England vs. Russia Analysis and Pick to Win
Date: Saturday, June 11th 2016
Where: EURO 2016 Group Stage – Group B Game 1 – Stade Velodrome, Marseille, France
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds:England 10/11, Russia 41/10, Draw 52/21
Moneyline: England -110, Russia +410, Draw +245
Over/Under Best Market: OVER 2.5 – 11/8 (+135)
We have a habit of laying chalk, more often than not because the favorite is typically overvalued. Like France, England is another club that is prone to lay an egg and bust the bankrolls of punters. However, we are more concerned about the English against the likes of Slovakia and Wales than we are alarmed at the prospect of facing down Russia.
We are not particularly keen on the Russians be that this a team that often procures morose results in any tournament of consequence. The Russians have lost three of their last four fixtures, all of which were friendlies against teams qualified for the EURO. Nevertheless, the results have led us to be weary of this side. The Russians were outgunned by Croatia, France and the Czech Republic, scoring 4 goals while conceding 9. This form of defense will never hold up Russia’s chances against an English squad that bares the likes of Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane fronting their attack.
For those who are unfamiliar with the duo or simply need a reminder of their accolades, Vardy led Leicester City in the English Premier League to an unprecedented title run and he broke all kinds of records for scoring. Kane emerged in similar style in 2015, coming out of the woodwork as a revelation that powered Tottenham to rival Leicester for the top position for most of the 2015/16 season. With that being said, Tottenham finished just one point out of second and secured their first European tournament berth in a very long time and this is thanks to the services of Mr. Kane. These two juggernauts will anchor the English attack and while there may be a chance for the English to be stymied by a comparable side such as Spain, Germany, Belgium or even Wales, which rests on their laurels of possession football, a weakness of England….Russia’s porous defense on the contrast may very well be easy pickings for the Three Lions to devour.
The Russians offer a false sense of value despite what may be conceived as affable odds. In spite of our position on laying chalk, there is likely an absence of value of playing on any other side than. If the English required substantial juice we of course would have been off this contest outright, but this is a price we can afford given the opponent we are laying. Conceding nine goals against premier competition is a prime indicator that this Russian side is nothing more than a mid-level squad at best, looking to prey upon weaker opponents and that’s what they have basically done up to this point. However, Russia may find that their three group adversaries are no slouches and this tournament could get ugly quick for the Russians. As for the English, this is a squad that has won five of their last six and taken down teams like Portugal, Turkey and Germany in friendlies. Thus we see a huge difference in performance portfolios.
With England coming in with heightened optimism compared to recent years, the Three Lions will certainly look to make a splash in their opening fixture and this is the opportunity for them to grab a quick three points and build momentum. It is rare for us to side with the public and take a favorite to as well, but every now and then the situation dictates such a move. The analytics have shown us that the public has as much faith in Russia winning as they do drawing with a reasonable amount calling for the English outright, this says something to us considering the proposition of Russia winning pays out twice as much as a draw, yet the consensus won’t differ between the two outcomes. With this being said, we will go chalk and take England in a big win over Russia attacking their weak back line. Do not be surprised if the English light up the scoreboard and given the fact we can take back above even odds at just over 2 goals being scored, we certainly recognize the upside and value in that prospect. This game may get out of hand and if at nothing else, three goals combined is certainly feasible for England alone.
England Recent Form
W – Portugal 1-0 (Friendly)
W – Australia 2-1 (Friendly)
W – Turkey 2-1 (Friendly)
L – Netherlands 1-2 (Friendly)
W – Germany 3-2 (Friendly)
Russia Recent Form
D– Serbia 1-1 (Friendly)
L – Czech Republic 1-2 (Friendly)
L – France 2-4 (Friendly)
W –Lithuania 3-0 (Friendly)
L – Croatia 1-3 (Friendly)
Keith's Prediction for the Game: England -110
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