Ten statistics about England’s qualifying clash with Ukraine
England/Ukraine, Tonight, 8pm, ITV1, Free £10 bet
England fans have a reputation for fickleness, but the antics of the Wembley crowd must seem refreshing to Fabio Capello when compared to the actions of some supporters in his homeland: Italy fans in Bari are expected to boo Marcello Lippi, the man who won them the World Cup, tonight and cheer his predecessor Giovanni Trapattoni, the man who twice flopped in international tournaments. The reason? Lippi refused to call up their favourite son Antonio Cassano.
Capello, on the other hand, can expect a hearty applause this evening despite trying to pick even Darren Bent ahead of Michael Owen. Here’s ten stats about tonight’s game with Ukraine, courtesy of our hombres at chickendinner:
1. Both teams are unbeaten in Group 6, with England winning all four of their games. Ukraine have won two and drawn one of their three.
2. Ukraine are unbeaten in eight games and have won four consecutive away games.
3. However, they have been seen off easily on their two previous trips to England – losing 2-0 in 2000 and 3-0 in 2004.
4. Besides those two trips to England, Ukraine have played in the UK on three other occasions this decade. They drew away to Wales and Northern Ireland and lost in Scotland.
5. While Ukraine’s recent record on the road is strong and they won 3-1 at Kazakhstan in their opening away game of this campaign, they won just one of six in Euro 2008 qualifying, drawing one and losing four.
6. This is the first time England have won the first four games of a qualifying campaign since Euro 1972. On that occasion they were tripped up in game five, drawing 1-1 at home to Switzerland.
7. Six of Ukraine’s last eight games have featured under 1.5 goals, which is 3.85 on Betfair. However, there have been at least three goals in eight of England’s last nine home games.
8. Peter Crouch has scored in each of his last three starts for England and has grabbed 12 goals in his last 12 England starts, having failed to find the net in his initial two. The Portsmouth striker is 6/4 with Ladbrokes and Paddy Power to score at any time.
9. Sixteen of the twenty goals (60%) that England have scored since September have come in the second-half. Six of their last eighteen have come in the last ten minutes.
10. Wayne Rooney has scored two goals in each of his last three international appearances. Paddy Power offer 7/1 on him firing at least twice.