Slovenia vs England – Time to deliver and put the ‘S’ into EASY
So it has come to this. Anything but victory for England against Slovenia, will be the most humiliating exit by a group of Englishmen from South Africa, since the Boer War.
Back in December, on the morning after the draw for the Finals, the Sun front page helpfully suggested that a line-up of ‘England Algeria Slovenia Yanks’ would prove EASY for Fabio’s men.
It hasn’t quite proved that way thus far, and Slovenia will be no walkover either. This is the side that did for Hiddink’s Russia in qualifying lest we forget, and playing for the draw that would put them through, suits their style perfectly.
Everything up until this point suggests England will struggle. The lack of ideas against America, the lack of energy against Algeria, added to the supposed split in the camp, all point to an early flight home.
But this is England, and the Three Lions always seem to pull it out when it matters – think Lineker’s hat-trick against Poland in ’86, Mark Wright’s glancing header in Italia 90 or Becks’ gorgeous free kick against Colombia eight years later. Victory at 4/9 is not just the patriotic bet, it is also the sensible one.
In the two nations’ only meeting to date back in September 2009, Jermain Defoe scored the winner, and the Spurs man is 5/1 to score the final goal in this one.