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England will look to put Moldova to bed early doors in Chisinau

| 06.09.2012

England, sitting 138 places higher in the FIFA world rankings, are, understandably, huge favourites to win their first qualifier with Moldova.

A price of 2/7 makes Roy Hodgson’s side difficult to back but 10/3 for the Three Lions to be ahead with 15 minutes on the clock offers exceptional value to punters.

England have shown some good form in their previous qualifying campaigns and this has revolved around their sharpness at the start of games.

In six of their previous 11 qualifiers they have been ahead upon completion of the game’s first sixth and, on the occasions where this has happened, they have gone on to take maximum points five times.

This tendency to fly out of the traps has been prevalent in recent away matches. Prior to their draw in Montenegro, England have scored first and led after 15 minutes in four consecutive qualifying games on foreign shores as they blazed the trail to Poland and Ukraine.

Hodgson will be looking for his side to continue this trend as an early goal should be all that’s required to stifle any speculative Moldovan hopes of snatching a draw.

At 3/1, Danny Welbeck looks a good bet to be the man who scores this goal inside the opening 15.

He broke the deadlock in a Euro 2012 warm-up win over Belgium and is almost certain to start the game given the current striker shortage in the England camp.

It is also worth noting that, of the 17 goals England scored last season, including both competitive and friendly matches, 10 of them were scored by Manchester United players.

With the two main contributors of these goals – Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney – sat at home injured, Welbeck will be the United player most likely to continue this hot streak.

14/1, however, says Tom Cleverley will open his England account with the first goal of the game in Chisinau and Ladbrokes have Michael Carrick, fresh from self-imposed international exile, priced at 11/2 to weigh-in with a goal from his holding midfield position.

All markets were correct as of the time of publication

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Author

James Middleton