Lithuania v England: Three Lions to close out campaign with win and clean sheet

Gary Cahill is a key part of England's very effective backline
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There is a clear pattern to England's Group F games and Joe Dyer can't resist tipping up more of the same when Gareth Southgate's men play the final game of World Cup 2018 qualification...

"Odds-against on an England win to nil isn't a terrible bet. They have won six of their Group F games without conceding, and all three games against Sunday's opponents by a cumulative 9-0 scoreline."

Lithuania v England
Sunday October 8, 17:00
Live on ITV

Malta result exposes a poor Lithuania side

It's a measure of Lithuania's quality that they were unable to beat Malta on Thursday night, going behind to the world's 191st ranked team and only able to force a point thanks to a second-half equaliser. Admittedly, it was a dead rubber, but most games in Group F have been just that for slumping Lithuania, who were off the pace from the get-go and whose nine qualifying games have yielded just the one win and three draws.

England unbeaten but unimpressive

Well, the good news is that England made sure of qualification on Thursday night at Wembley by recording their seventh win from nine games in Group F. A closer look at the game, however, reveals another performance desperately lacking in quality. As ever, England were defensively strong - though not without their wobbly moments - but the attack, while not lacking in energy, seemed to lack a coherent plan and scored its lone goal deep into second-half injury time.

Harry Kane was once again one the scoresheet but it wasn't a golden night for the Spurs man who was full of running and effort but found chances somewhat limited. Marcus Rashford was the bright spark in an England attack where Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were poor.

You can rely on England's defence

England are hot favourites to win in the early prices on the Betfair Sportsbook, but the [1.36] available on Gareth Southgate's men is one for the ACCAs or heavy hitters only. Lithuania are [9.5] to win and the draw is [5.0].
While it's hard to look beyond the England victory there may be a little more doubt about this game than earlier qualifiers in the group.

First up, this is a dead rubber and intensity may be lacking. That's as true of Lithuania as England but it's a concern nonetheless. Secondly, after a poor performance at Wembley, Gareth Southgate may be tempted to experiment with formations and lineups and there may be a corresponding lack of understanding between the XI. Then again, they can't do much worse than Thursday night's mob.

That said, this game pits the group's best defence (England have conceded just three goals across qualification) against its second worst (Lithuania have scored seven goals) and odds-against on an England win to nil isn't a terrible bet. The Three Lions have won six of their Group F games without conceding, and all three games against Sunday's opponents by a cumulative 9-0 scoreline. Finally, I don't think Southgate will want to risk throwing away England's unbeaten record in quailfying so will take a safety-first approach to this one.

If you bet on goals don't bet on seeing too many

This is not the most prolific England side ever and I wouldn't be in a rush to back overs at odds-on. It took the Three Lions 53 minutes to break through Malta on their last Group F away day and earlier visits to Slovakia and Slovenia during qualification yielded the grand total of one goal.

Recommended Bets
Back England to win to nil v Lithuania @ [2.18]

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