Wow, that was painful viewing! Watching England toil against Malta was a horrible experience, especially for those of us who backed anything over 4.5 in the goals market.
And don’t fall for the old bunkum that there are no easy games in international football these days – France battered Gibraltar 14-0 on Saturday.
The Wembley mishap against Malta makes betting on the final Euro 2024 Group C qualifier against North Macedonia a tricky affair. Do England bounce back and win quite comfortably or do they struggle again?
The even bigger question is whether The Three Lions can be taken seriously as outright favourites to win the final in Germany next summer. They are 4/1 across the board but don’t look title contenders, even if they were missing key players in Friday’s sluggish showing.
It’s generally a good rule of thumb not to overreact one way or the other to a poor performance and in fairness England have already qualified after taking 19 points from a possible 21. The best advice, in any case, is to wait for next month’s draw before placing any long-term bets.
With the Monday night match in mind, though, it is worth considering that Gareth Southgate masterminded a 7-0 victory over North Macedonia in June, while the hosts were beaten 5-2 by Italy on Friday. It could have been an even bigger demolition job had Jorginho not missed a first-half penalty.
England are no better than 1/6 to win and should triumph with some ease so the best bet is to back them to lead HT/FT at 8/13 with SpreadEx and Sporting Index.
Harry Kane is 12/5 with Betway and bet365 to open the scoring while Phil Foden is 2/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair to find the net at any time.
If the match is another turgid affair just remember that other channels are available.
• Northern Ireland are going through a transitional phase which is also known as being absolutely awful. They were hammered 4-0 in Finland on Friday and entertain Group H leaders Denmark in their final match. Over 2.5 away goals is 11/4 with Betfred goals and the Danes, who are going to their third straight major finals under Kasper Hjulmand, are 13/8 with Betfair to lead HT/FT. Don’t worry about Denmark relaxing as a win will guarantee them a place in pot two in the draw for the finals while the only points Northern Ireland have gained were in wins at home and away against San Marino.
• It’s a Super Bowl rematch when the Philadelphia Eagles and their 8-1 record visit the reigning NFL champions Kansas City in a compelling Monday Night Football showdown. The Chiefs have a 7-2 record this season and are 5/4 with Sky Bet to win by more than a field goal while running back Isiah Pacheco is 13/10 with William Hill to scamper for a touchdown. His opposite number, D’Andre Swift, is 6/4 with Bet Victor to move the scoreboard for the Eagles.