Having been placed in one of the most treacherous groups of all ahead of this summer’s World Cup, England are among the rank outsiders to lift the trophy. While the favourites, Brazil and Argentina, come in at around the 4/1 mark, Roy Hodgson’s men are out at a distant 33/1.
Even the most diehard of English supporters are unlikely to be swayed by that price but if you are following the national side in Brazil, there are plenty of alternatives.
Group stages and beyond
England have been drawn in Group D, also known as the 2014 World Cup ‘Group of Death’, alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. The bookies have made the Italians favourites to win the section at 7/4 with Stan James. England odds are behind Uruguay’s and Hodgson’s men are at 23/10 with Ladbrokes but they may actually have a good chance here.
Italy are a very defensive team and that should lead to a cagey opening fixture against the English. A dour draw – priced at 2/1 with Winner Sports is a very possible outcome and with England favourites to beat Costa Rica, a share of the points against Uruguay should be enough to take the side through.
If they do progress, a quarter final place at 15/8 is a sound bet although the remaining teams are likely to be too strong and we would advise against going any further.
Wayne Rooney has endured some injury problems with Manchester United this season but if he stays fit and England do make it out of the ‘Group of Death’ the striker can be a tempting prospect at 50/1 betting odds to take the Golden Boot.
The last English Golden Boot winner was Gary Lineker back in 1986 but if Rooney can keep his discipline and stay on the pitch, the United man will definitely give you some interest at that price. Alternatively, Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge is available at 80/1 with Stan James. Sturridge has enjoyed a good season up front with Luis Suarez and if he is trusted as Rooney’s strike partner then he shouldn’t be ruled out.
England have been on the wrong end of some notable sendings off in recent finals. David Beckham in 1998 and Rooney in 2006 were memorable dismissals but overall, this isn’t a bad tempered side.
The Netherlands picked up the most yellow cards in South Africa in 2010 and odds are at 14/1 with BetVictor to repeat that feat in Brazil. Argentina are the favourites at 10/1 with BetVictor while England are some way back at 25/1 – also with BetVictor.
It’s worth remembering that the bookies don’t fancy England to get out of the group and if that proves to be true, Hodgson’s men won’t play enough games to win this market. If you have faith, however, that they can make the semi-finals, that bet may just stand a chance.
If you have no faith at all in England at the 2014 World Cup then one option is to look at the low score betting. Australia are favourites to return the least number of goals at 4/1, closely followed by Costa Rica at 5/1.
Meanwhile, England found the net just three times in South Africa in 2010. Fabio Capello was in charge and the team managed just two goals in the groups against far weaker opponents – USA, Slovenia and Algeria. A similar set of performances against stronger sides therefore makes Roy Hodgson’s 2014 squad a decent option in this market at 40/1.
Even if England were to progress from this difficult group, they are unlikely to win but there are a number of side markets where Roy Hodgson’s men could give you a generous profit.