football stadium
  • When: 7:45PM, Monday, September 4th, 2017
  • Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England

England moved a step closer to qualification for next summers World Cup Finals with a 4-0 win against Malta on Friday night. The scoreline flatters England somewhat and the Three Lions were booed off by the travelling fans at half time after failing to score. Three late goals from Harry Kane, Ryan Bertrand and Danny Welbeck added some gloss to the scoreline on a night where England made hard work of breaking down a stubborn Maltese team.

Monday night sees England welcome second placed Slovakia to Wembley Stadium in a game that should provide a much sterner test of Southgate’s sides credentials. Slovakia overcame Slovenia 1-0 on Friday night thanks to a late goal from Adam Nemec and that result moved them four points clear of Scotland behind them. If England can win on Monday night they will move five points clear at the top of Group F, but if Slovakia manage to grab an away win, they would leapfrog England at the top of the group with just two games remaining.

Team News

Gareth Southgate surprised many people by keeping faith in under fire goalkeeper Joe Hart on Friday against Malta and that selection would suggest he still views the new West Ham United goalkeeper as his number one. Southgate is expected to name a largely unchanged team on Monday, with the only likely change being Marcus Rashford replacing Raheem Sterling. Rashford came on for Sterling at half time on Friday after a largely unimpressive showing from the Manchester City winger. Rashford impressed immediately though, continually beating his man down the left hand side and he has likely done enough to warrant a starting berth against Slovakia. Jordan Henderson captained the Three Lions on Friday, but Southgate said he would share the captaincy around so we may see Joe Hart or Gary Cahill take over the armband on Monday.


England won the reverse fixture out in Slovakia 1-0 thanks to a 95th minute goal from Adam Lallana. Martin Skrtel was sent off just before the hour mark for Slovakia on that night, but England struggled to find a goal until almost the last kick of the game. Southgate will be confident that his side can keep Slovakia at bay and if the midfield is able to nullify the threat of star man Marek Hamsik, then you would expect England to pick up another victory here. Find the best bookmakers and compare at bookmaker sportsbook review.

Betting Preview

England start this game as the favourites to pick up a win and are available at odds of 4/11, whilst an away win for Slovakia is 7/1 and the draw is 15/4. I think England will edge this one, but it’ll be a tight game so Draw/England at 11/4 could be a good bet as England have struggled to make an early breakthrough in recent games, often relying on late goals. There was only one goal scored in the reverse fixture between these two sides and I think Under 2.5 goals at 17/20 looks like a sure thing here.

Goals Under 2.5 – 17/20 

world cup

With games running out in UEFA World Cup qualifying, Belgium can become the first European team to seal their place in the finals. Russia have automatically qualified as hosts but prior to the 8th round of matches in the European section, not one team has sealed a place at the 2018 World Cup.

As things stand in World Cup qualifying Group H, Belgium are top with 19 points from their 7 games played.  They are 6 points clear of their upcoming opponents Greece, who are in second place with 13 points. Bosnia and Herzegovina are third with 11 points but the best they can really hope for now is second place in the group.  That means a win for Belgium in this match against Greece, will see them through.

Greece Form

The Greeks were hoping to take maximum points ahead of this match against Belgium by defeating Estonia on Thursday night.  However, things did not go to plan and Greece could not force the breakthrough, even though they were the home team.

The 0-0 draw was a big disappointment and means Greece must now win this game to stay in contention for top spot in the group. The 0-0 draw with Estonia on Thursday was Greece’s fourth straight draw in the group and while they have remained undefeated, they have been unable to win games. However, the 1-1 draw in Belgium will give them the belief they can take something from this match and hopefully keep their automatic qualification hopes alive.

Belgium Form

Belgium have a very talented squad of players and brushed Gibraltar aside in their match on Thursday night, defeating them 9-0 despite being down to ten men for over half of the match. That result means Belgium have now scored 33 goals in their 7 group games at an average of 4.7 goals per game.  This average was helped by the 8-1 home victory over Estonia, a team Greece failed to break down. Belgium are undefeated in their last 8 games, including friendlies and have been scoring goals for fun.

Only Greece and Netherlands have prevented them from scoring more than 1 goal. Away form in World Cup qualifying shows Belgium have won each of their last 8 matches, including wins in Wales, Serbia and Croatia.  Belgium have scored 22 goals and kept 7 clean sheets in those games.

Team News

Greece may hand a debut to Dimitris Kourbelis in midfield, while Sokratis, Kostas Manolas, and Kyriakos Papadopoulos should continue in defence, with Kostas Mitroglou in attack. Eden Hazard is expected to start the match for Belgium having recovered from injury and will join Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens in an exciting forward line for the visitors.  Axel Witsel is suspended.

Top Betting Tips

Given recent results and the talent in the Belgian squad, the visitors are favourites for this match but Greece are very difficult to defeat on home soil.  The Greeks make a tempting draw/no bet at 11/4 with Bet365. In their previous 10 home World Cup qualifying matches, Greece have kept 8 clean sheets and while they may struggle to break down Belgium, they will try and hold firm at the back.  Under 2.5 goals is 8/15 with Unibet. More about this bookmaker you’ll find in a Unibet review.

If there is one man capable of breaking the deadlock in what could be a tight game, it is Romelu Lukaku.  The Belgian striker scored a hat-trick on Thursday night and has started the season well for Manchester United.  Lukaku is 3/1 with William Hill to score the first goal.