Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
England host Albania in World Cup qualifying on Friday and unsurprisingly they are the heavy favourites to secure a win.
Gareth Southgate’s men are as short as 1/10 to win but there are a few ways to get more value out of this fixture and I’ve taken a look at how England fans may be able to make a better profit out of backing the Three Lions against Albania.
Back England on the handicap
The handicap is set at -2 for England in this fixture and that pays out at 11/10. The Three Lions won 2-0 in Albania back in March and with home advantage this time may be able to improve on that, while they have won four of their eight qualifiers by at least three goals so there is a chance they can claim a big win here.
However, it is worth noting that Albania are still in with a mathematical chance of reaching Qatar themselves but they need to win at Wembley. As such this may not be as straightforward a game for England as it normally would be and the handicap markets may not be the best – or indeed the most profitable – way to go with this match-up.
Back the visitors to score
I’ve gone for an England win with both teams to score in my England vs Albania predictions and there is real value in this option.
A home win with both teams to score pays out at 3/1 and there are a few reasons to suggest this could be on the cards. England have managed three clean sheets in their last seven games but two of those shut outs came against minnows Andorra. Keeper Jordan Pickford has just one clean sheet in his last 10 games for club side Everton and England, while centre-half duo Harry Maguire and John Stones have both struggled for form for Manchester United and Manchester City respectively lately.
Albania have only failed to score in three of their last 13 games, and given how desperate they will be for a result it isn’t out of the question that we’ll see both keepers beaten at Wembley.
Back an England goalscorer
Another option is to consider an England goalscorer and there are a few intriguing options at odds-against. Harry Kane and Tammy Abraham (who probably won’t start) are the only odds-on options so there are a few contenders to consider here. I’ve gone for Phil Foden (7/5) in my predictions, as he is in form for club side Manchester City, but Raheem Sterling (EVENS) also has some appeal.
Maguire (4/1) and Stones (7/1) are decent outside bets considering both like to get forward for set pieces, while Emile Smith Rowe (7/4) could be handed his debut as a substitute and at 6/1 to score last could be an option after managing a goal in each of his last three Premier League appearances for Arsenal.
Back our Ultimate Bet Builder
If you’re looking for something a little bigger, we’ve put together a huge 248/1 Ultimate Bet Builder for England vs Albania. You can view our seven selection bet here, or you may chose to pick out a few of our tips and create your own bet builder for Friday’s clash.
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