Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are expected to bow out of international football when England play Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday in a game that the Three Lions have only pride to play for.
Costa Rica have already put Uruguay and Italy to the sword and are 1/8 to top the Group D, having been 50/1 at BetVictor when the draw for the group stages was announced by FIFA back in December.
If you popped down to earth from a different galaxy and were given a basic introduction to mathematics you might find it quite staggering to find that a side with two wins against Italy and Uruguay are 7/2 to beat a side who have lost to the same two nations in the last 10 days but that is the case for England’s clash with Costa Rica.
The Three Lions are 17/20 to go out of Brazil 2014 with a bang and not a whimper with the draw at 14/5.
England manager Roy Hodgson has already said that Luke Shaw and Frank Lampard will start against the Central Americans and Manchester United’s Phil Jones must surely replace Phil Jagielka, who is another who has surely run his race as far as the England team is concerned.
The Three Lions have not had the rub of the green in either group game and it is possible that the lack of a second first half yellow card to Uruguay captain and central defender Diego Godin was the most significant decision of the 2014 World Cup to date.
England are 16/1 at BetVictor to win the Euro 2016 Tournament in France behind 3/1 favourites Germany with the hosts at 6/1.
Having backed France at 25s for Brazil, I think, whatever happens in the World Cup knock out stages, they will be the team to beat on home soil in two years’ time with Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane, arguably, the two most exciting young players in the world at present.
Daniel Sturridge had his chances against Uruguay but continues to look sharp and I would be disappointed if he didn’t start again in Belo Horizonte.
If Hodgson starts with Jones that will give England more pace and power in central defence, and in another game where I can see both teams scoring I expect to see the Three Lions sign off with a win.
Sturridge is 19/4 to score the first goal and 7/2 to score at any time in an England win which sees three or more goals.
A 2-1 win for Hodgson’s side is 17/2 and a 3-1 win is 16/1 and I would split stakes between the suggested two correct scorelines.
It has been an excellent tournament to date but one lacking an outstanding nation.
The World Cup cannot be won in the group stages but as England and Spain now know it can be lost.
Brazil and Argentina share 7/2 favouritism with Germany 4s, France 8s and the Netherlands 12/1.
England hoped but didn’t deliver; tomorrow will see the end of an era for English football if, as expected, both Gerrard and Lampard wear the Three Lions for the final time.
Now is the time to start rebuilding for France.