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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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League Cup Final Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Tottenham

Competition: Capital One Cup – Chelsea vs Tottenham

Venue: Wembley Stadium – Sunday, March 1st – 16:00 (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – 9/2

Match Preview

It’s Chelsea vs Tottenham in the League Cup final and this has all the makings of a classic cup final clash at Wembley in what is a repeat of the 2008 final. Spurs lifted the trophy with a 2-1 win after extra-time on that day but have not won a trophy since and will have all eyes on Sunday’s clash with their London rivals.

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Chelsea go into the game as favourites and the Premier League leaders will be seeking revenge for that 5-3 defeat at White Hart Lane on New Years Day in this one. Jose Mourinho will have his side fully focused on the game as the Blues look to win their first trophy under Mourinho since his return 18 months ago.

The Blues come into the game off the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw with Burnley last weekend but have had a full week to prepare for Sunday’s huge clash.

Don’t miss our League Cup final preview show:

Spurs were eliminated from the Europa League by Fiorentina on Thursday night and remained in Italy after the game to prepare for the League Cup final so it will be intriguing to see just how much that affects their performance.

Chelsea won the league meeting between the two sides with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in December but that 5-3 loss at White Hart Lane sets this one up perfectly.

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That defeat to Spurs was Chelsea’s first in eleven and so they will fancy their chances of lifting English football’s first major domestic honour of the season.

Team News

Chelsea will be without Nemanja Matic after he was sent off in last week’s draw against Burnley in what is a huge blow for Mourinho. Ramires will likely step in to partner Cesc Fabregas in midfield, especially as John Obi Mikel is likely to be unavailable as he is still suffering from a knee injury. The Blues will be at full strength apart from that and it will be interesting to see who starts in goal as well as who partners John Terry at the back as Gary Cahill was outclassed at Tottenham in the 5-3 loss.

Chelsea vs Tottenham League Cup Final Predicted Lineups

Chelsea vs Tottenham League Cup Final Predicted Lineups (via Lineupbuilder.com)

Spurs have no injury concerns ahead of the game and Mauricio Pochettino will be able to field what he feels is his strongest team on Sunday. Ryan Mason, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Moussa Dembele, Eric Dier and Harry Kane did not start against Fiorentina and can be expected to play from the off in this one. Erik Lamela is likely to start on the right but Andros Townsend and Nacer Chadli will both be pushing for starts too.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five in all competitions: D/W/W/D/D

Tottenham’s last five in all competitions: W/L/D/D/L

Key Stat: Goals galore – There have been 33 goals in the last seven meetings between these two sides in all competitions.

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Key Player: Branislav Ivanovic – The versatile right-back has been in fine form of late for Chelsea and has scored four in his last six from defence. He will need to stop Christian Eriksen but could be a real threat at the other end too.

Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham – There is too little to separate these sides in normal time and we could see the game go to extra-time once again. If it does Spurs could repeat their antics from the 2008 final and the key for Chelsea will be dealing without Matic for the entire game.

VIDEO: Chelsea vs Tottenham – League Cup Final Preview

Chelsea face Tottenham at Wembley Stadium in the 2015 League Cup Final on Sunday. The game is a repeat of the 2008 League Cup final as Spurs came out as 2-1 winners in extra-time courtesy of a Jonathan Woodgate header.

The teams have already met twice in the Premier League this season with Chelsea winning 3-0 at Stamford Bridge before Spurs won 5-3 in that New Years Day thriller. The Blues will be looking for revenge from that loss with the first major domestic honour up for grabs in this London derby at Wembley.

The MLSGB team take a look ahead to the game and what we can expect to see from both sides. Let us know who you think will win the game below.

 

Chelsea vs Liverpool: League Cup Semi-Final Preview and Prediction

Competition: Capital One Cup Semi-Final Second-Leg

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Odds: Chelsea 8/13 – Draw 16/5 – Liverpool 9/2

Chelsea and Liverpool will lock horns once again as they meet for the second-leg of their League Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge with a place in the final at Wembley at stake.

The first-leg ended all square at Anfield after Eden Hazard put the Blues 1-0 up from the penalty spot before Raheem Sterling scored a deserved equaliser for Liverpool, who will be kicking themselves that they didn’t get more out of the game after having 19 shots to Chelsea’s two.

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The Reds dominated large periods but Chelsea held firm and will fancy themselves to get over the line on home soil and combining that fact with their away goal, it makes them the slight favourites. But after the events of the weekend just gone, it shows that anything can happen – especially in a cup tie.

Chelsea’s home record in all competitions: Played 16 – Won 14 – Drawn 1 – Lost 1

Liverpool haven’t lost since December 14 when they suffered a 3-0 league defeat against Manchester United, and since then they have gone on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

By Chelsea’s standards, the last month will be considered as an average and inconsistent return having won just three of their last seven in all competitions, drawing two and losing two, most notably a 4-2 defeat at home to League One Bradford in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday – their first home loss of the season.

Liverpool’s away record in all competitions: Played 16 – Won 8 – Drawn 1 – Lost 7

Jose Mourinho’s sides aren’t used to conceding too many goals in a game, so the 5-3 defeat at Tottenham, and the Bradford game, will almost certainly be in the back of their minds, so despite being at home, we could see a very similar game to the first-leg as Chelsea will look to keep it tight.

These two side have previously met six times in this competition, with Liverpool coming out on top three times to Chelsea’s two, with last week’s first-leg the first League Cup tie that has ended level between them.

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Liverpool triumphed 2-0 the last time these two met at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup, which came back in November 2011, so they will be hoping that history can repeat itself on Tuesday night.

Chelsea’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/D/L

Liverpool’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/D/D

Key Stat: Liverpool are without a win in their last six games against Chelsea.

Key Player: Raheem Sterling – The young Englishman is Liverpool’s top goalscorer in the League Cup and his attacking flair causes concerns for any defence.

Chelsea vs Liverpool Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool – Chelsea to edge it and seal their place in the final.