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Football: Wembley goals total is not certain to mount; SPREADWISE.

Byline: By Steve Davies

UNFURL those flags of St George, daub your pebbledash in red and white, drink till you puke.

Yep, in the kneejerk world of our marvellous media, the worst rugby and cricket teams ever to leave these shores are suddenly world-beaters, and it follows that Steve McClaren's England will trample all over Estonia today, Russia next Wednesday, and a world 11 anytime they want. Bring 'em on!

A national day? Make it October 13, the day that England dishes out a triple whammy to remember.

Hmmm. Perhaps, but at the fear of sounding like a killjoy, I can't help feeling I should be a seller of total goals at 3.2 in the England clash at Wembley today.

England are very good at scoring three goals - their last four competitive heats have all been won by a 3-0 scoreline - but they don't often go above that mark.

In fact, take out the embarrassment that is Andorra and England's other seven games have averaged 2.1 goals. The previous World Cup qualifying campaign was no different with 22 goals in ten games.

The reunion of Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney seems to have everyone thinking there will be goals aplenty against Estonia, yet only one of the Estonians' ten qualifiers - a 4-0 hiding in Israel - has produced more than three goals.

They defend sturdily in numbers and just because they can't qualify doesn't mean they'll want to subside meekly. Nor should Estonia find the target. They've managed three in qualifying, two of which came against Andorra.

The last time France took on the Faroes they went ahead in the first minute courtesy of Louis Saha. It finished 5-0 and another early strike is anticipated when the teams clash in Torshaven.

The Faroes have played at home five times in this campaign and only once has the opposition not scored inside the first 31 minutes. Selling the time of the first French goal at 30 could pay off.

Recommendations

Sell England v Estonia goals

2pts at 3.2 Sporting

Sell time of first France goal

1pt at 30 Sporting

CAPTION(S):

Rooney and Owen train
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 13, 2007
Words:356
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