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England v Ivory Coast betting tips: Southgate to ring changes

| 29.03.2022

England v Ivory Coast betting tips and odds

England play their final friendly on Tuesday night before they discover their opponents in Friday’s World Cup draw and start as 4/9 favourites to beat Ivory Coast.

The Three Lions fought back from a goal down to beat Switzerland 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday on a night when Gareth Southgate tried different personnel and formations.

It was a testing evening for the home side, so let’s see whether they will fare better this week as we look at some of the talking points in our England v Ivory Coast betting tips.

England v Ivory Coast form

Marc Guehi, Kyle Walker-Peters and Tyrick Mitchell all made their debuts on Saturday night, while Conor Gallagher was handed a first start in a sign Southgate is leaving the door open for players ahead of November’s World Cup.

Southgate praised all four for their performances, but admitted his side struggled in the first half during which the Swiss took the lead through a Breel Embolo header, Jordan Pickford tipped a Fabian Frei strike onto the bar and Xherdan Shaqiri hit the post from a corner.

“I thought it was a really good test. We went behind, we had tactical problems to solve, we had to defend properly,” said Southgate.

He added: “Of course towards the end of the game we were able to get more experience and some top players onto the pitch, which made us finish strongly as well and that was important for the team and also for the crowd.”

Southgate is planning to switch things around for Tuesday’s game at Wembley to look at his options ahead of the Nations League in June and the World Cup.

He said: “We’ll make changes. We think that’s the right thing to do. We want to keep all of the squad involved. I think that has been a strength for us. Players who come in perform well at the level and the team march on.

“They need to feel that we’ve got the confidence in them to go into any game and we’re also at a stage of the season where their load is heavy and we’ve got to make sure we try and navigate that in the best way possible.”

England are unbeaten in their last 10 games at Wembley since a 1-0 defeat by Denmark in the Nations League almost 18 months ago and haven’t lost in 21 matches in all competitions.

Four of those home matches were friendlies and they won all of them by under 3.5 match goals which can be backed at 21/20.

They also kept clean sheets in seven of those victories and are 6/5 to win to nil again, although backing the hosts to win either half, score at least twice and not concede is 11/5 as one of our #GetAPrice specials.

Backing the European Championship runners-up to win 1-0 or 2-0 are both available at 5/1 in our England v Ivory Coast betting tips.

Ivory Coast proved they will be no pushovers on Saturday when it took a stoppage-time header from Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni to give world champions France a 2-1 victory.

Willy Boly, Adrien Rabiot

Nicolas Pepe had put the Africans ahead with a right-footed shot off the inside of the post in the 19th minute and they tested a strong French team missing Kylian Mbappe.

Ivory Coast are 15/4 to net the opening goal in the first half and both teams to score can be backed at evens, while a draw is available at 16/5.

England are 12/5 to win and concede or 9/1 to win from behind, bearing in mind Ivory Coast looked dangerous going forward with a three-pronged attack comprising Pepe, Wilfried Zaha and Sebastien Haller.

As good as Ivory Coast look on paper they failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup and were knocked out of the African Cup of Nations by Egypt in a penalty shoot-out in the round of 16.

Key Battles

Five of the Ivorians’ starting XI in Paris play their football in England, while Premier League watchers will be familiar with former Tottenham right-back Serge Aurier and ex-West Ham striker Haller, who is the second top scorer in this season’s Champions League having scored 11 goals with Ajax, one fewer than Robert Lewandowski.

With AC Milan’s Franck Kessie operating in midfield, Patrice Beaumelle’s side is certainly talented, but France had a lot of joy attacking down the left so that’s an area England can exploit.

Mitchell may be handed a start after coming on as a sub against Switzerland and he will have his hands full against Pepe who had already tested Hugo Lloris before he struck the opener.

Wilfried Zaha, Kingsley Coman

England started with a back three on Saturday and Southgate was forced to make an unexpected change when John Stones complained of tightness in the warm-up and was replaced by Ben White.

Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling could all start and Nick Pope may come in for Pickford in goal, while Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings were on the bench at the weekend, so are in the frame.

Manchester United’s Eric Bailly and Wolves’ Willy Boly played at centre-back for Ivory Coast at the weekend, but Odilon Kossounou may get a chance at Wembley, while Maxwel Cornet is also pressing for a start.

England v Ivory Coast team news

Midfielder Emile Smith Rowe will be assessed having missed the win against Switzerland with a minor injury.

Stones has not been ruled out completely despite withdrawing from the team just before kick-off but Southgate is unlikely to take risks with the fitness of the Manchester City centre-back.

Goalscorer Odds

Harry Kane equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 international goals with the winning penalty and is now just four behind Wayne Rooney’s all-time record.

The England captain is 5/2 to be the first goalscorer or 5/6 to find the net at any time, while Sterling is 4/1 and 8/5 in the same markets in our England v Ivory Coast betting tips.

Jack Grealish can be backed at 7/1 and 13/5, and we go 20/1 on Luke Shaw adding to the goal he scored against the Swiss although he is likely to be on the bench, with Mitchell starting at left-back.

Pepe is 11/1 to break the deadlock again or 4/1 to score, the same odds as Zaha, Cornet and Max Gradel, but Haller is the 8/1 favourite from the visitors’ contingent to get the ball rolling and he is 3/1 to find the net.

Match info

Where: Wembley

When: 19:45, Saturday 29th March

How to watch: Sky Sports

View the latest World Cup qualifying odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication



Warren Barner