World Cup Qualifier Preview and Prediction: England vs Lithuania

Competition: World Cup 2018 Qualifier – England vs. Lithuania
Venue: Wembley – Sunday, March 26th – 17:00 GMT (13:00 ET
Match Odds: England 1/8 – Draw 7/1 – Lithuania 22/1

Match Preview

England welcome Lithuania to Wembley on Sunday evening in the 5th game of their World Cup Qualifiers. The Group F table is much as you’d expect, with England unbeaten in their previous four outings but there is plenty of work for Gareth Southgates side still to do.

The Three Lions have ten points from their four games and this fixture should be straightforward enough for them. The quality of the England attack should be more than capable of unlocking the Lithuania defence.

England have not lost a home World Cup Qualifier (Europe) since 2000, winning 18 of 20 games and have conceded just eight goals in those games. If those stats are anything to go by England should be comfortably winning to nil.

Lithuania have been no mugs so far in the qualifications rounds and are still in contention to reach the finals. They have five points from four games and trail second place by just three points.

They come into this one having lost 4-0 to Slovakia away from home. If Lithuania want to be challenging until the latter stages of the qualification rounds they will want to put in a respectable performance here so they can go into their next two home games with confidence of picking up positive results.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Southgate will more than likely make changes to the England side that lost on Wednesday evening. Gary Cahill is suspended and Chris Smalling has pulled out through injury, Ben Gibson has been called up as his replacement. This may mean Southgate will revert back to four at the back rather than three. John Stones will more than likely start and Michael Keane should keep his place in the starting XI. Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling will be hoping to feature.

The Lithuania squad boast no real household names, so no surprises should be expected from them here. They will work extremely hard to cause England a tricky evening but as huge underdogs you can expect them to lineup with a packed out defence and midfield, possibly in a 4-5-1 or 5-4-1 formation.

Key Points

England’s last five: W/D/W/D/L

Lithuania’s last five: D/D/W/L/L

Key Stat: England remain unbeaten in the qualifying rounds and haven’t conceded.

Key Player: Dele Alli – The Spurs midfielder will be looking to have a huge impact on the game and continue his impressive season. His surging runs with and without the ball will cause Lithuania all sorts of problems this weekend.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

England 4-0 Lithuania – Gareth Southgate’s side should be looking at a comfortable win here. They’ll be hoping to score early and settle the game down. If England have a healthy lead by half-time then Southgate will give some of the players on the bench some minutes. Lithuania will be resilient in keeping England out but for how long they can manage to do so is questionable.

Advertisements

Spurs legend heaps praise on ‘international footballer’ Harry Kane

It took the impressive young talent of Harry Kane just 80 seconds to score his first senior England goal with just his third touch on the international stage.

Spurs legend, Glenn Hoddle, who was a pundit for tonight’s game on ITV says Kane has everything required to be an international star.

“I put my head on a block here, I think he is going to be an international footballer, he’s got every attribute we need up there.”

Kane played around 30 minutes in England’s 4-0 win over Lithuania at Wembley and he took his chance with both hands after a fine season with Tottenham in the Premier League.

England have won all five of their qualifiers now and are in a strong position to kick on and win the group ahead of the 2016 European Championship finals in France next year.

Embed from Getty Images

Kane’s rise to the highest level has taken a little time but he has continued to improve with each game and it looks like the only way is up for the Spurs hero.

Hoddle has been impressed with Kane’s progression and heaped further praise on the 21 year old.

“I think what we have got to look at is how he adapted to the Premier League from the jump of Under 21’s and how he looks so comfortable instantly and is scoring goals.”

Has Kane got what it takes to be the best out-and-out goalscorer for England?

Euro 2016 Qualifier Preview and Prediction: England vs Lithuania

Competition: European Championship Qualifier – England vs. Lithuania

Venue: Wembley Stadium, England – Friday, March 27 – 19:45 GMT

Match Odds: England 1/9 – Draw 7/1 – Lithuania 28/1

Match Preview

England host Lithuania at Wembley this Friday in what is both sides’ fifth European Championship Qualifier. Roy Hodgson‘s men are currently top of Group E with four wins from four and go into this game expecting to keep that 100% record intact.

Hodgson will be expecting his side to impress in a game they should win and has rewarded Tottenham goal-machine Harry Kane with his first senior call-up.


Don’t Miss: Former England goal-machine claims Harry Kane must start


This is the first time the England squad have linked up since November, where they played twice in a qualifier and a friendly, winning both.

This will also be the first game Lithuania have played since November. They lost in a friendly against Ukraine and were thumped 4-0 by Switzerland in their last European Qualifier.

Lithuania currently sit fourth in Group E but are level on six points with Switzerland and Slovenia after picking up wins against Estonia and San Marino in their opening games of qualification.

This is the first time the two sides have ever met and Lithuania come into the game without a win in three. England are unbeaten in their last seven, winning six on the bounce, and should be far too strong.

Embed from Getty Images

Lithuanian head coach, Igoris Pankratjevas has worked in various areas with the national side having held previous roles as assistant coach and caretaker. He will have his players pumped and will be hoping they can surprise England on their own turf.

Team News

Roy Hodgson has already had to make some revisions to his team after losing Fraser Forster, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Rose to injury. The news of Harry Kane making the squad has been well received, with many hoping he will partner Wayne Rooney up top in Friday’s game. Rooney has Sir Bobby Charlton’s international tally of 49 goals in his sights, needing just three to equal the all-time leading England record. Harry Kane’s Tottenham teammate Ryan Mason has come in as a replacement for Lallana and after an impressive season so far with his club, he too will be hoping for a chance to impress.

Embed from Getty Images

Pankratjevas likes to pack out the middle of his team and when he opts for two up top we usually see one of the front men dropping back to make up a five-man midfield. Deivydas Matulevičius will more than likely spearhead the attack and he has five goals in 18 appearances for the national side. We can expect goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis to be the busier of the two stoppers and the 27 year old will be looking to make a name for himself.

Key Points

England’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Lithuania’s last five: W/W/L/L/D

Key Stat: Goals – England have scored an average of almost three goals in each of their last five games. Both Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane will be looking to continue that trend.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Player: Wayne Rooney – The England captain will be desperately looking to overtake Sir Bobby Charlton in the all-time England scorers charts but will expect his teammates to kill the game early and secure three points. Expect Rooney to put in a commanding display.

Score Prediction

England 3-0 Lithuania – Roy Hodgson will be hoping for much of the same from his side at Wembley and continue their 100% record in the qualifiers for Euro 2016. Nothing more than a win will be acceptable here and it should be a routine performance from the Three Lions.