England’s final warm-up match before their World Cup opener sees them take on Honduras in Miami on Saturday and it’s just 1/2 with Stan James for Roy Hodgson’s troops to sign off with a success, writes Chris Hutcheon.
Paddy Power price the Central American outfit at 7/1 and it’s 16/5 at bet365 to end with the pair on level terms but while it could well be a close affair as the sides look to avoid injuries, the Three Lions should have the quality to prevail.
Betway make England 13/10 to defeat the Hondurans ‘to nil’, it’s 11/2 via BetVictor for Hodgson’s boys to grab the only goal and the same bookmakers go 16/5 about them nicking after a level first half.
In attack, former Sheffield United star Phil Jagielka was an unlikely scorer in the friendly against Peru and he’s a 30/1 chance at BetVictor to be the last man on the scoresheet in this one too.
Alternatively, bet365 mark 10/1 against ex-Sheffield Wednesday loanee Ross Barkley breaking the deadlock at the Sun Life Stadium.
Looking ahead to the start of the World Cup, hosts Brazil are BetVictor’s clear 3/1 favourites to lift the trophy, perhaps not surprisingly given that no European team has ever won the competition on South American.
The case for Luis Felipe Scolari’s charges is strengthened by the fact that they cruised to victory in the Confederations Cup on their own patch in 2013, in what could be considered a decent dress rehearsal for the big one and it’s fair to say that the Selecao are the team to beat.
South American rivals Argentina are considered the most likely challenger, at 9/2 with Skybet and of course any team that contains Lionel Messi has to be respected. The Barcelona man, Winner.com’s 8/1 Golden Boot favourite, didn’t have the best season at club level by his very high standards if he’s on-song, La Albiceleste will certainly be a danger.
Holders and European champions Spain are as high as 13/2 at Ladbrokes to retain the trophy having been unjustly written off. Nevertheless, their chances might hinge on the fitness of Diego Costa, a 25/1 chance in Stan James’s top scorer market and there’s also a possible last-16 showdown with Brazil to ponder.
Blending youth and experience, Germany (13/2, Stan James) are the fourth team considered major contenders. The injury-enforced absence of Lars Bender is definitely a blow for Die Mannschaft but they qualified at a canter and looked close to the finished article in the last two major championships.
England have also gone for a mix of young and old and it’s hard to recall a time when the Three Lions have carried so little expectation into the finals of a tournament. That lack of pressure could actually work in their favour and while Stan James’s 28/1 about them
repeating their 1966 heroics is a touch ambitious, they stand out in a dual forecast with Italy at 11/5 (bet365) to qualify from Group D.
Bet365 meanwhile, chalk the Azzurri up at 13/8 to top the group and that’s a better option than backing the beaten Euro 2012 finalists at 25/1 in the same firm’s outright betting.
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com