England: Why Three Lions should be wary of Estonia

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The international break is here and England are fully expected to pick up maximum points in style in their first assignment against San Marino at Wembley.

The European whipping boys are accustomed to heavy defeats and even without Daniel Sturridge in the squad the Three Lions can help themselves to a glut of goals against the no hopers.

Roy Hodgson’s men are priced at 1/250 for the win, with San Marino 66/1 for the upset, and anything other than a cricket score will be viewed as a disappointment.

However, three days later, when England travel to Estonia, Hodgson will be warning his side off complacency.

Estonia are no San Marino, and while England are expected to record a comfortable win, those same expectations have not been met in the past.

Here we highlight three banker games where the Three Lions faltered

Montenegro 2-2 England – October 2011

Goals from Ashley Young and Darren Bent had England cruising but an Elsad Zverotic goal before half-time and a red card for now-captain Wayne Rooney turned the match on its head.

England were put under increasing pressure in the last 15 minutes and finally crumbled in the 90th when Andrija Delibasic headed home to earn a 2-2 draw.

England 0-0 Macedonia – October 2006

Even home comforts cannot guarantee a win against supposed lowly opposition as Macedonia proved in 2006.

Rooney, Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe were unusually quiet, while Gary Neville missed a sitter and Steven Gerrard saw a long range effort cannon off the bar to leave the home fans bitterly disappointed.

Turkey 0 -0 England – April 1987

A draw away at Turkey would be a fairly credible result these days but in the late 1980s England were used to helping themselves to eight goals a game against the Turks.

Not so in this encounter as a wasteful Gary Lineker, Clive Allen and Mark Hateley left manager Bobby Robson squirming in his post-match interviews.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.