How Many Points Will England Pick Up in 2018 World Cup qualifiers?
England are going strong in the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign. The Three Lions are currently at the top of UEFA Group F with 10 points from four matches. As things stand, they will automatically qualify for the world’s prestigious football competition in Russia.
The Three Lions have a relatively easy group. Slovenia and Slovakia are their main challengers for the top spot, with Lithuania, Scotland and Malta the other teams. Paddy Power football betting odds have England as favourites to win Group F, but could there may be twists and turns on the road to Russia? Could Gareth Southgate’s side suffer some shock defeats and end up second? Below we predict England’s final qualifying matches.
England v Lithuania (March 26, 2017)
England should be able to pick up all three points from the encounter against Lithuania at the Wembley Stadium in London. It is hard to see the visiting team even scoring a goal against the Three Lions, who have a two-point advantage over Slovenia at the top of the group.
Prediction: England 4-0 Lithuania
Scotland v England (June 10, 2017)
England have a superior team to Scotland - that is clear for everyone to see. The likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson are top-class players, and the Scots will have to be on top of their game. Given that the game is at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Gordon Strachan’s side will have a partisan home crowd to cheer them on. There is a possibility that Scotland could win this match, but a draw is the most likely outcome.
Prediction: Scotland 2-2 England
Malta v England (September 1, 2017)
England defeated Malta 2-0 in October 2016 in what was Southgate’s first game as the team’s interim manager, and one suspects that the Three Lions will register a similar win at the National Stadium in Ta' Qali in September. The current Malta is made up of part-time footballers, and there should be a few goals for the visiting team.
Prediction: Malta 0-3 England
England v Slovakia (September 4, 2017)
Slovakia have a talisman in Marek Hamsik, who is one of the best midfielders in Europe. Jan Kozak’s side are four points behind leaders England in third place in the group at the moment and still have a small chance of finishing top. An early goal for the visitors could create some problems for England, but one would expect the home team to at least snatch a draw.
Prediction: England 2-1 Slovakia
England v Slovenia (October 5, 2017)
Slovenia are England’s main challengers for the top spot in Group F, and they are going to make it hard for Southgate’s team at Wembley. A team comprising of Josip Ilicic and Rene Krhin is not going to be easy to win against, and the Three Lions may have to settle for a point.
Prediction: England 1-1 Slovenia
Lithuania v England (October 8, 2017)
Easy win for England, surely, even away from home? By this time, England would have probably qualified for the 2018 World Cup finals, which means the game could be academic. But even then, England should be able to pick up all three points with ease.
Prediction: Lithuania 0-3 England
As we have predicted above, England should not lose any game on the road to Russia in 2018. If the predictions prove to be right, then the Three Lions will end the qualifying campaign with 24 points. That should be enough for Southgate and his men to start planning for World Cup.