England - Belgium Betting Preview: Hodgson looking for Wembley win ahead of Euro 2012

The former Liverpool boss kicked off with victory in Norway but it should not be any easier against Belgium on Saturday. Adam Bate expects England to edge a tight game
Roy Hodgson will make his Wembley bow when England play their final friendly before Euro 2012 against Belgium in front of a sell-out crowd.

The new Three Lions boss made a winning start in Norway last week and their goalscorer in that game, Ashley Young, has already stated a desire to go all out for the win in front of their own fans.

England are 1/2 (1.50) favourites with Bet365 to pick up a morale-boosting victory.

Their opponents Belgium have long been hailed as the team of tomorrow, such is the vast array of talent emerging from the country.

They have defensive strength in the shape of Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen, and illustrious midfield options that include Marouane Fellaini, Moussa Dembele and proposed Chelsea new boy Eden Hazard.

Indeed, such was the buzz about the side it was perhaps a little disappointing that they could only finish third behind Germany and Turkey in Euro 2012 qualifying.

That owed much to the lack of a top-class striker as Belgium wait for Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku to come of age.

Even so, with the defensive pedigree Friday's visitors boast, it may be tempting to back the draw at 3/1 (4.00) with Bet365.

They are well capable of achieving that result, having held France 0-0 in Paris in November.

Belgium can also be backed to spoil England’s send off with a Wembley win at 6/1 (7.00).

If that is going to happen you would think it would have to be a snatch and grab effort, and Belgium are 16/1 (17.00) with Bet365 to win this game 1-0.

That was the score when they last beat a currently higher-ranked side - the USA - last September.

But the best value bet in this one is to pick England as the team to be edging the 1-0 win.

Their last four victories have been by the same 1-0 scoreline and that’s available at 6/1 (7.00) with Bet365.

Either way, it seems unlikely there will be too many goals in this one. Roy Hodgson appears to be prioritising organisation and a desire to make England hard to beat.

With the home side short of inspiration and the visitors stronger at the back than going forward, it seems sensible to back under 2.5 goals at Evens (2.00) with Bet365.

Under 2.5 goals at Evens  (2.00) with Bet365
England to win 1-0 at 6/1 (7.0) with Bet365

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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on

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