It was announced this week that former Manchester United and current Everton midfielder Phil Neville is to join up with the England Under-21 setup for this summer’s European Championship in Israel, at which point I furiously checked his date of birth.
Alas, it appears he will be going along as part of Stuart Pearce’s coaching staff, in an ironic similarity to his older brother Gary, who is an assistant head coach with the senior team.
But before then, Pearce’s youngsters will be faced with friendly matches to try and get ready for the tournament, with the latest being a home fixture against Romania at Adams Park, Wycombe.
The Three Lions were emphatic in qualifying for Israel, winning seven of their eight group games, and beating Serbia 2-0 over a two-legged playoff.
Of their group games, it was notable that England won all four of their home games to nil, and scored a whopping sixteen goals; an average of a 4-0 win in each game.
The Romanians narrowly missed out on the playoffs, finishing third in their group behind France and Slovakia (only a point behind the latter).
Emil Săndoi’s side actually did the double over the Slovakians, but were thwarted by two draws against minnows Kazakhstan.
Pearce has named a strong squad for this match and the subsequent clash with Austria next Monday, with many potential match winners in the form of captain Jordan Henderson, Tom Carroll, Jonjo Shelvey, Raheem Sterling, Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha.
However, there will be some faces missing as the in-form pair of Blackpool’s Tom Ince and Southampton’s Luke Shaw have picked up injuries, while Tottenham defender Steven Caulker has joined up with the senior squad.
England are short odds of 3/10 to triumph on Thursday, but if you fancy something a little longer then you might be interested in the 17/20 on offer that either one or both teams fail to score, especially given that Pearce’s outfit kept six clean sheets in eight qualifying matches.
On the other side, Tricolorii Mici (The Little Tricolours) will be looking to cause an upset and state their intent ahead of qualifying for the next European Championships, and you can back an away win at odds of 31/4, with a slightly likelier draw being priced at 17/5.
However, despite missing some players, I cannot look past a home win for this one, England have not lost since 2011 and simply look too strong.
My top bet is that over 3.5 goals are scored given England’s ruthlessness in home games during qualifying, the number of players wanting to impress ahead of this summer and the number who can potentially score goals, at a price of 27/20. Should you agree then you can place the free £20 bet you get for signing up to bwin on the very same bet, scooping up £47 should the goals flow in Wycombe.
Follow David on Twitter @whichdave