Wonderkid Winks 5-2 to make World Cup party

THE man punters are getting behind to break into the England World Cup squad is yet to see his name in manager Gareth Southgate’s initial list for any set of fixtures.

Tottenham’s Harry Winks was hailed by many as the star of the show in England’s 1-0 victory over Lithuania, and is 6-4 from 9-2 with bet365 to make it on to the plane to Russia next summer.

But he was drafted into the squad for the final two qualifiers only as injury cover after Fabian Delph pulled out and although he did not feature against Slovenia at Wembley last week, he played every minute of Monday’s tie in Vilnius.

And the creative touches he showed as he was given licence to push forward from his central midfield role added spark to England’s largely uninspiring performances. Winks is a best-priced 7-2 with Hills to be on the plane to Russia.

The man he replaced, Manchester City’s Delph, is 9-2 to figure in Southgate’s World Cup plans, having come in from 10-1 to 3-1 following his initial call-up next week.

Bookmakers see few selection dilemmas for Southgate in settling on his 23-man squad, with 21 players odds-on across the board to get the nod, and 13 at 1-3 or shorter.

Top of the list is Harry Kane, who scored both goals in England’s victories over the last week, to take his England total to 12 in 23 matches. The Spurs hitman is 5-1 to break Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring record for the Three Lions of 53, and 20-1 to be top scorer at next summer’s World Cup.

Kane has also made it on to the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon D’Or, and although he is a 100-1 shot to upset a field headed by 1-33 Cristiano Ronaldo and 12-1 Lionel Messi, he is 5-1 with Betway to win the prestigious award at some stage in his career and 10-1 to win it while at Tottenham.

England are a best-priced 22-1 to win the World Cup in Russia, twice the price they were in 2010, and the big odds have not put punters off as Ladbrokes reported that the Three Lions have been the third most popular team in terms of number of bets placed, behind Germany and France. Spain and Brazil come next ahead of Northern Ireland at 750-1.

Match in Focus

20:00 TODAY BT2

Man City v Hoffenheim

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Hoffenheim have never won a Champions League game
Expert verdict
Manchester City need just a point to gain a potentially advantageous Champions Leauge knockout stage tie and they should top the group with ease. Hoffenheim must win in order to qualify for the Europa League but the German club do not have the steel to hold off the English champions.



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