Expect goals when England take on the Russians in a must-win clash

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England suffered a seemingly tournament damaging defeat at the hands of Spain last time out and will need to up their performance levels greatly if they are to stand any chance of progression to the next stage.

That defeat was their first to the Spanish in over 17 years.

Everton starlet Toni Duggan missed out on a starting berth against Spain but it is widely expected that the 21-year-old will make the starting eleven for this one as Hope Powell looks to fill the creative void left by the absence of veteran Kelly Smith.

England are 15 places higher than their opponents in the world rankings, and are 2/5 to secure a vital victory.

This situation eerily mirrors the setting in Germany in 2009 when they made the final despite losing their opener. They went on to beat Russia in their second match 3-2 and emerged from the group stages as the best third-placed side in the tournament.

Their Russian counterparts have not advanced past the group stages of a major international tournament since Germany 1995 but the Three Lionesses’ unexpected loss to the Spaniards in the opener will have buoyed Farid Benstiti’s side and they are 7/1 to cause an upset here.

The draw is also on offer at 16/5.

These sides have been involved in high scoring affairs recently, with England’s last two games producing 10 strikes and the Russians’ previous three racking up a massive 15.

The only two meetings between the pair have seen the ball hit the net no fewer than eleven times, so backing five goals to be scored at 13/2 or six at 12/1 appears a very attractive proposition.

England emerged the victors in both of the aforementioned matches and getting behind an England success with more than 2.5 goals in the tie at evens should garner real attention.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Aaron Cox

Aaron has written for a number of top-level publications, including FourFourTwo and the Manchester Evening News. As well as being a fanatical Rochdale AFC fan and blogger, he shares a passion for rugby league and golf.