England were clinical, the conviction in-front of goal was ruthless. An expected goal rating of 3.21 emphasizes their precision, posting impressive conversion rates of 63.63% and 85.71%. In-which Southgate’s side converted shots to shots on target and shots on target to goals. Yet, the England boss believes there are areas in-which this young side can improve. “I didn’t like the start and I didn’t like their goal at the end,” he said. Continuing with “I guess the bits in the middle were pretty good, but I am being hypercritical,” Southgate added with a smile. “We probably at times played better the other day but today we were better in front of goal. I know how many people were watching at home on a Sunday afternoon and it’s great to give them something to cheer about”. Belgium will be England’s biggest test to date, given the quality within their squad with the likes of Dries Mertes, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. However, with the widely publicized route of finishing second in the group and the potential benefits it may possess, both managers swiftly began to proceed with the mind games, with Southgate implying “We want to keep momentum, so we’ll have to think about the team we want to put out against Belgium.” He added “There’s an opportunity as well for players who need a match, but also we want to keep winning football matches. It’s a nice decision to make.” Whatever side Southgate selects it will be a monumental learning curve, which will only benefit the squad and staff as the tournament progresses.
Belgium have found their feet with two convincing wins over Panama and Tunisia, producing an xG of 1.80 and 5.29. Yet similar to England, we have observed specific areas of weakness. The Belgian’s offered very little in the way of protection for their defensive line of Toby Alderweireld, Dedryk Boyata and Jan Vertonghen. An element that will certainly be addressed as they face more stern opposition. Although unlikely, if Martinez does set up with a similar system the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling will be England’s pivotal point in offensive output. However, we may witness a complete overall of the Belgian side, as Roberto Martinez is quoted as saying “We’re preparing for two games at the same time, for the England game and the next one as well.” The Belgium coach categorically ruled out picking any players on a booking, saying that it would be “very unprofessional” to go down that path. Which would mean Kevin De Bruyne, Jan Vertonghen and Thomas Meunier would all miss out, with the possibility of up to ten changes. Asked whether that was a possibility, Martinez responded “It could be. If I was going to speak about every player, I think everyone deserves to play in the World Cup. So it’s important for me to be able to give the opportunity and see how they can react on the pitch and how much they can contribute. Nobody has got a place guaranteed in this team at the moment. That’s the way we are looking at it. So it could be a possibility to do that, yes.” It would seem both Martinez and Southgate are choosing their words carefully, giving very little away in what will be an intriguing chess match at the Kaliningrad Stadium.
England v Belgium
The current perception attached with the ’Match Odds’ market appears to indicate England possess an implied probability of 37.59%, with the weight of the money slightly favouring the “Three Lions” at this time. In addition the current perception attached with Southgate’s side is evident throughout their market history, with a number of occasions in-which the market believed the ‘Three Lions’ to possess an implied probability in the region of 37.59%. Previous encounters against Italy, Ukraine and Sweden all witnessed similarities throughout the ’Match Odds’ market.
So how can we benefit from the in-decision within the market?
By analyzing England’s previous encounters and utilizing their historic market data, determining whether any discrepancies exist within the current prices will be able to be identified.
England v Italy
Ukraine v England
Sweden v England
The implied probability currently attached with the ‘Three Lions’ producing three consecutive victories and claiming top spot in Group G is in the region of 37.59%. In correlation with the ‘Match Odds’ market the Asian handicap line has been set at -0.0/+0.0, from the three previous occasions in-which the market assumed England to possess an implied probability within a similar region to what they do currently. The three game average implied probability that has been extracted from the -0.0 line, indicates a percentage of 57.47. As a result, emphasizing the current price available on having both England and the Draw on-side at 1.88.
By analyzing Belgium’s market data the prices extracted will aid our efforts in determining whether the information extracted from England’s previous encounters will be reliable information, from-which to build a perception around.
Croatia v Belgium
Serbia v Belgium
Greece v Belgium
The perception throughout each sides historic market data seems to indicate the current implied probability attached with the -0.0 Asian handicap line is inadequate. Utilising the previous occasions in-which the perception was similar to the one currently lingering over Belgium, stipulates an average closing price of 1.82. As a result, clearly demonstrating that the current price available is underestimating this young English side. However, by broadening the range of games from three to six and including England’s previous market information, the data extracted will establish a more efficient price. Therefore with prices ranging between 1.68 and 1.93, the average implied probability extracted from both sets of data indicates a price in the region of 1.78. Consequently, with the market current offering 1.88 and given the motivation surrounding both sides and the expected changes, it appears having England and the Draw on the side should leave us on the correct side of the market.
Furthermore with the market’s perception of England currently being inadequate, the data on the ‘Over/Under’ market appears to identify an additional discrepancy. The average closing price extracted from all six market examples indicates an implied probability of 55.24% being attached with the ‘Over 2.5’ goal line, as a result making somewhat of a mockery of the current probability of 47.84%. Therefore with two fantastic entry points both being identified, it would be unwise not to have them both on side with the potential positives outnumbering any negatives that may occur prior to kick-off.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: England -0.0 at 1.880
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.50 goals at 1.790
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