Moldovans should prove easy prey for the Three Lions
Injuries in the final third shouldn't prove problematic for Hodgson's side
Roy Hodgson gets his World Cup qualifying campaign underway this week and will surely regard Moldova as the ideal first opponents.
England are clear favourites at 2/7 to get off to a winning start and, with their hosts having won just one of their last 12 – against San Marino – and losing 10, it’s easy to see why.
If you’re looking to add some value to getting behind England, however, look no further than the -1 handicap.
A feeble exit from the European Championships should not be cause to overlook the fact that England kept two clean sheets and conceded less than a goal a game in Poland and Ukraine.
You then couple this with the fact that Moldova have been pitiful in front of goal of late – failing to find the back of the net in seven of their last eight outings – a price of 10/11 for a Three Lions handicap win should not be ignored.
That is also taking to account the fact that Hodgson’s men are without two key front men in Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll.
Jermain Defoe has already netted twice this season for club and country – both the final goal in 2-1 scorelines – while Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge have pace and flair in abundance that should be the cause of many headaches for the Moldovan defence.
England’s away record in recent qualifiers also indicates that a win by more than one goal is on the cards for the visitors.
In their last nine qualifying games on foreign soil, be it for the World Cup or Euros, England have triumphed by more than one goal on seven occasions.
These weren’t all against European minnows either, with Croatia and Switzerland amongst the sides being taught footballing lessons in front of their own fans.
The last time England made the trip to Moldova was in 1996 as the side began their France ’98 qualifying campaign.
History is on side of the handicap bet too – they recorded a 3-0 win on that occasion, which also marked David Beckham’s debut. They achieved this feat without any of star strikers Ian Wright, Robbie Fowler, Les Ferdinand or Teddy Sheringham.
It’s 7/1 for a repeat of that scoreline this week as the road to Brazil gets underway.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.