Euro 2020 Qualifying Bulgaria v England
England fans have enjoyed another successful qualifying campaign and they can now prepare to support their team in next summer’s European Championships. Both semi-finals of Euro 2020 will be played at Wembley Stadium so, if England makes it that far, there’s every chance The Three Lions could end their agonising wait for a major international trophy.
It’s all ifs and buts until next summer and those loyal to the cause will admit this isn’t the first time they’ve had their hopes raised going into a Euros or World Cup. Gareth Southgate boasts a young, energetic and ambitious team packed with talent. His squad size and depth is the envy of many managers in the sport.
England Strong in Attack
There’s particular talent in the attack and that has been evident during the Euro 2020 qualifiers with England scoring 19 goals in their first four Group A matches. There was a feeling that things must improve at the back if the squad are to have any chance of lifting the title next year and the early signs suggest they are tightening up and becoming more difficult to break down. After four games, England had conceded just four goals. That stat is more impressive when remembering three of those came in a stunning 5-3 win over Kosovo in September.
England’s recent results include a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic, 5-1 away to Montenegro, 4-0 at Wembley when Bulgaria came calling and that 5-3 vs Kosovo. They also finished third in the UEFA Nations League when losing 3-1 in the semi-final against Holland, beaten in extra-time, before edging Switzerland 6-5 on penalties to grab the bronze medal. The stats show Southgate’s crew has been knocking on the door of a long-overdue trophy. Will the wait come to an end in 2020 at Wembley?
There’s Value in the Three Lions
Sports bettors and England fans can back their team in the ante-post betting for this upcoming tournament at all major bookmakers. The Euro 2020 ante-post betting market is topped by France who has been priced up as 7/2 favourites with Betfair. That’s market best price and slightly better than the 10/3 available with some other firms.
We then have England as second-favourites and they are 9/2 with the majority of firms. Those willing to work a bit harder, however, will find 888sport offering a stunning 11/2 on the same bet. That’s unbelievable value and 888Sport really must be given the credit they deserve for going above and beyond for customers. Even if you don’t fancy England to win it, there’s every reason to take a punt on them at the increased price. As any experienced backer will tell you, get your stake money down on enough 9/2 shots at 11/2 and you’ll do well in this game.
Back England at the 11/2 and if they make the kind of good start that is expected of them, that price will quickly be snipped in to join the other 9/2 quotes. The longer they are involved in the competition the better the cash-out amount will be. You could, in the right circumstances, back England and cash out for a profit after the group stages. It then won’t matter if they win Euro 2020 or not.
Bulgaria Big Price Outsiders
Returning to the here and now. England travels to Bulgaria on Monday evening for a match that will be shown live on ITV from 7.45 pm. This will be their sixth outing of Group A and the visitors are expected to collect yet another win. They haven’t put a foot wrong so far and bookmakers expect them to collect another victory against a side who haven’t done much right since this campaign got underway. When dropped into a group with England, Czech Republic, Kosovo and Montenegro it was expected Bulgaria would hold their own and be pushing for a top-three finish.
That hasn’t been the case and they will bow out of the European Championships at the earliest opportunity. After five games, Bulgaria had a record reading no wins, two draws and three defeats. They had conceded 11 goals and scored only five of their own. That left them bottom of the pile. Would you expect bottom of the league to beat top of the pile and record their first win of the campaign? We certainly wouldn’t and the money men don’t either.
Bulgaria is a big price to win on Monday night, recording a historic win over England. It’s the kind of price that catches the eye of value hunters but when a selection is quoted as big as Bulgaria are here, it’s usually for very good reason. There won’t be too many risking their hard-earned cash on the home win on Monday night. This looks more a case of how England win and how many goals they will score, rather than if England win. There are many markets to bet on, however, and plenty of value around for those willing to work for it.
Southgate will Freshen Things Up
It’s likely Gareth Southgate, knowing the job has already been done and England will be playing at Euro 2020, will rest a few of his star players. The gaffer will be eager to give youth and fringe squad members a chance to shine but he’s spoiled for choice when it comes to those too. The current England team is so good, and the competition is so fierce for places, those called upon on Monday night will go all out to prove their worth.
If given a chance against Bulgaria, a player must make their mark on the game by scoring a goal, keeping a clean-sheet or catching the manager’s eye. Performances between now and next summer will be the difference in getting a seat on the plane to Euro 2020 and missing out completely. The gaffer will also work on his defence and you’d expect him to demand a perfect performance from those handed a starting role at the back.
A few flaws remain in Southgate’s backline and England have conceded goals against lesser teams than they will face in the competition proper. Scoring goals is all well and good during qualifying but the defence is just as important when things get serious in the summer. Southgate must work out his best back four and stick with them. That will be his main aim in this match as well as upcoming friendlies for the remainder of 2019.
England priced at 1/5 to Beat Bulgaria
Will England beat Bulgaria on Monday? The betting tells us the visitors need only turn up to collect another three points and round things off in the best possible fashion. Every bookmaker is behind the away win but there is quite a difference in opinion when it comes to prices. Many firms are as tight as 1/6 but Betfair offers a slightly better 1/5. That’s very short, of course, but it may do a job in your accumulators and there are plenty of games that could be added to your multiple.
That proves exactly how traders expect this match to go and there’s not too many arguing against that stance. The same firm has the draw at 9/2 with a home win chalked up at 13/1 (Betfair). We really don’t expect to see Bulgaria appear on too many bet slips at the beginning of the week. There will also be in-play betting available and it may be worth waiting until Southgate announces his line-up before picking out a first goalscorer bet.