England and Denmark collide on Wednesday in midweek International Friendly action, the hosts mindful of the opportunity to explore squad decisions and make preparations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup. Here’s a primer complete with soccer free picks.
England firm favourites
England host Denmark at Wembley as soccer betting goes International on us. Naturally, with home ground advantage, England are listed as the hot favourites at -175 to win outright or thereabouts across sportsbooks. Although the visitors failed to qualify for Brazil they arrive in London with a strong squad, obviously taking this opportunity seriously, more seriously than their +500 soccer odds to win outright would suggest.
England, drawn in a tough Group D with Italy, Costa Rica and Uruguay, are matched at +3300 to win outright in Brazil, a price tag that delivers the Three Lions as the ninth overall favourites in the competition, a position in the World Cup betting market they share with Portugal.
Their stock value is debatable however given that they are flush off back-to-back defeats at Wembley, a 2-0 defeat to Chile and a 1-0 defeat to Germany in November of last year. A defeat to Denmark would mark their third defeat in a row in friendly action. England’s current form stands at 2-1-1 in their last five (or in the following order DWWLL).
Two defeats in their last two friendly clashes, both of which were at Wembley, is hardly the sort of form to inspire confidence in their favourable soccer odds of -175 at Bet365, not to mention the worrisome lack of offense in both accounts which leaves much to be desired.
Hodgson therefore is expected to take this opportunity to rest some of his regulars such as Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and even Joe Hart. In their stead others will be getting an opportunity, such as Raheem Stirling, Luke Shaw, Steven Caulker, Adam Lallana (to name a few) which are expected to feature on Wednesday. At the same time, exacerbating Hodgson’s choice pool are several key injuries, namely on defence – as Phil Jagielka, Phil Jones and Kyle Walker are reportedly all missing through injury.
No World Cup for Denmark
Granted Denmark aren’t invited to the party in Brazil but they do have UEFA EURO 2016 to look ahead to and for which qualifying begins on September 7, 2014 with Denmark set to get Group I underway against Armenia. So don’t think for a minute that Denmark have nothing to play for at Wembley. On the contrary, they’re just as invested in the outcome of this match as England are, a fact that stands in stark contrast to their rather large +500 soccer odds.
What’s more, Denmark are riding an undefeated run of form with four wins and a draw in their last five matches. Most impressively, they finished their World Cup qualifying campaign with three wins and a draw – 2-1 over Malta, 1-0 over Armenia, 6-0 over Malta and 2-2 against Italy. In November, Denmark won their friendly over Norway 2-1.
Denmark boast Premier League regulars Daniel Agger, William Kvist and Nicklas Bendtner. That said their star player Christian Eriksen (Spurs) is sidelined with a thigh injury and slated to miss this highly anticipated affair.
Soccer Betting Verdict: A friendly affair it might be but it’s without a doubt pivotal towards England’s World Cup preparations. It’s the final opportunity for Roy Hodgson to explore squad decisions and make any necessary adjustments and changes before announcing his provisional squad for the global showpiece this summer. On the flipside of the coin, it’s Denmark’s chance to prepare for EURO 2016. So, it’ll be very interesting to see how this match plays out.
Clearly squad experimentation is going to have an impact on the outcome of this match. What’s also clear is that sportsbooks expect it to be a successful experiment for England, tipping the hosts as the firm favourites while dismissing Denmark out of hand. Are they right?
If soccer-betting trends were an indication, overwhelming support is coming down the wire for The Three Lions. What do you think? Is England your choice soccer pick for this matchup or is Denmark and the upset your lean for this match.
Soccer Free Picks: England to win outright at -175