Malta vs England Predictions, Betting Tips and Preview
England are just days away from being able to wrap up their qualification for the 2018 World Cup, as first they travel to Malta on Friday. The hosts have no chance of qualification and are playing for nothing but pride here.
Game: Malta vs England
Venue: Ta’Qali National Stadium
Kick-off: Friday, 1st September, 7.45PM
Malta haven’t been a complete pushover so far with only one what you would call hammering to their name, but they have been comfortably beaten in all of their qualifiers, losing all but one by two clear goals. Slovenia are the lone side not to achieve that so far and whilst Malta have improved at home with each passing game, Scotland have won here 5-1.
England have dropped four points on their travels and both games should have produced better. England should have extended their lead against Scotland prior to falling apart, and Slovenia were there for the taking. But England’s home record has put them in pole position to qualify on Monday.
A win against Malta and Slovakia will leave England at least three and five points clear of those two sides in some order with just two further games to go in the qualification group.
England are an utterly pointless 1/25 to win this game, whilst the draw can be backed at 20/1 with Bet365. The home win is available at a whopping 99/1 with Betfair and is quite hard to justify.
England were 2-0 victors against Malta at Wembley but failed to take a large number of chances. Malta were spirited, but they were there for the taking. Despite playing at home the hosts are not expected to differ from their defensive approach and will be approaching this tough game against England in stages.
Despite the weird common belief that England fail to deliver, especially against weaker teams like this, the Lions have a pretty perfect record against low ranking sides. England have scored 55 goals and conceded 0 in their last 12 games over four qualifying campaigns against sides that can be classed as ‘minnows’.
Malta definitely fall into that category and have failed to score in four of their six qualifiers so far. There’s no value in the WIn to Nil market at 1/8, but a clean sheet does build a good base for a comfortable win.
Back our Free Betting Tip: Back England -3AH at 10/11 with Paddy Power
We can safely assume that Malta won’t score here. It isn’t beyond them, but it would take some seriously poor defending from England, the likes of which we’d hope they aren’t even capable of. Malta have done a reasonable job of coping in the first half hour of games, but struggle late on. England were one of the sides to breach them inside 30 minutes and should have gone on to build on that.
Back our Score Prediction: England to win 4-0 at 9/2 with Bet365
England haven’t been full of goals in qualifying and it’s been a team effort. Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana both have two goals, whilst Vardy, Defoe and Kane have all netted. Someone needs to fill the role that Rooney had played for years and become chief goal scorer and it is expected to be Harry Kane. Eight in 19 isn’t a bad start, but he needs to be punishing teams like this.
Back our Scorer Prediction: Harry Kane to score at 1/2 with Bet365