Bet on Bent to open the scoring for England against Wales

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With rumours suggesting that Darren Bent is likely to be the partner of Wayne Rooney in the England attack to face Wales, he looks the best bet at 5/1 to be the game’s first goalscorer.

The Aston Villa striker is still waiting for his first competitive start for England, but has found the target in his last two international appearances, including when starting alongside Rooney in the friendly victory in Denmark last month.

However, manager Fabio Capello is giving little away in relation to what forward line he will start with at the Millennium Stadium, with Liverpool’s Andy Carroll looking like Bent’s main rival.

The final decision is liable to come down to firstly, how fit Carroll looks in training and secondly what type of striker will suit England best against Wales.

Carroll is still to score for Liverpool since moving from Newcastle and is still returning to match sharpness following a groin injury.

But if Capello wants a more physical striker to unsettle the Welsh then Carroll, who is 9/2 to score first in the Euro 2012 betting, is the obvious choice.

Bent is the more clinical finisher of the pair and has the added advantage of having played regularly for Aston Villa.

Punters wanting a safer bet on a definite starter for England may rather take Rooney at 4/1 to break the deadlock, despite the fact that goals have been in short supply this season.

For Wales, it is likely that they will start with Millwall’s Steve Morison as a lone striker and then attempt to get numbers forward from midfield.

Morison can be backed at 11/1 to score the first goal, with Joe Ledley one of the leading scoring threats from midfield and he is available at 20/1.

A £20 stake on Bent scoring first against Wales would return £100. New customers can sign up here to take advantage of free bets totalling up to £60.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.