England vs Malta Tips
England will look to put their off-field turmoil behind them at Wembley, with interim boss Gareth Southgate looking to stabilise the international team following the high-profile departure of Sam Allardyce.
England’s recent qualification record has been impeccable – 10 wins from 10 (scoring 31 goals and conceding only three) to reach the finals of the European Championships last summer. However the counter-argument is that they constantly fail to find any sort of form at major tournament and that the upgrade in opposition is something they find tricky to deal with.
Malta haven’t won in their last six games and we don’t expect that record to end on Saturday either. Malta are the bottom dwellers in the qualification groups! Their World Cup qualifying campaign didn’t start any better as they lost 5-1 at home to Scotland.
Malta have lost 13 of their last 15 away games and will regard this fixture as an exercise in damage limitation. This has served them well oas they’ve conceded no more than two goals in their last 10 away games, despite travelling to Austria, Italy and Croatia. This worked recently when they kept Scotland at bay for an hour, only for a penalty and a sending off to change the game.
England have won all three previous meetings with Malta, scoring eight goals and conceding once.
England to win at 33/1 – England games might not always be a fest of entertainment, but don’t let that deceive you for this game. This is a tempting one as England will naturally be heavy favourites for this game and win the game, but it is unlikely that the victory will be either comfortable or convincing.
Michael Keane, Michail Antonio and Jesse Lingard may all make their international debuts this week but none are likely to start, while Marcus Rashford and Andros Townsend will be in contention after missing out in September, while much will be made of whether Wayne Rooney plays up front or in midfield.
Malta’s run of form going to this game is a thing of concern, considering the numerous attacking talents the English national team as at its disposal. They are also one of the lowest ranked sides in Europe.