Even without playing this week, Spain strengthened their grip on Group A4. Just 24 hours after they had cruised to a 4-1 win over Wales, England and Croatia played out a fairly event-less 0-0 draw in Rijeka, leaving the Spaniards in total control of the group
It’s hard to see Spain not winning the group, and they’ll be looking to put it to bed once and for all against England. Already the Spanish have beaten England, in a narrow 2-1 win at Wembley, and they followed this up with a 6-0 demolition of the Croatians.
New manager Luis Enrique has slotted seamlessly into the role and has restored the nation’s faith after a miserable World Cup, in which they were held to draws by both Portugal and Morocco in the group stages before getting knocked out on penalties by Russia.
England meanwhile have struggled to reach the highs of the summer and, although they consider themselves unfortunate not to have won in Rijeka on Friday, anything but a win in Sevilla will end their chances of progression.
In terms of what we expect to happen, it’s important to note Spain haven’t lost in normal time in their last 27 matches (in all competitions), and England have lost three of their last five. Throw into the mix Spain won 2-1 at Wembley just a matter of weeks ago, and it becomes a massive ask for England.
In their last three meetings, the Spanish have won two and drawn – the full record between the two reads 10 wins for Spain, 13 for England and 3 draws – and it’s the recent record that heavily leans us towards a home win.
One thing in England’s favour is that they rarely fail to find the net – the blank in Croatia was a rarity – and in Harry Kane they possess a world class striker capable of conjuring up a goal even in his team’s fallow periods.
For Spain, a new goalscorer has emerged in the form of Paco Alcacer, who scored twice in the win in Wales on Thursday evening. A loan spell with Borussia Dortmund (his parent cub is Barcelona) has seen his confidence soar in front of goal and he will offer a stern test to England’s youthful back-four.
Based on all of the above, we envisage an open game that will go the way of the Spanish – say 3-1 (25/213.50+125012.5012.50-0.08 with 188bet) – with Alcaer looking great value as an anytime goalscorer at 6/42.50+1501.501.50-0.67 (188bet).
Spain to win 2-1
Monday 15, October. 19:45GMT
Bosnia-Herzegovina already have control of Group B3, having won their opening two games, and will be looking to consolidate at home against Northern Ireland.
The Irish, meanwhile, have struggled to build on their phenomenal Euro 16 and have already lost to this week’s hosts, and the other team in the group, Austria.
It’s difficult to put forward a logical argument for an Irish win, especially with them being on a wretched run away from home and with the Bosnians being miserly in defence. So, unsurprisingly, we’re heading towards a home win, with 2-0 (27/56.40+5405.405.40-0.19 with 888sport), with Edin Dzecko at 10/34.33+3333.333.33-0.30 with BetVictor to score two or more goals also quite tempting.
Carl is the original ‘Special One’ and uses his statistical knowledge of football to gain the upper hand over the bookies on a weekly basis. A student of odds and probabilities, ‘Wrighty’ pinpoints the value bets in the top leagues across Europe. A big signing for the SBO.net sports team, Carl brings his vast experience of playing the odds and beating the bookies to a weekly column highlighting the very best football bets.
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