Roy Hodgson can’t call upon injured talisman Wayne Rooney for England’s World Cup qualifier against Moldova and with Daniel Sturridge’s thigh strain ruling him out as well, the 11/2 about Frank Lampard opening the scoring at Wembley starts to look pretty big.
England are long odds-on favourites at 3/50 to make it two home wins out of three in Group H, with the visitors difficult to back even at 28/1 and the draw unlikely to cop at 10/1.
With this in mind, value lies in predicting which of the Three Lions stars will land the first blow against their modest opponents.
Rooney has broken the deadlock in three of England’s last four competitive games, but Lampard is only two behind the Manchester United striker’s tally of five World Cup 2014 qualifying strikes.
The Chelsea stalwart opened proceedings on his way to a brace in the 5-0 away win against Moldova this time last year.
Lampard has already got off the mark in the Premier League this year, in Chelsea’s 2-0 opening day win against Hull.
He is likely to take over penalty-taking duties from Rooney again, having already scored twice from the spot during qualifying.
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Hodgson’s boys have only managed the winning double result three times so far in qualifying, against their current opponents in Chisinau and home and away to group whipping boys San Marino.
Moldova have improved since these sides last met and held both the Ukraine and Poland to home draws.
They’ve also been level at the break in each of their last five qualifiers and conceded only four times during that period.