ENGLAND begin the long road to World Cup 2014 qualification with a trip to Chisinau on Friday to face Moldova.
Roy Hodgson’s men are big favourites for victory at just 3/10 and leading odds comparison site Oddschecker.com can report over 80% of match bets have been placed on the Three Lions.
The hosts have struggled in front of goal with the San Marino victory the only game they have found the net in since September of last year. With that in mind, an England clean-sheet on Friday looks a tempting bet at 8/11 with Ladbrokes and Coral.
The last time the two nations met was back in the World Cup 98 qualifying campaign when a team managed by Glenn Hoddle won 3-0 away and then 4-0 at home. Moldova’s fortunes have improved little since and the European minnows have won just once in their last seven outings, that solitary victory coming against hapless San Marino. England on the other hand, haven’t lost over 90 minutes in their last 17 games and as in their previous meetings with Moldova, where England led at both half-time and full-time, we expect total dominance from Hodgson’s men. Paddy Power are offering a best priced 5/6 on an English victory in both halves.
With Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll both ruled out through injuries, Jermain Defoe is likely to lead the attack and he’s 4/1 with BetVictor to score the first goal. The other notable absentee is Ashley Cole who is denied his 100th cap due to a thigh strain. Everton left back and free-kick specialist Leighton Baines will deputise and he’s a best priced 25/1 to open the scoring on his first competitive start for the Three Lions.