It’s first vs worst this Saturday, September 5 when England takes to the road to meet San Marino in a Group E Euro 2016 qualifying match at San Marino Stadium. England has won all six of their qualifiers up to now and leads their group with 18 points while minnows San Marino are entrenched in the basement with just one point. England has scored 18 goals and allowed three against along the way while San Marino has yet to score a goal and have conceded 19. Their lone point came in a 0-0 draw with Estonia. This is an important contest for England though as a win will guarantee the nation a spot in next summer’s European Championship tournament in France.
Switzerland sits in second place in Group E with 12 points and are followed by Slovenia with nine, Estonia with seven and Lithuania with six. As mentioned, San Marino occupies the cellar. England would have to suffer complete collapse to miss out on Euro 2016 and that’s unlikely to happen. They usually wait until the major tournaments start before doing that. Qualifying for them doesn’t seem to be a problem.
San Marino vs England Euro 2016 Qualifier Betting Preview
- bet365 lists England as the solid favorites at 1/100 to win with San Marino at 100/1 and a draw at 40/1
HEAD TO HEAD:
- The last time these two sides met it was at Wembley Stadium on London, where England romped to a 5-0 triumph. The two nations have squared off five times in the past with England winning all five of the encounters. Two of the matches have been in San Marino. In fact, England has dominated in those games by outscoring their opponents 31-1. The lone San Marino goal came back in 1993 win a World Cup qualifier and it stunned everybody as it took Davide Gualtieri just 8.3 seconds to bag it after the game kicked off. The goal is in the history books as the fastest in European Championship history in tournament play and qualifying. England came back to win that contest 7-1, but failed to reach the 1994 World Cup in America.
There are several San Marino players who are in disciplinary trouble and are all a yellow card away from receiving a one-match suspension. These players who need to be extra careful are Andy Selva, Manuel Battistini, Mirko Palazzi, Alex Gasperoni, Davide Simoncini and Danilo Rinaldi. The only English player in the same predicament is forward Raheem Sterling of Manchester City. The odds are so high against a San Marino win because the team has never won a competitive soccer game. They’ve won just one friendly and that was a 1-0 victory over fellow minnows Liechtenstein back in April of 2004 with Andy Selva netting the winner. San Marino is the only team in Euro 2016 qualifying that hasn’t scored a goal as of yet. They’ve been shutout in their past seven competitive outings with their last goal coming against Poland in a 5-1 home loss in September of 2013.
San Marino has appeared in just over 60 European Championship qualifying fixtures over the years and the draw with Estonia in November was the only time they didn’t lose. On the other side of the coin, England is undefeated in their past 25 Euro/World Cup qualifiers with 18 wins and seven draws. Their last defeat was back in October of 2009 when Ukraine shut them out 1-0. England’s last Euro qualifying loss was at home in November of 2007 when Croatia edged them 3-2. It was a huge blow though since it meant England didn’t qualify for Euro 2008. They’ve won 11 and drawn three since then.
England striker Danny Welbeck has scored six goals in Euro 2016 qualifying, which ranks second Robert Lewandowski of Poland who has seven. However, Welbeck is expected to miss the game because of injury. England skipper Wayne Rooney leads the tournament in shots at net with 33 so far. England should secure their spot in Euro 2016 by the time the final whistle sounds on Saturday night.
Click here to learn more about Soccer Betting and how to bet on the San Marino vs England Euro 2016 Qualifier match from eBetting101.com.