The Three Lions have won each of their last 13 home qualifiers.
England v Slovenia – Thursday 19:45, ITV
Slovenia have struggled on their travels in recent times, with their only three victories on the road since the start of 2014 coming over Lithuania, San Marino and Malta. They’ve lost without scoring in their last two away qualifiers in Scotland and Slovakia, and an England side that’s won 16 of 18 unbeaten qualifiers since the campaign to get to France 2016 should prove too much for them.
In fact, The Three Lions have won each of their last 13 home qualifiers, keeping a clean sheet in 10 and covering the -1 handicap in 12 of these games, and so England -1 at first glance looks a solid prospect. However, Slovenia have an excellent defence including Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak in goal, and they’ve conceded just twice in their last six while they held England to a goalless stalemate in the reverse fixture. With this in mind we think there’s more value to be found in the win to nil.
Slovenia’s recent away qualifiers have been low-scoring affairs as five of their last six have seen fewer than three goals, while each of the last three saw exactly one goal. The most common score amongst these games was the 1-0 defeat and so there’s some real value about the correct score in this one, especially as England rarely fail to win competitive games at Wembley but are also yet to fully convince under Southgate.
Given his recent form at club level, Harry Kane looks an excellent bet as the first goalscorer. He’s certain to be in the starting XI and has had a sensational September for club and country, netting five braces and a hat-trick (13 goals) across nine matches. He opened the scoring in five of the six games where he found the net, and we think he can be the man to seal England’s qualification for Russia 2018.