Air Force Crouch could be the One
England's World Cup 2010 Qualifier against Andorra on Wednesday night forces a betting previewer to look beyond the match prices.
Fabio Capello’s England are 1/100 certainties with William Hill to bag another three vital World Cup 2010 qualifying points as they entertain 66/1 part-timers Andorra at Wembley on Wednesday evening.
Without the slightest possible hope of winning you wonder how the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker of the Pyrenean principality have plotted this one out. Probably in the designated team tapas bar and probably over a few riojas and beers. Good for them.
”No es complicado. ¿Aparque el autobús enfrente del portero como siempre no?”
”It’s not complicated. Park the bus in front of the goalkeeper as always eh?”
Right that’s the team tactics out of the way lads, let’s get back to the ales.
The last time the two sides met on these shores Andorra tried to park the bus, but a brace from traffic wardens Peter Crouch (4/1 first scorer) and Jermain Defoe (7/2 first scorer), plus a Steven Gerrard strike (evens anytime scorer) earned England a facile 5-0 victory at Old Trafford in September 2006.
Gangling Crouch, who would actually make a very good traffic warden given his ability to see over Ford Transits (and possibly team buses), is a tempting 13/2 to repeat that feat of scoring two or more, Defoe is 6/1 to double up.
9/2 is the price for the Three Lions to repeat that 5-0 score line and that looks about the right mark given the Pyrenean outfit’s recent results against quality international sides.
The part-timers, who, as we know have a penchant for keeping 11 men behind the ball at all times, were beaten 4-0 in Croatia on their last away yardstick against a decent European side in October.
9/2 is also the price for a 4-0 win to England on Wednesday.
In spite the country’s size, a population of 71,000 and only 200 registered part-time footballers, Andorra have inexplicably caused England problems in the past.
Steve McClaren’s England were quite rightly derided after a 3-0 win in March 2007 and Fabio Capello’s team were also booed at half-time in their 2-0 win again in the Catalan capital in September.
The Andorran team "coach" puts his back four through their paces in preparation for Wembley
If you fancy Andorra’s tactic of parking the team bus in front of their goal to frustrate England you can get 5/1 with Hills about the half-time/full-time result being draw/England.
With a force-field of Andorran bodies packed in and around the penalty area I can see Capello looking to the lofty advantages of Crouch to inflict most damage to the visitors.
I can also envisage the Italian schemer encouraging central defenders John Terry (16/1 first scorer) and Joleon Lescott (6/1 anytime scorer) to get forward at every possible set piece to shake up a defence-packed danger zone.
I might go and live in Andorra. I fancy a game at Wembley against Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole, I’m sure I could muscle my way into the top 11 of those 200 footballers. I also fancy a few leisurely riojas and a spot of tapas whilst working out how to scupper one of the greatest footballing nations in the world.
Even if it is only to fire in a few late, scything tackles into the aforementioned it would be well worth it.
According to Wikipedia, Andorra has the highest life expectation of any country in the world. They probably don’t have traffic wardens or wheel clampers. They get to ski in the winter and they all hit the beaches of nearby Costa Blanca in the summer.
Find a few tasty bets on William Hill’s massive array of football markets and you could be too, but remember to gamble responsibly.