Despite disappointing at the World Cup in Brazil, England fans should go into this midweek friendly thinking things could be far worse – they could be Norway for instance.
The Scandinavians have not qualified for a major tournament since a group stage exit at Euro 2000 and on current form do not look likely to anytime in the near future with Norway winning just one of their last 11 fixtures – a 2-1 victory over lowly Moldova.
England, understandably, head into this Wembley encounter as the 1/2 favourites for victory, with the draw available at 3/1 with Ladbrokes while a win for the visitors can be backed at 6/1.
Ahead of kick-off, we’ve scoured the markets to bring you three of the best bets available. You could say it’s been a Sterling effort, but it hasn’t, it’s just that England have a midfielder called Raheem Sterling.
In recent times a friendly encounter at Wembley has usually meant one thing for visiting fans – no goals. Each of the Three Lions’ last non-competitive encounters at the home of football have seen Joe Hart pick up clean sheets and even if the Man City man fails to feature here, a repeat looks likely.
Without a win in five friendly encounters going into this game, Norway have failed to score in three of those games and after going down to a 1-0 defeat last time they met England back in 2012, home fans could be in for a one-sided affair.
While much of the attention will be on new midfield additions like Fabian Delph, the one bright spot of England’s otherwise bleak World Cup campaign could come to the fore again, as he has done already for Liverpool this season.
We all remember where we were when Sterling had an early effort against Italy rippling the net, only for a second look at the shot to reveal it had gone the wrong side of the post and the good news for Three Lions fans is that the 19-year-old has been working on his shooting – as his two goals for Liverpool already this term attest. Another could follow against Norway.
As already mentioned, the Scandinavians are in stinking form heading into this encounter and while England are no great shakes, a big, morale-boosting win could be on the cards for Roy Hodgson’s team.
Recent defeats have seen Norway lose 4-0 to France and 3-0 to Poland – the team England beat to qualification for the World Cup in Brazil – get on England to win by three goals or more and it could be a good night for one and all.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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