England begin their World Cup preparations with the visit of Chile to Wembley and Roy Hodgson’s side form one part of an enticing 7/1 international Red Hot Treble.
Ladbrokes have placed the Three Lions alongside Scotland and the Republic of Ireland with strong cases to be made for all three teams to collect valuable victories.
England boss Roy Hodgson is likely to name an experimental line-up for the visit of Chile. Although, despite the absence of some senior squad members, including Steven Gerrard and Kyle Walker, the home side should still have enough to see off their South American visitors.
Chile aren’t to be taken lightly. Jorge Sampaoli’s team qualified for the World Cup in Brazil with a run of five wins and a draw in their final six qualifiers. They’re also terrific entertainers, having scored 19 times in their previous six matches.
But with influential Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal missing through injury and Palmeiras playmaker Jorge Valdivia struggling for fitness their line-up will be depleted.
By contrast, England are unbeaten in their last ten matches, winning seven of those games, with a creditable victory and draw against Chile’s CONMEBOL rivals Brazil featuring in that sequence.
Given that form Chile could struggle to replicate the performance that produced a famous 2-0 Wembley victory 15 years ago, with host captain Frank Lampard protecting a defence that’s been breached just once in its last four outings.
Gordon Strachan’s resurgent Scotland side face a stern test of their credentials against Team USA at Hampden Park.
However, recent victories against Croatia (home and away) and Macedonia are cause for optimism with the Tartan Army’s encouraging performance in defeat to England another notable sign of their change in fortunes.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA outfit have somewhat predictably been blitzing their weak CONCACAF opponents, winning 15 of their last 16 games. They’ve also been strong in their most recent encounters with European teams, with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Germany a high point.
But the Americans will be missing the experienced duo of Landon Donovan – a key tormentor of Scotland the last time the two sides met when netting a hat-trick in a 5-1 win – and Clint Dempsey.
That could be crucial with the hosts’ own dangerous pairing of Steven Fletcher and Robert Snodgrass likely to cause plenty of problems.
The Republic of Ireland’s new managerial partnership of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will be hoping for a positive start to their tenure.
And given that Latvia are their first opponents the boys in green can be trusted to oblige.
Marian Pahars’ team have won just two of their last 15 contests with one of those victories coming against Liechtenstein.
And given that the Baltic side have failed to win a friendly since 2008, a run that spans 19 games, the Republic should have little trouble dispatching of limited opposition.
At the Aviva Stadium the hosts have been solid enough, registering four wins from their last five friendly fixtures on home soil, with victories over Poland and Georgia making plenty of appeal.
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