England will go into their final World Cup 2014 qualifier against Poland even shorter favourites than they were to beat Montenegro and after the 4-1 thumping of Branko Brnovic’s men the Three Lions hold all the cards in Group H.
Roy Hodgson’s attacking renaissance began at Wembley, with Andros Townsend’s selection ahead of James Milner paying off with a goal for the Tottenham winger, who caused Montenegro a multitude of problems down the right side in his 80 minutes on the pitch.
Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski will have to be kept an eye on if he features, but Poland have nothing to play for after their 1-0 loss in Kiev and England will beat them if they keep their performance levels up.
Ukraine are the only team that can topple England and are 11/4 to win the group.
Hodgson will have to repeat the attacking dose because Mykhaylo Fomenko’s side will win handsomely in San Marino, so anything less than three points against the Poles would see England slip into the play-off lottery.
Belgium booked their place at the World Cup with a Romelu Lukaku double.
Many punters’ dark horses at 14/1 to win the tournament next summer qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 2002 by beating play-off-bound Croatia 2-1 thanks to a brace from Chelsea’s Lukaku, who has scored four Premier League goals in his first three games on loan at Everton and is 14/1 to be the top scorer in the top flight this season.
Play-off places are still up for grabs in Europe.
Going into the last round of fixtures most of the groups are settled (or as good as), but any one of Bulgaria, Denmark, Armenia and Czech Republic could potentially finish second behind Italy in Group B.
Bulgaria have 13 points and the best goal difference and host the Czech Republic, who still have a slim chance if they win and Denmark and Armenia fail to beat Malta and Italy respectively.