England welcome Lithuania to Wembley on Sunday in the fifth game of their 2018 World Cup Qualifying group. Gareth Southgate’s team showed a lot of promise in Wednesday’s friendly against Germany, however the match ended in defeat as a superb goal from Lukas Podolski in his final international appearance condemned Southgate to defeat in his first game in charge as permanent manager.
Southgate set out his team with a three-man defence on Wednesday night and it was impressive until Podolski’s 69th minute winner. Michael Keane had a steady debut in the heart of the defence and wasn’t exposed and arguably could have scored a goal early on in the match.
The Three Lions currently lead Group F with three wins and a draw from their opening four matches, but failure to beat Lithuania could see them drop to second place in the group if Slovenia defeat Scotland.
The FA has confirmed that there will be tributes to the victims of Wednesday’s attacks in London and there is expected to be a minute’s silence held prior to kick off.
Meanwhile, Edgaras Jankauskas’ Lithuania team are currently fourth in Group F, with one win, two draws and a defeat from their four games so far. They’re listed as 107th in the FIFA World Rankings.
England vs. Lithuania Predictions
When looking at the past meetings between the two sides and the difference in quality, this should be a walkover win for England. However, they are missing Harry Kane upfront and there’s little in pace on the wings. Southgate had one eye on the future when he selected his squad, meaning that Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott both missed out. This match is an opportunity for some of the youngsters selected to demonstrate their skills in an international match, which they’re unlikely to lose.
England vs. Lithuania Betting Tips
England are heavy favourites to win on Sunday priced at 1/9, while Lithuania are big outsiders at 23/1. The Total Goals market could be lucrative in this game, with over 3.5 goals available at 6/5 and over 4.5 goals at 14/5. Jamie Vardy leads the goalscoring markets at 7/2 to score first, while Jermain Defoe is the same price and Marcus Rashford available at 4/1.
Head to Head
England have won the only two meeting between the two nations. 4-0 (home) and 3-0 (away) in the qualifiers for Euro 2016 back in 2015.
England Team News
Jamie Vardy started upfront against Germany; however Marcus Rashford could be selected to lead the line against Lithuania. Jermain Defoe is also in the squad and could get his chance in the second half. There will definitely be a change in defence, with Gary Cahill suspended for the qualifier, which might mean that Michael Keane keeps his place if Southgate sticks to three at the back.
England Squad (provisional): Fraser Forster, Joe Hart, Tom Heaton, Ryan Bertrand, Nathaniel Clyne, Michael Keane, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Eric Dier, Adam Lallana, Jesse Lingard, Jake Livermore, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nathan Redmond, Raheem Sterling, James Ward-Prowse, Jermain Defoe, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy
Lithuania Team News
Lithuania have a number of injuries in their squad. Edwin Girdvainis misses out through injury, while Vytautas Andriuskevicus picked up a calf injury while playing for the Portland Timbers in the MLS. Meanwhile, George Freidgeimas is suspended for the game at Wembley.