Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
England start their World Cup qualification campaign and journey towards Qatar on Thursday evening with a fixture against perennial whipping boys and international minnows, San Marino.
Gareth Southgate’s free-scoring side blazed a trail through their last set of qualifiers to earn a place at this summer’s European Championships, and England supporters are anticipating another glut of goals when San Marino visit Wembley Stadium this week.
Ahead of the action in London, we’ve pulled together some handy information for those of you planning to put a bet builder or same-game multi together before kick-off.
Don’t forget to check out our England vs San Marino predictions for some more analysis and free betting tips.
England vs San Marino bet builder guide
This isn’t San Marino’s first rodeo, and La Serenissima will fully expect to be propping up the rest in Group I when the qualification campaign concludes. San Marino have lost 40 of their last 42 international fixtures, and their primary target will be to minimise the number of hammerings they suffer.
England are priced at around 1/200 to win on Thursday, and you probably won’t find a shorter price on a game of football anywhere this season. Including a match result prediction for what promises to be a routine Three Lions’ victory won’t add much weight to your bet builder, so best to move swiftly on.
Bet builder tips: England to win
Both teams to score
Davide Gualtieri famously shocked England with a goal inside a minute on a historic evening for San Marino back in 1993 in a clash the Three Lions eventually won 7-1, though La Serenissima’s chances of impacting the scoresheet again 28 years later are incredibly slim.
San Marino have scored just one goal in total in their last 24 fixtures, and they will likely struggle to cross the halfway line on Thursday evening.
Bet builder tips: Both teams NOT to score
San Marino have become synonymous with wide-margin batterings at this level, and in their last qualification campaign for Euro 2020, they were on the end of 9-0 maulings at the hands of Russia and Belgium, while a notoriously goal-shy Scotland team stuck six past them in Glasgow.
England meanwhile, have trampled all over better teams than San Marino in London, with a string of recent big wins there including victories against Czech Republic (5-0), Bulgaria (4-0), Kosovo (5-3) and Montenegro (7-0). The Three Lions should be able to bite chunks out of San Marino in similarly ruthless fashion.
Bet builder tips: Over 6.5 goals
Virtually every England player chosen to start against San Marino on Thursday will feel they can get on the scoresheet at Wembley Stadium, and the bookmakers’ prices reflect that.
With regular goal-getters Harry Kane priced as short as 1/18 to register, bettors are advised to get a little more creative with their picks.
Recently recalled Jesse Lingard is riding a wave of confidence at present following his surge in performances for West Ham, and the attacking midfielder could mark his international return in fine style against San Marino.
Chelsea’s Mason Mount and the increasingly influential Man City schemer Phil Foden are both consistent goal-scorers too, and either midfielder is worth backing to get in on the act in London.
Bet builder tips: Jesse Lingard to score anytime
Shots on target
As the focal point of England’s star-studded attack, Harry Kane will be tasked with adding the finishing touches to most of the Three Lions’ moves in the final third.
Kane averaged a healthy 4.0 shots on target per 90 minutes in his country’s Nations League campaign, hitting the target about once every four times, though he should have a chance to improve on that ratio against San Marino.
Raheem Sterling meanwhile, averaged 2.0 shots and 1.5 shots on target respectively during his Nations League appearances, and the Man City winger’s accuracy should allow him to rack up some decent numbers against San Marino.
If Sterling and Kane are kept in reserve by Southgate, swapping them for any other two members of England’s starting frontline should still return decent results.
Bet builder tips: Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling 3+ shots on target each
England are expected to dominate the ball from the off against San Marino, and with few tackles to make, there is a good chance their card count will stay at zero.
La Serenissima on the other hand will have plenty of challenges to make in their attempts to keep the score down at Wembley. San Marino picked up an average of 3.75 cards per 90 minutes in their recent Nations League fixtures, and their heavy defensive workload should see them cover the over 2.5 card line on their own.
Bet builder tips: Over 2.5 San Marino cards
San Marino anchorman Enrico Golinucci picked up two yellow cards in just three Nations League appearances for his country last year, and the hard-hitting 29-year-old topped the pile for average fouls committed per game (3.3).
Veteran left-back Mirko Palazzi avoided having his name taken in the same fixtures, though the 34-year-old ranked just below Golinucci for average fouls conceded per 90 minutes (2.4), and the defender is likely to be run ragged down the flank by his English opponents this week.
Bet builder tips: Enrico Golinucci and Mirko Palazzi to be carded
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