Andorra vs. England
The Anchor Man previews Saturday's World Cup qualifying clash.
England take on Andorra in their opening 2010 World Cup qualifier and Fabio Capello couldn’t have asked for an easier start. Andorra, a tiny principality landlocked between Spain and France, has a population of just 70,000 people, less than Wembley’s capacity, and the fact that they have failed to register a single competitive victory in their existence illustrates just why England are 1.03 to prevail on Saturday.
Anything other than a resounding win for the Three Lions would be a sporting disaster but it is clearly just a case of how many against a team of part-timers. Andorra were beaten 3-0 in Kazakhstan a fortnight ago in the opening Group 6 fixture and failing to find the target was no surprise. Andorra have scored just fifteen goals in over ten years of competitive football since they formed and their FIFA ranking of 186th tells its own story.
Having appointed Capello following failure to qualify for Euro 2008, England must get it right this time around. I’m not sure the Italian has any idea on his best starting XI yet however and this weekend’s game is probably his final chance to find something that works. Zagreb on Wednesday is no place for experimentation and he is sweating on the fitness of Rio Ferdinand. The Manchester United defender surely won’t be risked if there is any doubt regarding his fitness however and Capello will want him raring to go against Slaven Bilic’s side.
Although it shouldn't be a problem on Saturday, Capello’s real headache is finding an effective striker partnership. Wayne Rooney is assured of a place in the side, but he likes to drop deep, for both club and country, and it is asking an awful lot of Jermaine Defoe to lead the line on his own. That looks like what he’ll go with for the next two matches however, injuries permitting, and the real test will be on Wednesday.
England should overrun Andorra and it is no surprise to see ‘Any Unquoted’ at odds on in the correct score market. Backers of that should be aware of Croatia looming large but, although it is difficult to imagine Capello not making changes once a healthy lead is established, I’m convinced England will be on target four or more times. Even the 1.80 on them doing so looks appealing and England will be hoping to repeat the 5-0 victory enjoyed over the minnows back in September 2006.
Back Any Unquoted Score LOST
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