Can Poor England Beat Broken Wales?

Wales v England
Euro 2012 Qualifiers
Millennium Stadium
Saturday 26 March 2011

Saturday afternoon sees Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium play host to one of the biggest international football rivalries around in a 2012 European Championships Qualifier. England cross the border in search of three points that would not only put them top of Group G (for two hours at least), but cement their rivals place at the foot of the table. International matches are notoriously tough to figure out from a football betting perspective, especially when England are involved, but hopefully this article will give you the vital clues as to where your money should be going on Saturday.

As mentioned, Wales find themselves bottom of the Group after defeats in their opening three matches. Their last game was a 3-0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland in the Nations Cup and before that a 4-1 hammering in Switzerland. They have in fact won just three of their last nine home games and dare I say it, the opposition wasn’t exactly Brazil, Spain and Argentina it was actually Estonia, Luxembourg and erm…..Scotland! It is often said that in derby games form goes out the window and Wales, rejuvenated by the return of Aaron Ramsey, will certainly be hoping this is the case here.

As usual with England, they haven’t come into this one quietly, the saga surrounding the captain’s armband has once again had people calling for Fabio Capello’s head and the threat of unrest in the camp is a concern for everyone who will be wearing the Three Lions on Saturday. So far they have two wins and one draw in their Group games and beat Denmark in a friendly last time out. Before that they were soundly beaten 2-1 at home to a new look France side. We don’t talk about what happened in the summer so we’ll skip that bit.

It must be said England were impressive in their 2010 World Cup Qualifying campaign, winning four out of their five away games and finishing comprehensive Group winners. They will be without Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Theo Walcott in Wales but the return of Andy Carroll to the squad means the chance of a very promising partnership with Wayne Rooney up front. Whether they will start together is a different matter.

Just How Bad Are Wales?

According to Castrol EDGE Performance data, Wales have managed to score with just  3.6% of their shots in the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers so far, a figure superior to only four other sides and well below the 13% average in the competition.

Wales’ total of just one goal scored in the competition so far (courtesy of winger Gareth Bale)  so far is also better than only three sides – San Marino, Luxembourg and Kazakhstan – the only sides yet to open their account on the road to Poland and Ukraine. Wales’ only goal came in their 4-1 defeat away to Switzerland, and they remain pointless after their opening three games. Indeed, so far, in their combined total of 408 minutes of action in the UEFA EURO 2012™ qualifiers, Wales’ strikers have mustered just six shots on target between them. With no goals to their names so far, the Welsh forward line will need find their shooting boots if they are to trouble Fabio Capello’s Three Lions.

Worst Conversion Rate’s In the UEFA EURO 2012 Qualifiers

UEFA EURO 2012™ Games Goals Total Shots Conversion Rate
Kazakhstan 4 0 29 0%
Luxembourg 4 0 18 0%
San Marino 5 0 14 0%
Bulgaria 3 1 31 3.2%
Wales 3 1 28 3.6%
Andorra 4 1 27 3.7%

Welsh Strikers In the UEFA EURO 2012™ Qualifiers

UEFA EURO 2012™ Time Played Goals Shots On Target Total Shots
Church 123 0 0 6
Bellamy 90 0 2 3
Morison 173 0 3 3
Earnshaw 22 0 1 2
Total 408 0 6 14

Wales v England Betting

From a betting point of view it is difficult to see past an England win, but as we all know, they don’t do things easily and the 1.43 (Betfair) currently available won’t be winning any prizes for the best value of the day. The draw is available at 4.7 and a Welsh victory 8.6.

With Craig Bellamy in the Wales side, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got on the score sheet and the 2.28 available for both teams to score is not a bad bet. I do think England will win but Wales will make it tough and the pressure may just tell on Capello’s men so I will go for a 2-1 England victory at 9.8 (Betfair).

Remember, Soccerlens is offering one lucky punter the chance to win £100 – simply by placing a bet through us!

Follow Andy Clark on Twitter.

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