THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

18 June ~ There's a lot of confidence around that England will win handsomely tonight. Paddy Power’s James Ellis explains

After the result against the US it's essential England beat Algeria and put in a performance to silence all the doubters. There's been a lot of gloom since the US game but England didn't lose and they are capable of playing much better. The type of opponent England need to get that out of their system is Algeria – this is the team that got thrashed 4-0 and had three players sent off in the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations. Expect the Three Lions to come away with a morale-boosting win and reignite the nation's hopes.

1/4 England Win
5/1 Draw
11/1 Algeria

The Paddy Power odds suggest there can be only one winner; some people might think that at this World Cup you can't be safe backing favourites after results so far. However, in the second round of group matches the teams will be much calmer and will be used to the balls so we can expect more goals as we've started to see. In England's case the expectation levels are so high that you can forgive the team for showing signs of nerves in the first game. In the last two World Cups no one expected Germany to get anywhere after some of their early performances but they got to the semi-final and final. This week Spain came away with nothing against Switzerland despite all their pretty football. Getting to the latter stages is a marathon not a sprint so give England a chance to turn it round.

For some value look at backing England (-1) at 5/6 and also for there to be over 2.5 goals in this game at Evens. Paddy Power are so confident there will be goals in the match that if it ends 0-0 they'll refund all losing first/last scorer, correct score and scorecast bets on the match.

After his goal against the US, Steven Gerrard will be well backed again especially at 7/1. With Gareth Barry back anchoring the midfield Gerrard and Frank Lampard will have more licence to go forward and England will have more possession in the middle of the field. If Gerrard is supporting the striker then 7/1 is a great price.

Diego Forlan is currently the top scorer in the competition (somewhat fortuitously given one of his goals took a looping deflection) so the stage is still set for Wayne Rooney to explode. He's the 3/1 favourite to score tonight's opening goal and 10/1 to score a hat-trick.

Paddy Power are also offering the standout best price on Emile Heskey scoring the first goal at 8/1.

First Scorers
3/1 Rooney
9/2 Crouch
5/1 Defoe
6/1 Lampard
7/1 Gerrard
8/1 Heskey
9/1 Joe Cole
11/1 Lennon

England's price of 8/1 to win the World Cup may well change after the Algeria game so if there is a time to back them it's now. If England do turn in a rousing victory – say 4-0 (12/1) – then you can expect those odds to come in to about 6/1 or 11/2. Even 5-0 might be worth considering at 25/1.

Correct Score
4/1        England 1-0
4/1        England 2-0
8/1        England 2-1
13/2      England 3-0
12/1      England 4-0
25/1      England 5-0

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Comments (1)
Comment by imp 2010-06-18 21:57:42

Hilarious reading. Mind, given that you can't even get right what's already happened (Higuain is top scorer, not Forlan), perhaps it's unrealistic to expect there to be much substance to your forecasts. A cynic might say the idea of this analysis is to con people into thinking England really could achieve a "morale-boosting win" and place fat bets on that outcome. But I think it's more likely the baffling long term belief that Stevie G and Frankie are real world beaters.

"Even 5-0 might be worth considering at 25-1." Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

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