boys Malta, so expectations will be understandably high as Gareth Southgate will look for a better showing than the sluggish 2-0 win in the reverse fixture. There are places at the World Cup at stake.

Slovakia, Slovenia and more notably Scotland all have a potential play-off spot to battle for but once again, England have qualified for the World Cup with relative ease, despite not being wholly convincing in the process.

There have been positives, however, the scintillating form of Harry Kane – with yet another crucial late goal on Thursday night – alongside the team’s general resilience makes for good reading. England have scored three injury time goals to claim points in this qualification campaign, and battled to gain something from the match against Scotland, Slovakia twice and now Slovenia.

An impressive defensive record is another highlight of the group; no European team has conceded less than the three England have let in. The solidity at the back has been paramount in the side, once again, not losing a single match in the entirety of the group to date.

With Southgate saying that many of the current squad selected have not earned their place or do not deserve to be there, an extensive absentee list is highlighted. This means that places are surely still up for grabs on the plane so an outstanding performance could give the ex-England u21 boss a much-welcomed headache moving forward.

There is no reason to suggest this match will be anything other than a classic England game, the opposing side will sit deep and attempt to frustrate The Three Lions, but, even if not exhilarating, England will eventually break Lithuania down and do enough to claim the win. A clean sheet and three points should be extremely likely.

Team News
Even with players missing, there is still quality throughout the England squad, and undoubtedly enough to see off the challenge of a team like Lithuania. Dele Alli is set to return following his suspension for a rude gesture. Three strikers in the form of Jermain Defoe, Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy all sat on the bench without an opportunity to come on against Slovenia, so some change may take place up front to rotate. Michael Keane may also look to start as Southgate looks towards nailing down a central defensive partnership in time for the World Cup.

Marcus Rashford can become an England great in the future Photo credit: skysports.com

Player to Watch
Marcus Rashford seems to be completely unflustered, regardless of the increasing pressure of the stage he is performing. A meteoric rise to superstardom has been clutched with both hands and the 19-year-old has not looked back, seizing his place in both the England and Manchester United teams. One of the high points of the qualification campaign was the forward’s wonderful 20-yard strike to complete a comeback against Slovakia. More moments of magic are sure to come in an England shirt as he helps shoulder the hopes of an underperforming nation at the next World Cup and beyond.


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World Cup Qualifiers - England vs Slovenia - Match Preview

England vs Slovenia – Match Preview – England return to action on Thursday, knowing just a win would secure their automatic qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Gareth Southgate’s side sit five points ahead of second placed Slovakia. A draw against Slovenia would all but ensure top spot in Group F, but a win would mathematically seal their fate. England will be without Deli Alli for the match, with the Spurs’ man missing through suspension. The Three Lions do however have Harry Kane fit and available, with the Tottenham striker having scored 11 goals in his last six games. Kane also scored two in England’s last game against Malta, showing he can replicate his club form for his country as well.

Whilst England are yet to lose in this group, they did draw with Slovenia back in October last year. That point means Slovenia are one of only two teams to take points away from them in the group. England will be hoping this won’t happen again, as they look to cross the line in qualification. A positive for England is they have kept six clean sheets in eight games, but they have conceded three in their last three. With them holding the best offensive and defensive record in the group, that should be enough to see them grab three points.

Can Harry Kane fire England into the World Cup? Photo Credit: skysports.com

Slovenia, like England, have a very good defensive record. With them only conceding four goals in their eight matches so far, they have the next best record after England. Their Achilles heel however, is offensively. They have only scored ten goals so far, with only Malta and Lithuania scoring less in the group. If they are to get a result a Wembley, they will need to buck that trend, and been more offensive.

With Slovenia knowing a result for them would put them in the driving seat for second spot, they have even more motivation to try and get a result. With them sitting just a point behind Slovakia and level with Scotland, they could end the night in second place as the other two teams face each other. That would leave them with a final showdown with the Scots on match day ten, but they would be in control of their own destiny.

Unfortunately for them, I don’t see that happening. With qualification just in sight for England, I think they’ll get the job done at Wembley, with a comprehensive win.


Prediction: England 2-0 Slovenia


England vs Slovakia - Match Preview

England vs Slovakia – Match Preview – Slovakia will be relishing the opportunity to snatch direct World Cup qualification from England’s hands at Wembley in a crucial Group F match with just three matches remaining in the qualification group just two points separate the two sides.

Only the team that finishes top of the group receives the reward of automatically qualifying to the 2018 World Cup in Russia – with the second-place teams in each of the European groups going into a play-off match.

England, once again, will be expected to surpass the (now Slovakian) obstacle in their way and top yet another major tournament qualifying group. After a slight blip in the 2-2 tie against Scotland due to Leigh Griffiths magic, England dispatched Malta 4-0 in a game that Gareth Southgate’s side did nothing to dispel the current concerns around the national team.

It was a laboured performance which saw the Three Lions struggle to create many opportunities but it maintained the gap over Monday’s opponents, who are on a run of five straight victories and have first spot within their crosshairs.

Marek Hamsik can cause England problems from the middle of the field Photo Credit: skysports.com

Jan Kozak’s team are currently 28th in the world and are by no means pushovers, possessing real quality in the side via the mediums of players such as Napoli icon Marek Hamsik and ex Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel.

A marked improvement will be needed for England to navigate the Slovakian onslaught, in a game that could be reminiscent of the blunder against Croatia in 2008, (losing a vital match 3-2 and subsequently not qualifying for that year’s European Championships) if not treated with the required determination and diligence. The Falcons are buoyant after overwhelming fellow home nation Scotland 3-0 in Trnava last time out.

Even so, England have kept clean sheets in their last three encounters with Slovakia (winning the reverse fixture 1-0) and the quality littered throughout Southgate’s team should be more than adequate in seeing the job through. Victory would see England’s all but guaranteed passage through to Russia, where they can really begin to dream.

Team News
Everton stopper Jordan Pickford has withdrawn from the squad due to injury which should see the under-fire Joe Hart retain his no.1 spot. Jordan Henderson has been confirmed as the game’s captain as Southgate decides on a progressive, rotational replacement for the captaincy voided by Wayne Rooney’s permanent departure.

Kane scored a brace against Malta and will need to find his goalscoring touch again against Slovakia Photo Credit: skysports.com

Player to Watch
Harry Kane has had vast amounts of column inches dedicated to him at the start of this season, once again failing to break his ‘August duck’ in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur in a sluggish opening period to the campaign. The 24-year-old did however open his account for the season with a brace against Malta, taking his current tally to 10 strikes in just 20 appearances for England – a stellar record. The general premise of Kane is that if you allow him even half a yard, he will punish even the strongest teams.

The striker never seems to lack confidence and has earned his place in leading the line for his country with several fantastic seasons at club level (winning back-to-back Premier League Golden Boots). Now he needs to exorcise the demons of a disastrous Euro 2016, take his nation to another major tournament, and perform to the standard he is blatantly capable of when he is there. That path begins with Slovakia on Monday.


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Malta vs England - Match Preview

Malta vs England – Match Preview – Gareth Southgate’s men are back in action for a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Malta. The Three lions are yet to be beaten during the qualifying campaign, having won 4 of their six encounters thus far.

Travelling to Malta could spell trouble for England however, who have only won one of their three away fixtures so far in Group F. Malta are sitting rock bottom of the qualifying group though; yet to claim a point after six matches.

With only two goals to their name, the Maltese attack hasn’t had much effect to this date. The same could be said for the defence, who have conceded 15 goals; five coming from a battering to the feet from Scotland back in 2016. However, Malta took the field back in June of this year against the Ukraine in a friendly and came out victorious 1-0.

England will be expected to win comfortably against Malta Photo Credit: skysports.com

England shouldn’t face too many issues in their trip to Malta, however as always, the talking points have been around squad selection. Following Wayne Rooney’s retirement from international football, many will be looking to Harry Kane to create yet another legacy spearheading the English attack. Kane has only scored once so far in the qualifying campaign, however will be many peoples favourite to bag a goal this Friday.

Skybet Correct Score Group Betting – England to Win 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2 – 11/4

Skybet First Goalscorer – Harry Kane to score 1st – 2/1

As aforementioned, the likelihood of Malta challenging England on the score line is rather slim. If they were to pull off a victory, it would not only be possibly the biggest victory in their history but also would shine a very glum light onto Gareth Southgate at the throne of the England national team.

Skybet Match Result – Malta to Win – 40/1

The two nations have only ever met four times in their history, with England winning all four matches. The biggest score line was 5-0 to England back in 1971, could history repeat itself?

Skybet Correct Score – England to Win 5-0 – 13/2


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Netherlands vs England - Match Preview

Netherlands vs England – Match Preview – England face hosts Netherlands in the semi-final stage of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017. Both sides have won all their matches so far in the tournament, with two good crowd followings behind them at their matches.

 Netherlands won all three of their group stage games; overcoming Norway, Denmark and Belgium. The host nation has continued to impress past that stage, beating a strong Swedish side in front of a sell out crowd in Doetinchem.

 Mark Sampson’s England side cruised through Group D, topping the standings above Scotland, Spain and Portugal. The ‘Lionesses’ then went on to beat France in the quarter-final in a tight and tense affair. Striker Jodie Taylor’s goal was the difference as she has added yet another to her tally in a promising bid to win the tournament’s golden boot award.

 Netherlands have given the home crowd much to cheer about since the first whistle was blown. The creative attacking three of Martens, Miedema and van de Sanden have been fantastic for the hosts, and can cause the English defence a lot of problems.

Lieke Martens will be a threat to the England defence with her pace and creativity Photo Credit: skysports.com

 Left sided attacker, Lieke Martens, has been one of the most dangerous attackers at the tournament. Her sheer pace and danger when she cuts in on her right foot has seen plenty of full-backs left for dead, whilst Vivienne Miedema of Arsenal has been the physical, clinical presence that has been required up front. With the backing of a home crowd, can Netherlands continue their perfect summer?

Skybet Match Result – Netherlands to Win in 90 mins – 2/1

Egland captain Steph Hughton will hope she can lead her team to the finals Photo Credit: skysports.com

 England have been one of, if not the most impressive team at this tournament so far. Mark Sampson’s tactics have seen his defence concede once in four showings; the same as their semi-final opponents. Captain, Steph Houghton, has been a leader on the pitch commanding the best from her defenders whilst producing a solid base for England at the back.

 Striker, Jodie Taylor, is in the form of her life so far at the tournament having netted five goals in three appearances. One to never miss the target, Netherlands will have to keep her on lock down if they are to have any chance of keeping a clean sheet.

 Can the ‘Lionesses’ continue an already incredible summer for English national sides by qualifying to the final?

Skybet Match Result – England to Win in 90 mins – 7/5


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England vs France - Match Preview

England vs France – Match Preview – England Women face France Women in a mouthwatering quarter final tie at the 2017 UEFA Women’s EURO’s. Mark Sampson’s England side topped Group D with three victories over Scotland, Spain and Portugal. France seemed to show frailties in Group C, scraping through in second place behind an Austria side that held them to a draw in the group stages. England will have hoped for an easier tie in the quarter final, as France are one of the tournament favourites despite their average showing so far.

England defeated Portugal 2-1 to reach the Quarter Finals Photo Credit: skysports.com

The ‘Lionesses’ have shown a ruthless side to their game so far at the tournament. England have scored 10 goals in their three matches; six of them coming against a Scotland side that seemed to crumble under the big lights. Confident they would qualify, Sampson made 10 changes for their previous outing against Portugal in an effort to rest his strongest eleven for this match, a good decision as they drew France. Jodie Taylor has stolen the spotlight so far having scored 4 goals in 2 games spearheading an experience and dangerous attack. Chelsea forward Fran Kirby has been the catalyst to England’s attack with her flair and composure in the final third. Can Sampson’s ladies continue their rampant form in this tournament by knocking out one of the favourites?

Skybet Match Result – England to Win in 90 mins – 13/8

As aforementioned, France have been a shadow of their former selves so far in this tournament, only showing their class in small glimpses. One victory and two draws was unexpected from the French, who struggled to convert their chances in front of goal and let the other nations control the tempo of the match. Midfielder Amandine Henry scored a vital goal in their 1-1 stalemate with Group C winners, Austria. Her steady, calming style of play will be crucial to the French in the quarter final if they are to compete against the abrasive English midfield. Attacker Elodie Thomis has also impressed at club level this past season but has yet to showcase her talent at the competition. If she finds her feet it could spell trouble for England. Can France turn around their tournament after a less than convincing start?

Skybet Match Result – France to Win in 90 mins – 15/8


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Portugal vs England - Match Preview

Portugal vs England – Match Preview – England will face Portugal in their final group stage fixture at the 2017 Women’s EURO’s where they will be looking to secure top spot in Group D. Mark Sampson’s side are yet to concede a goal in the tournament and have scored eight in two matches. Spain came close to breaking down the tough English defence led by captain, Steph Houghton, however failed to do so. Portugal overcame a tough test against Scotland where a late counter attacking goal gave them their first win of the tournament, despite having spent plenty of the match on the back foot.

England have been the most impressive team in the tournament so far. Their clinical attack led by poacher, Jodie Taylor, has delivered plenty of creativity and goals thus far. The Arsenal striker has scored four goals in two matches and currently leads the tournament golden boot standings. She has been supported by attackers, Ellen White and Fran Kirby who have also had no trouble finding the back of the net.

Jodie Taylor tops the scoring charts in the tournament so far with 4 goals Photo Credit: skysports.com

England have illustrated their strength and depth with midfield and defence also impressing. Centre midfield rock, Jill Scott, continued her impressive form following the Scotland victory and defender, Lucy Bronze, has continued to showcase her attacking ability down the right side. All in all, England shouldn’t have too much trouble dispatching of this rather underwhelming Portugal side.

Skybet Correct Score Group Betting – England to win 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2 – 11/4

Portugal scraped through victory over Scotland in their last game Photo Credit: skysports.com

Portugal most recently took to the field against Scotland, where they narrowly won 2-1. The Portuguese seemed to struggle to string many passes together and were only dangerous in counter attacking scenarios. Scotland were able to give Portugal a tough 90 minutes where they were on the backfoot for plenty of it, so England will be another level all together. Trindade Coruche Mendes’ pace was Portugal’s biggest outlet, however were lucky Scotland were not clinical enough and squandered easy chances.

Portugal, like many nations at this tournament, are appearing for the first time. Manager Francisco Neto, has expressed his delight that his team were able to salvage three points in their first major tournament and will also believe his side have a good chance of qualification. Can Neto and his side create more history?

Skybet Match Result – Portugal to Win in 90 mins – 14/1


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England Women's vs Scotland Women's - Match Preview

England Women’s vs Scotland Women’s – Match Preview – England will face Scotland in their opening match of their 2017 Women’s Euros campaign as the two nations fierce sporting rivalry continues.

England are entering the tournament as one of the favourites to go the distance, bringing plenty of talent and quality in their 23-woman squad. Scotland are participating in their first major tournament in the nation’s history- a big achievement for these women. England are the favourites to win on Wednesday however any contest involving England and Scotland often provides drama and entertainment.

England Women's vs Scotland Women's - Match Preview

Ellen White can provide a huge threat to the Scotland defence Photo Credit: skysports.com

Mark Sampson’s ladies most recently took to the field in some international friendlies against Switzerland and Denmark. The ‘Lionesses’ easily dispatched of the Swiss before defeating the Danes, 2-1, in a close encounter. A brace from Birmingham City FC striker, Ellen White, was enough for the English to continue their winning momentum and will also give the striker confidence ahead of Wednesday’s opener. White is arguably England’s biggest threat going forward but is in good company with Toni Duggan, Fran Kirby and Jodie Taylor, just to name a few of England’s attackers. Can White and company kickstart their campaign with an expected three points against rivals?

Skybet Correct Score Group Betting – England to Win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 – 11/8

England Women's vs Scotland Women's - Match Preview

Jane Ross will come up against many team mates when taking on England Photo Credit: skysports.com

Scotland will be looking to begin their first ever major tournament with a victory over tough opposition. Their very first major tournament will prove to be an uphill battle from the beginning, as they are joined by Portugal and Spain in Group D, however they feel confident they will prove people wrong. Striker, Jane Ross, has had a fantastic season at Manchester City and will be facing off against many of her team-mates, who will understand the threat Ross can cause. Scotland most recently took to the field in an international friendly against Ireland. A late 85th minute winner against Christie Murray grabbed the Scots the win they deserved; after failing to convert many chances. Can Scotland cause an upset on their debut at the Euros?

Skybet Match Result – Scotland to Win – 11/1

Both nations attacks have had no problem finding the back of the net this season. Will this translate into this tournament?

Skybet Under/Over Goals – Over 2.5 Goals in 90 mins – 4/6


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