Betting Spy: Can England win the World Cup?

Grant Prior 14 years ago

The nation expects yet again. But has Steven Gerrard really got a chance of picking up the trophy on July 11?

A wave of patriotic optimism has forced England’s odds down to a best-priced 7/1 with Paddy Power and Ladbrokes.

So let’s have a look at our chances with a gambler’s cold-eye and see if England really should be backed at half the price of Germany at 14/1.

Here’s how a cynical outsider would view the England team from one to eleven:

We should have taken four goalkeepers and written Eenie, Meenie, Miney and Moe on their backs – such is the uncertainty still in Capello’s mind.

Our right back is a great goal scorer but not a defender.

Our centre backs were two of the best in the world at Euro 2008 – when England didn’t qualify. Now they are beginning to creak and the captain didn’t make it past the first training session.

Our main reserve at centre-half can only play every now and again because of dodgy knees.

Another had to be talked into even coming to South Africa after retiring from international football. The other plays for West Ham and the emergency sub has been called back from his holidays at the eleventh hour.

Our left back is world class but is being divorced by the nation’s sweetheart. His deputy refused to play because our centre half slept with his ex-girlfriend.

Our midfield has just been out-passed by Mexico and Japan. Aaron Lennon and Sean Wright-Phillips would not make a world class right midfielder combined.

We all know Lampard and Gerrard won’t work together – but we’ll probably give them a go anyway if Gareth Barry isn’t fit.

Joe Cole could be back on the left – at least he’ll be fresh after failing to get in the Chelsea side all season.

Up front Wayne Rooney carries a nation’s hopes. He might, unfortunately, have to carry Emile Heskey as well.

But enough of the negativity. There are still a few reasons to be cheerful about our chances.

England’s group opponents – USA, Slovenia and Algeria – are hardly world-beaters and we should qualify for the knockout stages.

That tees-up a last 16 match with probably Ghana or Germany and if we survive that a quarter final clash with either France or Argentina before Brazil beckon in the semis and Spain in the final.

From a betting perspective that run of matches makes England awful value at 7s to win the tournament.

If you can’t resist a patriotic punt, roll-up your winnings on a match-by-match basis and the odds will be much more generous.

Another way of making money on England is on the country’s top goalscorer. Wayne Rooney is our best player and most lethal striker so has to be the play at 6/4 with Paddy Power.

The same firm offer 10/1 on Emile Heskey in that market – an even worse bet than England outright……..

Latest news

McAlpine pulls out of £55m Carlisle Citadels project

University of Cumbria starts hunt for replacement contractor
2 days ago

Strabag UK suffers further big trading loss

Austrian contractor is gearing up for major presence in the UK market
2 days ago

Durham Uni picks UPP for £130m student scheme

Firm will deliver 1,000 self-catered bed spaces
2 days ago

Architects now upbeat after 10-months of work gloom

Larger practices see rising workloads in next three months
2 days ago

Motorist dies after collision with road paver

Police Scotland investigating fatal crash
2 days ago

McLaren Living appoints HG Construction for £69m scheme

Build to Rent scheme will transform former vacant car park site in Leeds city centre
2 days ago

Squibb liquidator probes £2m of “missing” plant

Machinery, cars and scrap metal have disappeared at demolition specialist
3 days ago

Galliford Try to re-enter affordable homes market

Contractor sets out new five-year plan to build margin to 4%
3 days ago

Former Sellar chief to lead civils contractor Kilnbridge

Owen Dannatt joins as new CEO as founder Dermot McDermott becomes Chairman
3 days ago

Hunt starts for nuclear fusion plant construction partner

Fusion energy plant to be built at West Burton coal power station site.
3 days ago

National Grid raises £7bn for big infrastructure upgrade

Rights issue to fund a major round of capital investment in energy infrastructure
3 days ago

Grenfell police probe to last at least until end of 2025

19 companies and 58 individuals could eventually face charges
3 days ago

Mace confirmed on £100m London office retrofit

Work underway on Helical's 100 New Bridge Street job near Ludgate Circus
3 days ago

Wylfa chosen for next big nuclear power station build

Government names Anglesey site for a large-scale gigawatt nuclear power plant.
4 days ago

Bowmer & Kirkland trading profit halves

Contractor buys HVAC specialist Adcock despite challenging market
4 days ago

Piling specialist Van Elle plans further job cuts

Piling specialist plans further cost savings in face of lower demand
4 days ago

Civils contractor A Catlow files administration notice

High voltage cable specialist lodges court notice
4 days ago

Green light for ARC Oxford lab campus

Work to start later this year on £40m Ascent building job
4 days ago

Stonehenge tunnel hit by another legal delay

Court upholds latest appeal against £1.7bn scheme by campaigners
4 days ago

Plans go in for huge Olympic Park construction hub

Bow Goods Yard could deliver 3.5m tonnes of materials a year to sites across London
5 days ago

40% affordable homes target for Labour’s new towns

Labour pledges to select new town sites by end of first year
4 days ago

Plan for £100m Liverpool Baltic station

Construction work could begin next year
5 days ago

Surgo Construction went down owing £4.5m

Biggest creditor is Bellway Homes after dispute on housing job
5 days ago

Vistry seals £157m West London housing deal

Around 575 homes to be built at Merrick Place scheme in Ealing
5 days ago

Streamlined Watkin Jones returns to profit in first half

Multi-room specialist sees secured work pipeline hit £1.4bn
5 days ago

Bellway hires ex-brickie as group construction chief

James Griffin to oversee move to the Future Homes Standard and timber frame.
5 days ago

Persimmon under fire for delays to £10m relief road

West Suffolk Council serves Breach of Condition Notices after timetable slips again
5 days ago

BAM wins £33m Kent secondary school job

Replacement Swanley academy to be built at live school site
5 days ago

Aluminium cladding specialist collapses

Melton Mowbray-based firm worked for several main contractors
6 days ago

Brickwork contractor Lee Marley returns to profit

Affordable and rental homes demand lifts brickwork contractor
6 days ago

Contractor services