England (14) v Russia (28) – Group B – 8pm (ITV) – 11.06.16 – Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Since the last World Cup, England have won 11 of 12 matches against teams below them in our rankings, with eight wins to nil and seven of their last eight victories coming by more than one goal. However, their group stage record in the last three major tournaments is a poor W3-D4-L2 despite facing just one side ranked higher than them.
Since 2010, England are unbeaten in 10 competitive games against teams ranked 20-50 with six wins, and with friendly wins over the two biggest favourites for this tournament, Germany and France, in the past year they should win this match.
Russia reached the semis at the 2008 Championships but they’ve been a fading force since then as they failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup and have been eliminated at the knockout stages of the two tournaments since then.
England’s defence is their weakness but given Russia’s less than formidable attack and likely conservative style we expect the Three Lions to start this tournament with a clean sheet and also a win. Under 2.5 Goals looks likely but at around 1.53 is a bit short for us to get involved in. So we’ll stick to the England Win at 1.90.
Recommendation: England Win 1.90