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As England prepare to face Poland in today’s Group H World Cup qualifier, they will be banking on their new-found pragmatism to pull them through one of the more difficult fixtures of this group. England can be backed to beat Poland 2-1 at 9/1 through William Hill* (read on for more betting tips for the game).
Under Hodgson – and the changeover in personnel with a new-look center-back pairing and youth infused in the forward positions – England are safety first and getting very good at it. You will not find this England team to be the best in possession – even against San Marino their domination was uneasy if complete – but you will find them fighting according to a plan at all times. If discipline is something England have lacked over the last decade or more, they will have no such excuses post-Hodgson.
England’s new-look defence is experienced, fast, capable and still young enough to play well through 2014 and beyond. It gives the team a strong base to build upon and that is where Hodgson will be tested – if he can give his younger midfielders and forwards sufficient international experience (and if they can continue to play well (and regularly) for their clubs), you will see more and more young players starting for England.
Against Poland there’s talk of ‘bringing back experience’, but more than experience England need balance. Pushing Milner to wide right when he would be better used as a foil for Michael Carrick in the center is an example of how England are still patching leaks instead of repairing them. If Carrick is to be England’s fulcrum in midfield, he needs very specific type of players alongside him to enable him to do well. Playing Gerrard alongside him is as bad as looking to play Lampard and Gerrard together 8 years after they proved they were better without the other.
Gerrard is still likely to start and given his ability to deliver results on big occasions, he’s definitely worth a punt. Gerrard to score and England to win is 7/1 on William Hill*. Another great bet – not available before 6pm on Tuesday – is Rooney to score and England to win at 5/1. Currently at 2/1, this will change at 6pm and will only be available for the first 5000 bets with max of £10 single bet per person. See this and other priority prices at William Hill*.
But however England line up – here’s hoping that Cleverley, Baines, Welbeck and Oxlade-Chamberlain all start or feature tonight – their main concern will be manning central midfield and keeping meaningful possession in that area. England have the pace and experience to keep Poland at bay, it’ll be the chances they’re able to create up front that will largely determine the outcome of this qualifier.
Poland have Euro 2012 form to back their threat – two 1-1 draws and a 1-0 defeat reflects a hard-working, high-tempo team that were slightly unlucky not to win a game at the Euros but also a team that will make mistakes at both ends of the pitch. They beat South Africa 1-0 in a friendly in preparation for this qualifier, and already have a win and a draw in the qualifying stages.
Poland coach Waldemar Fornalik, who took charge after the Euro 2012 campaign, has talked about how Poland are playing more as a team now and creating many scoring chances, while bemoaning their ability to finish off said chances. It was a similar story in the Euros and against an England team susceptible to fast counter-attacks (blame the imbalanced midfield here), we’re likely to see Poland create several scoring chances against England as well.
But can they ensure that they don’t switch off at the back and keep Rooney and co at bay? England’s desire to keep possession as a means of controlling games means they will look to absorb the initial Polish pressure before picking them off and exploiting mistakes as the match goes on.
Poland can be backed to deliver an upset and win 2-1 at 16/1 with William Hill*, although a 1-1 and 1-0 result (13/2 and 12/1) are also good bets if you’re backing Poland.
Poland v England betting
With the outcome of the game far from certain, there are plenty of good bets to be made on the game. With a free bet offer, great prices and 100s of betting options available (including in-play betting), William Hill are an ideal choice for betting on Poland v England (and other World Cup qualifiers).
Check out the latest betting odds for Poland v England on William Hill* and don’t forget to check on their priority prices and in-play betting options closer to game time.
* Terms & Conditions apply – see on site for details. All offers are correct at time of publishing but can be subject to change.