Euro 2024

Bet Builder Tips: Back 9/1 Ahmedhodzic angle in England vs Bosnia

England boss Gareth Southgate
England boss Gareth Southgate

Sky Sports' Lewis Jones - aka Jones Knows - takes aim as England start their summer adventure and he wants to back Bosnia defender Anel Ahmedhodzic to dish out some rough stuff to the England forward line...

England v Bosnia & Herzegovina
Monday 3 June
Kick-off 19:45

So, here we go. It all starts here for England's bid to end 58-years of hurt without a major trophy in the men's game.

They will take us on the usual rollercoaster over the next 43 days. Three Lions will be played non-stop. World In Motion, too. And you'll be sick of listening to Sweet Caroline by July. Time to dream.

Gareth Southgate and those surrounding the England camp are incredibly tight-lipped when it comes to concrete early teams. Over the years team news leaks with the national team have trickled down to various journalists across the industry. Not under Southgate's watch. It does make writing pieces of this nature in pre-tournament friendly matches difficult until the teams are released an hour from kick-off.

What we do know at this stage is that Harry Kane won't be in the starting XI. The confirmation that Kieran Trippier is captain for the match means Kane, who is captain, won't be risked after missing the final three games for Bayern Munich with a back injury.

He is irreplaceable in this England side for the way in which Southgate goes about his tactical set-up with Kane playing the line striker role where he can dovetail being playing as the target and dropping deep into playmaking positions. When players try to fill his boots, England become a less threatening beast with their play becoming disjointed into a striker that perhaps is trying to hard to impress without Kane.

In the last five internationals where Kane hasn't started for England, they have won just once and that was a scrappy 1-0 victory over Australia at Wembley - a game where the visitors managed to win the shot and corner count. The four winless games without Kane came against Italy (0-0), Belgium (2-2), Brazil (0-1) and North Macedonia (1-1). All five of those matches have something in common, England's average goal count nosedived, scoring just four times in those five games.

Along with Kane, Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka aren't available for this clash with Bosnia so it will be an experimental attacking shape with the likes of Ollie Watkins, Ivan Toney, Cole Palmer, Eberechi Eze, Jarrod Bowen and Jack Grealish all set to get minutes.

Southgate spoke about using these friendly encounters as a chance to build chemistry between players, saying: "For me, it's about playing well and building what we've been doing over the next five or six weeks. There are 43 days until the final, not every day will be great, not every hour will be perfect. But we're working on principles and tomorrow is the first aspect to show that in public."

I want to be against goals here based on the match scenario and evidence of England without Kane. It's by no means a strong view as pre-tournament international friendlies are really no place to sustainably make profit in the long-term but the 17/102.70 for the game to go under 2.5 goals does look slightly overpriced.

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