England v Andorra: Bank on Bamford to bag on debut

Paul Higham expects Patrick Bamford to start and get in the goals on his England debut against Andorra at Wembley on Sunday.

Classy England pass Hungary test

There were simply no downsides for Gareth Southgate with England's performance in Budapest with his young team dealing with everything that went on both on and off the pitch in hugely impressive fashion.

Their first game back after Euro 2020 heartbreak, a hostile and out of order crowd, who will hopefully be punished suitably by Uefa, and a stubborn Hungary side on the field - the Three Lions kept calm, kept playing, and completed a deserved 4-0 victory.

Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane were excellent going forward, while England excelled again defensively and they've now just conceded a wonderful Mikkel Damsgaard free-kick and scruffy Leonardo Bonucci tap-in in their last 10 games.

With Poland away coming up in the week, it's the ideal chance for Southgate to make changes and give Kane and Sterling expecially a rest ahead of the next game. Patrick Bamford has received his first senior call-up and this game offers the perfect opportunity to start the Leeds man.

When you have such fantastic options as Southagate has it'd be crazy not to use them, and it's hardly a downgrade if you can bring in the likes of Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, Kieran Tripper, Reece James of Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Minnows Andorra out of their league

Andorra won their last World Cup qualifier, a 2-0 victory over fellow minnows San Marino, but that was just their third ever victory in the competition and now they face a team they've never scored against and lost all four meetings by an aggregate of 16-0.

Having played 57 away matches in qualifying for the World Cup and Euros, Andorra have won a grand total of zero, drawing two and losing 55. It's been 20 defeats in a row since a 0-0 draw with North Macedonia in February 2005.

Andorra have failed to score in their last 13 away qualifiers, but if they do manage the unthinkable then odds are it'll be Marc Vales that grabs the goal.

He's just the second player to score twice in one game for Andorra after he got both goals against San Marino, and he's scored the last three goals for country.

They've conceded three goals or more in the three games against teams in the top 50 this year so it's all there for England to fill their boots in what will be something like a training game.

Expect changes and goals for England

The hosts are 1/50 to win this game given the overwhelming gap between the sides and England's wonderful record in both qualifying competitions and home games.

Southgate has won 21 of his 29 games in charge at Wembley and he's now just nine victories behind Sir Alf Ramsey's record.

In World Cup qualifiers at home England are on a 25-game unbeaten run, stretching back to Germany's victory at the old Wembley, and they've conceded just 11 goals in that span while banging in 71.

It's also eight World Cup qualifying victories in a row for England where they've scored 21 and conceded just two. As with the Hungary game, most of England's goals in that time have come in the second half (14) as they tend to dominate the ball and grind teams down.

In terms of goals, you've got prohibitive odds on anything in the overs category until you get up to over 5.5, which clocks in at 2.4 but when you look at the attacking talent available it's well within England's grasp.

If you suspect there could be some trouble with a much-changed England breaking down a packed defence then 2.32 for under 4.5 match goals is your bet, with the hope that the game winds down to a friendly pace once the hosts get three or four and put the game to bed.

Back Bamford to bag on debut

He got 17 goals for Leeds last season but not only that, Bamford's all around play was superb and his fitness, work rate and intelligent link-up play all caught the eye.

He should slot in nicely in Kane's spot up front, and even if he doesn't get the start as expected, he will surely see the field at some point and with his ability against this Andorra defence he is odds-on to find the net.

I expect Bamford to start and I'm happy to take that gamble and back him to score twice here, which is also just a shades of odds-on as the bookies also expect him to line-up from the start.

Arsenal man Saka is the other player of interest here too, and his direct running and pace should be far too much for Andorra to handle - he's odds-against to score at Wembley so added to a Bamford brace gives us a nice little return courtesy of a Bet Builder double.

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