Fresh from Saturday’s 5-1 hammering of Kazakhstan in London, England travel to Belarus tomorrow night in hopes of repeating the feat to move one step closer to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Belarus are ranked 59th in the world by FIFA, which puts the former Soviet republic behind Saudi Arabia and Peru, and have only earned three points from their first two games. However, the team fought hard during its first game last month against Ukraine before conceding a penalty in the final minute of the match to lose 1-0. In addition, it survived a tricky tie away to minnows Andorra to record a 3-1 victory going into its first home match.
Despite injuries to John Terry and Ashley Cole that will force the Chelsea duo to sit out the match, England is still heavily favoured with Bet365.com and VCBet.com listing it at odds of 4/11. Boylesports.com, BetFred.com, Sportingbet.com, BlueSq.com, PaddyPower.com, BetDirect.com, StanJames.com, 888Sport.com, Ladbrokes.com and Coral.co.uk have the visitors at 1/3 to win while Totesport.com goes even further with odds of 4/1 that England will emerge from Minsk victorious. Online bookies CanBet.com is offering England at 2/5 while both Betfair.com and BetDaq.com give 5/11.
The best that a supporter of Belarus can do is the 67/13 currently being offered by CanBet.com followed by 15/2 from BetFred.com. A victory for the home side seems even more unlikely in the opinion of Sportingbet.com, Bet365.com BlueSq.com 888Sport.com and WillHill.com, all of whom are offering Belarus at 8/1.
A draw seems more likely than a win for Belarus with CanBet.com offering 14/5 while BetFred.com, BetDirect.com, Ladbrokes.com and StanJames.com are quoting odds of 3/1. Sportingbet.com and WillHill.com are offering a tie at 16/5 followed by BlueSq.com and 888Sport.com at 10/3.
Bet365.com, Totesport.com, Boylesport.com, PaddyPower.com, SkyBet.com and Coral.co.uk offer odds of 7/2 followed by VCBet.com at 39/10.