A virus may have struck the England camp but there are likely to be stars from Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in the starting line-up when Ukraine visit Wembley tonight, and it could be worth sticking with the usual suspects when looking at the goalscorer markets for the Group H World Cup qualifier.
Roy Hodgson has seen his squad decimated by injury and now illness, with Theo Walcott, who has been “violently sick”, and Daniel Sturridge, who has suffered from stomach cramps, the latest players to withdraw from the England camp over the last few days.
They join the injured Ashley Cole and John Terry in leaving the 23-strong squad since it was announced for the double header with Moldova and Ukraine, a squad which was already without Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll, Phil Jones, Scott Parker, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young and Jack Wilshere before the first meet-up.
The former Fulham boss’ pool of players is so depleted he has seen fit to call up three men with just one cap between them – Jake Livermore of Spurs, Adam Lallana of Southampton and Liverpool’s 17 year-old prodigy Raheem Sterling – meaning the England squad does have an unfamiliar look to it.
The 34-year-old has scored five times in his last eight England appearances: not bad considering he has been written off by many over the last 18 months or so.
But despite that, there are still established names in the group and when looking for a goalscoring bet, the advice would be to trust the experienced players to do the business against the Euro 2012 co-hosts.
Sterling, Lallana and Livermore are unlikely to see any action, but one man who is certain to start is Frank Lampard and at 11/2 to score the first goal and 3/2 to net at any time, the Chelsea veteran is the bet in the goals market.
Lampard scored the first goal in England’s 5-0 win in Moldova on Friday, tucking away a penalty in typically reliable fashion, and he had added a second before the half hour as the Three Lions ran out easy winners.
Ukraine will provide much stiffer opposition – they gave England a tough match at the European Championships despite losing 1-0 – but Hodgson’s men will be confident of prevailing on home turf and Lampard can do the damage. The 34-year-old has scored five times in his last eight England appearances: not bad considering he has been written off by many over the last 18 months or so.
Three of those strikes have been the first goal in the match and with Lampard in good form for Chelsea as well (he has five goals in his last 13 games for his club), the England stalwart can notch for the second time in four days.
At a bigger price, Leighton Baines to break the deadlock at 18/1 is worth the smallest of plays. The Everton left-back also scored in Moldova, will be on some set-pieces and is always likely to get forward in open play and I always like his chances, especially at such a lengthy price.
Read a full betting preview of England v Ukraine here.
New customers can register here to claim a free £20 bet or click here to see all our World Cup qualifying odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwin