Australia look the value bet on the Asian Handicap against England

Australia look like the value bet on the Asian Handicap for this weekend's international friendly against England.

Recommended bet: Australia +1.75 on the Asian Handicap @ 17/20 (1.85) with bet365

In some respects the timing of this game with England at the Stadium of Light isn’t ideal for Australia coach Ange Postecoglou, with club commitments in China meaning that he goes into the match without the services of Tim Cahill; Matthew Spiranovic; Trent Sainsbury; Ryan McGowan and Apostolos Giannou.

It does mean that Postecoglou has a relatively inexperienced squad at his disposal, with the aforementioned quintet all scheduled to be back for next week’s friendly with Greece.  Captain Mile Jedinak is the leading international scorer on England duty, with 12 goals, but nobody else in the squad has more than five.  For Jedinak this will be his second big game in a week, having been Crystal Palace captain in Saturday’s extra-time defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

Australia will be looking to build upon a four-match winning run during which they’ve bagged 19 goals whilst conceding just one.  England will certainly present tougher opposition than Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Tajikistan or Jordan, but the Socceroos did run out 3-1 on the last occasion the two teams met back in 2003 at what is now West Ham United’s former Boleyn Ground.  The scorers for Australia on that occasion were Tony Popovic, Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton.  England’s goal was scored by Francis Jeffers.  

For England this is coach Roy Hodgson’s final chance to assess his players before naming his final 23-man squad for Euro 2016 in France.  Their main interest will probably be focused on 18-year-old Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, who is set for his national team debut and effectively has 90-minutes to stake his claim.

England are as short as 2/9 (1.44) to win this match in places which, even allowing for the absences in the Aussie squad, is still ludicrously short.  Even if you believe England will prove victorious, with their minds largely focused on Euro 2016, they are hardly likely to be going all out for a hefty win in a pre-tournament friendly.

That makes Australia a decent punt on the Asian Handicap +1.75.   It would mean a winning bet were Australia to avoid defeat or lose by no more than a one-goal margin, but would also result in you having half your stake refunded should they lose by a two-goal margin.