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Nic Ladds 9th Oct 2009 - 13:34

Capello the executioner to cut Ukraine's campaign short

England find themselves of the somewhat unusual position of having already qualified from the group stages for the World Cup but there is no reason why they will take their foot of the gas just yet and odds of 7/5 says they can make it nine wins in a row.

Fabio Capello has come out and said a full strength team will at least start the match so expect to see the likes of Wayne Rooney (11/2 to score first), Frank Lampard (8/1) and Steven Gerrard (9/1) all lacing their boots for action, while the second half may see some changes brought about.

Inexplicably, the most on form striker in the country Darren Bent is not included in the squad with Carlton Cole and Emile Heskey still getting in ahead of him, while Peter Crouch and Gabriel Agbonlahor also evidently sit above the Sunderland man in the pecking order.

Should this catalogue of average to good strikers fail to impress, Capello cannot ignore Bent's form any longer and he looks a certainty for the World Cup if he keeps this up.

Ukraine's job is simple, they need to win to ensure they move above Croatia with a game still to play against minnows Andorra and they are 17/10 to do with the draw at 13/5.

Andriy Schevchenko is as usual spearheading the Ukraine attack and the national hero cannot be ruled out in the first scorer stakes at 7/1, while compatriots Evhen Seleznyov and Artem Milevkiy are also 7/1, while keep an eye out for Liverpool's Andriy Voronin who at 8/1 for first goal will be hoping to perform better for country than he does for club.

The home side have three first choice defenders out and this means the likes of Aaron Lennon down the flank and Rooney up front could have a field day against the makeshift back line and the fact that Ukraine "have" to win, has pushed England out to a very backable price.

The whole team would love to come out of the group stages having won every game and even if first team players are swapped at half time, the subs will be desperate to impress in order to cement a place in the world cup squad and a wager on Shaun Wright - Phillips or James Milner to score last at 16/1 could be worth a small bet as they could well get a run out in the second half.

Capello will not tolerate sloppiness and expect a neat and tidy display from England, frustrating Ukraine and 1-0 or 2-1 to the away side at 11/2 and 8/1 look about right while 2-0 is 9/1 or for the home side to get the victory they desperately need, 1-0 to them is 11/2.

A speculative bet on an England/draw double result could return profit if the subs have a negative impact in the second half and that can be backed at 14/1.

You wouldn't touch an old England side away from home in Eastern Europe but this is a new, improved England side that has a coach who is tactically astute and won't tolerate losing.

In the likes of Rooney, Lennon and Lampard they have some of the most in-form players around and the odds against price for England cannot be ignored against a side who while they have to win, their desperation may just get the better of them and it will be no surprise to see the Three Lions go in to the World Cup having won nine from nine qualifying games.

Recommendation:
England - 7/5

Wright - Phillips to score last - 16/1

 
 
 

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