England v Malta: Three things that happen after managerial changes

Gareth Southgate takes charge of England for the first time against Malta on Saturday
Gareth Southgate takes charge of England for the first time against Malta on Saturday

Michael Lintorn combed the last ten England managers' first games for clues of what awaits Gareth Southgate...

"In six of the last seven initial encounters for Three Lions generals, including all four over the past ten years, there was an odd number of goals."

Recommended Bet: Back there to be an odd number of goals @ 17/20

At least one clean sheet is kept

One slightly terrifying trend for Southgate to contend with is that while the six permanent England reigns since 1999 began with victory, three of the four caretaker stints commenced with defeat - two of those at home - and the exception was a goalless draw away to Finland.

Hosting Malta should help the latest interim appointment buck that trend given that they claimed just two points to the Three Lions' 30 in Euro 2016 qualifying and kicked off this campaign with a 5-1 home hammering at the hands of Scotland.

A more encouraging scoreline-related trend for Southgate is that four of his six predecessors - whether short term or long term - got underway with a win to nil, including the most recent pair Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce, who both travelled to mid-ranked European nations. Similarly, both teams to score bets have been losers in six of the past eight England boss openers.

Recommended Bet: Back England to win to nil @ 2/9


The goal total is odd

Even adding the shutout to the England win isn't likely to make you rich though, so let's look at giving you an edge in more of a 50-50 market: the one asking whether the total number of goals will be odd or even.

In six of the last seven initial encounters for Three Lions generals, including all four over the past ten years and the latest two to involve a caretaker, the answer was odd, with Allardyce and Hodgson prevailing 1-0, Stuart Pearce losing 3-2 to the Netherlands and Fabio Capello beating Switzerland 2-1.

Recommended Bet: Back there to be an odd number of goals @ 17/20


A striker doesn't start the scoring

If you backed an attacker to score the first goal of the past ten England eras and do so in the opening match of that chapter, you wouldn't once have been successful.

At the turn of the century, in three of the four tenures - Kevin Keegan and interim spells for Howard Wilkinson (twice) and Peter Taylor - the 1966 World Cup winners failed to score entirely three times and relied on a Paul Scholes hat-trick on the other. The most recent six managerial initiations all featured at least one England strike, but never did their number one come from a forward.

Defenders took responsibility twice, John Terry for Steve McClaren and Gary Cahill for Pearce, and midfielders did the business on four occasions: Nick Barmby for Sven-Goran Eriksson, Jermaine Jenas for Capello, Ashley Young for Hodgson and Adam Lallana for Allardyce.

Michail Antonio, Theo Walcott and Dele Alli are all 9/2 to break the deadlock against Malta, with Jesse Lingard and Andros Townsend at 5/1.

Recommended Bet: Back Dele Alli to score first @ 9/2


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