Confident Bent can score first against Switzerland

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It is said that confidence is vital for any striker wanting to find the net on a regular basis and based on this Darren Bent should have no trouble finding the target for England in their Euro 2012 qualifier at home to Switzerland.

Not only has Bent been a revelation at Aston Villa since signing for the club from Sunderland in January, but he has also taken advantage of the opportunities he has been recently given in an England shirt.

Bent scored nine goals in the late season for Villa to help them finish in the top half of the Premier League standings, after lingering around the relegation places before his arrival.

Meanwhile, he has also found the target on his last three England appearances, including in their victories away in Switzerland and Wales to help them sit on top of Group G in their quest to qualify for Euro 2012.

Bent is 7/2 in the England odds to score the opening goal at Wembley against Switzerland and given his current mental position, this could represent good value.

He said: “I’m at a period now where I feel more confident than ever before in my career. I don’t think I have ever been in so many England squads consecutively and got on the pitch so often as well.

“I am playing well and things are going in the right direction.”

Bent’s chances of a goal against Switzerland may be given a further boost if England manager Fabio Capello opts to start both Ashley Young and Stewart Downing.

The threesome have developed a solid understanding at Aston Villa in recent months and were particularly effective when on the pitch together in the second half of the friendly victory in Denmark in February.

Young also scored in this win and is 9/1 to break the deadlock against Switzerland.

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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.