England are 5/6 with Bet365 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals after keeping their fifth consecutive clean sheet in Friday’s 1-0 friendly win against the Netherlands. Manager Gareth Southgate has switched to a three-man defence for recent games, including the goalless draws with Germany and Brazil, and appears to favour that system for this summer’s finals.
He was initially criticised for selecting Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker as one of his three centre-backs in the Johann Cruyff Arena, but the plan worked well and with Walker and Joe Gomez earmarked as options in the back three, Southgate will have greater flexibility when it comes to selecting his creative players.
The more pressing concerns for the England coach surround the goalkeeping position – none of his current options have proved entirely reliable this season – and the over-reliance on Harry Kane, whose absence was keenly felt in Amsterdam.
While they may not be conceding, England have scored only five goals in their last six games since an unconvincing 4-0 win in Malta last September. With only two more friendlies after Tuesday’s home game against Italy, England fans will be eager to see them develop a greater attacking threat.
|All odds quoted are subject to change|