ICC Champions Trophy Betting: England v New Zealand

A big innings from Brendon McCullum would put pressure on England in Sunday's vital Champions Trophy game
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Defeat to Sri Lanka means this is a must win game for England and Matt Harris expects the hosts to claim the points against New Zealand on Sunday...

"England selectors are likely to name an unchanged team for this contest but if they are to progress beyond the semis then either Steven Finn, James Tredwell or possibly both may need to come in."

England v New Zealand
Sunday June 16, 10.30 BST
Live on Sky Sports 1


Alastair Cook's side started so positively against Sri Lanka on Thursday with the captain himself finding some much needed form, while Jonathan Trott hit a very brisk 76 by his own standards. Ravi Bopara then came in and smote 28 from the final over and everybody felt that the total of 293 was more than enough.

Sri Lanka's subsequent victory was largely down to a brilliant 134 from Kumar Sangakkara but the visitors exposed a bowling attack that contains little variety while the lack of a specialist fifth bowler is another factor that makes Cook's men vulnerable.

However, if the hosts can post a similar total in Cardiff on Sunday they are more likely to win as the Kiwis don't possess the same depth of batting as the Sri Lankan side. A typically stubborn set of England selectors are likely to name an unchanged team for this contest but if they are to progress beyond the semis then either Steven Finn, James Tredwell or possibly both may need to come in.

New Zealand

The Kiwis can still progress even with a defeat in this match but they won't want to rely on any favours from their neighbours Australia when the Aussies tackle Sri Lanka on Monday. Brendon McCullum's men will have some confidence too after that recent ODI series win over England but it hasn't been the best start to the tournament for this side.

The narrowest of one wicket victories against Sri Lanka was followed by a rain-ruined game against Australia where the Kiwis seemed to be heading for defeat before the weather intervened. As far as batting is concerned, New Zealand tend to rely on a big score from one single player to win games and it's rare to find a match where the whole of their top order combines to make respectable scores. There is real potency however with Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson and skipper McCullum all capable of three figure knocks.

New Zealand's bowling has been more impressive and Mitchell McClenaghan could prove to be the key performer on Sunday. His left arm over attack offers variety and while he's been a little expensive - conceding 108 runs in 18.1 overs, McClenaghan has taken eight wickets in those two spells.

Venue and Conditions

Sophia Gardens has hosted three games in this Champions Trophy tournament to date but it's hard to take those results and judge what a par first innings score should be. India made 331 in 50 overs on the opening day before Sri Lanka crumbled to 138 all out against the Kiwis last weekend.

Meanwhile, South Africa posted 230-6 in 31 overs against the Windies, suggesting Sri Lanka's effort was the anomaly. 

It certainly looks a fast deck and the side taking first knock should be looking at 275 as a minimum target although heavy cloud cover throughout the day could give more assistance to the bowlers early on.

Match Odds

England are favourites to take the win they need to progress at odds of [1.68] while New Zealand are your outside bet at [2.44] The toss could prove vital once again and while there is no rain forecast, heavy cloud could yet bring in the lottery element of Duckworth Lewis.

England's best chance is to bat first and if they should be able to reach a similar total to the 293 last time out. This time however, that should be enough to take the game.

Top England Batsman

Cook, Bell and Trott are all hitting form but there is some concern in the middle order where Eoin Morgan has struggled in 50 over games this season. Bowlers are hitting a deliberate line, wide of the off stump and as yet the left hander hasn't dealt with this effectively.

A return to form would make Morgan at attractive bet here at [7.0] but the more consistent Cook should give the profit at around [3.75]

Top New Zealand Batsman

After back to back centuries in the recent ODI series with England, Martin Guptill is joint favourite with Ross Taylor at 3.90 but the opener has experienced a quiet tournament with scores of 25 and eight. 

The top order has struggled as a unit so this is a bit of a punt but I expect Brendon McCullum to provide some power hitting later on and give you the return at [6.0].

Recommended Bet
Back England to win at [1.68]

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