International friendlies provide an unwelcome break for many football fans but, in a World Cup year, they can provide some useful pointers. On Saturday, England will host a strong Switzerland side as manager Gareth Southgate looks to see how his squad has developed since the final of Euro 2020 (5.30pm; Live on TV: ITV).
The Swiss have been steadily climbing the FIFA rankings over the last few years and should offer a stiff test to the home side. The game takes place at Wembley Stadium, so let’s see what the bookies make of it all in this preview with its betting tips.
England are clear favourites with best odds of 8/11 currently available on the home win. The draw is the closest option at a top price of 5/2 while a win for Switzerland rounds it all off at a best of 9/2.
The UK odds setters will follow the official rankings and they will also take form into account but international friendlies can often upset that form book. Both sides look to make changes, to try new players and there can frequently be a number of substitutions in the game.
Big game players could be rested and the most minor of niggles can lead to withdrawals from the squad. The game may not be as clear cut as those odds suggest so let’s move on to other markets before we come to a conclusion.
Harry Kane has rediscovered his touch and has scored in four goals in his last five Premier League matches. It is therefore no surprise that the England captain is favourite to open the scoring on Saturday at a general 3/1. Behind the market leader, Raheem Sterling has given us some profits while on duty for Manchester City and the winger looks tempting at a best of 13/2.
Other options from within the England contingent include Phil Foden at 13/2, Mason Mount at 8/1 and Bukayo Saka at 8/1. For Switzerland, Breel Embolo is the first name at 11/1 while English fans will be familiar with Xherdan Shaqiri at 12/1.
The former Stoke City and Liverpool winger is currently playing in MLS with Chicago Fire and has 26 goals from exactly 100 internationals.
Moving on to team bets now and Both Teams to Score is on offer for this game at best odds of 11/10 . The no option on BTTS is out to a top price of 4/5 and it’s rare to see it carry the shorter odds in any match.
That could be a tempting price but what about the Total Goals betting? A stake Over the 2.5 line will currently bring a best of 6/5 while we can push to Over 3.5 for a top price of 31/10. If you think that Saturday’s contest will be a low scorer, best odds of 7/10 are in place for those that want to go Under the 2.5 line.
That just leaves some Correct Score suggestions and those that are expecting a comfortable 90 minutes for Southgate’s men can pick up a 3-1 home win at a general 14/1. Alternatively, if you feel that there may be an upset in this fixture, a 2-1 win for Switzerland is quoted at 17/1 while a 2-2 draw can be claimed at 19/1.
International Friendly Preview: Our England vs Switzerland Betting Tips Verdict
Those team goals markets suggest that the bookmakers aren’t expecting too much attacking edge from the Swiss but there are grounds to disagree. In their most recent match against Bulgaria back in November, Switzerland put four goals past their opponents without reply.
Prior to that game, the Swiss held Italy to a 1-1 draw away from home and that is a seriously impressive result against the European Champions. The two strikers that we’ve mentioned – Breel Embolo and Xherdan Shaqiri – have solid scoring records at domestic and international level and we suspect that there will be more of a threat here than the bookies think.
For those reasons we will stay with the team goals betting for this match. We expect England to win it but there are better odds around than the 8/11 on Southgate’s men. Both Teams to Score makes a rare appearance above the Even Money mark so we’ll take advantage of that 11/10 figure. With England able to field Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and a host of promising deputies, we’ll add in the 31/10 odds on Over 3.5 goals.
This preview’s preference for an individual goal scorer would be Raheem Sterling but we’d only be comfortable with that option if we could be sure that he was starting the game. In the meantime, the two betting tips listed below should add some profit to one of the more meaningful international friendlies of the weekend.