Despite the fact the Three Lions squad cost around £600million more than their opponents they were still held to a goalless draw by Slovenia in Ljubljana 12 months ago.
Given that Slovenia‘s only three victories on the road since the start of 2014 came against Lithuania, San Marino and Malta it’s fair to say the visitors will be more than happy with a point.
This means they’ll come with the game plan to defend in numbers with little or no desire to push forward. Think West Brom, against anybody.
Slovenia have conceded just four times in the group and only twice since their 2-2 draw away to Lithuania in their opening fixture. This makes you think two things.
Firstly, they are difficult to break down and secondly, how the heck did Lithuania score twice against them?
Slovenia need a point at the very least if they harbour any real hope of qualifying for the finals. So, if (or when) they do concede, will they then commit more men to attack? Surely, the answer must be yes.
Gareth Southgate knows that victory on Thursday night will secure England’s place at the World Cup finals in Russia and all will be well – at least until our trademark embarrassing exit from the competition.
The England manager can at least count on Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling, who have all been firing goals galore at club level.
On the flip side, Jake Livermore might be selected again.
Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling missed the goalless draw in Slovenia completely with Marcus Rashford only playing the final eight minutes.
On the face of it, you could make a case for a low scoring game, but I feel there is more upside in backing a high scoring match – with some late goals helping the cause.
England’s strikers are firing and if they make an early breakthrough they could easily put three or four goals past the visitors. Once Slovenia concede they will be forced to show some ambition going forward leaving themselves open to counter attacks.
England scored three very late goals in their penultimate match against Malta. A similar scenario could result in a healthy mark up in the TOTAL GOAL MINUTES market, which is 129-139 with Spreadex Sports
A buy at 139 is the recommended play.
- England are unbeaten in World Cup qualifying, winning six and drawing two
- England were held to a goalless draw when they visited Slovenia a year ago
- England have kept six clean sheets in World Cup qualifying so far
- Slovenia have won only one away match in qualifying so far – a 1-0 victory in Malta
- England have never lost to Slovenia, winning four of the previous meetings and drawing one
- Harry Kane has scored five goals in his last four appearances for England
- Harry Kane has scored 13 goals in his last nine appearances for club and country