Qatar 2022: England-Wales specials
With the outcome of Group B still up in the air, England and Wales meet in their final World Cup Group game on Tuesday evening at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan.
After England’s dismal goalless draw with the USA on Friday, the Three Lions are, nevertheless, almost certain to progress. Their fellows Brits, however, need a lot to go their way to make it into the knockouts after a humbling defeat to Iran.
Rob Page’s men need to win by four goals to swing a goal difference margin of six but even in that eventuality, a US or Iran win will see them finish only second. England are through barring a heavy defeat and will top the standings with just a draw if Iran do not win and the US fail to win by four also. They could also win the Group with a narrow defeat if Iran and the US draw. Any win for Gareth Southgate’s men should guarantee passage as winners.
For the Welsh, following Wayne Hennessey’s dismissal, Leicester City stopper Danny Ward is set to deputise, presenting an interesting narrative. Wales have looked out of their depth for large periods of the 180 minutes played in Qatar but will be motivated to go out on a high here at the very least. As stipulated, England can still progress with a loss so is it so unlikely a Welsh win materialises at 37/5 with VBet and SBK? It could be worth a small flutter.
With that said, England have won their last six meetings with their bordering neighbours however, and Wales have scored just one single goal in that time via Gareth Bale’s fumbled free-kick by Joe Hart at Euro 2016.
On the subject of Bale, the Real Madrid man has very much looked a man in his senior years after continued injury and fitness issues with LAFC, yet, his threat will be a menace in this contest. For Bale to either score OR assist, a 9/4 price with PaddyPower should interest, or a Bale goal outright can be snapped up at a best price of 4/1 boosted with William Hill.
On the other side of the coin, the winner of the Golden Boot in Russia 2018, Harry Kane, is yet to register a goal, but has been impressive in creating openings with his hold-up play. With two assists against Iran, for the England skipper to score or assist here, evens with SkyBet does looks extremely appealing.
England’s hugely underwhelming show versus the US brought fan optimism crashing back down to earth, but when compared to the fate of other well-fancied sides like Argentina and Belgium who must both win their final game to merely get out of the Group, needing only a draw to guarantee moving forward doesn’t look so bad a plight and a draw would be far from disastrous play, if not a well-received one. A 15/4 price with SpreadEx for the draw could be a clever move.
It may be another close affair even though Wales need goals, so the unders market for less than 2.5 goals to be scored at evens with Bet365 and BetVictor might also raise a few eyebrows.
We have also cast our punters’ net for some stats betting and an aerial battle looks on the cards, particularly with set-pieces. For each team to have 2+ corners in each half, a 6/1 shot with Betfair intrigues. Any Battle of Britain meanwhile, is sure to have an edge to it and Slavko Vincic is the referee to provide appropriate discipline in the middle. Both teams scoring could be the thorn in this particular bet but for BTTS, 3+ corners each and 2+ cards each, 7/1 with PaddyPower could be a nice acca play.