HARRY KANE'S stoppage-time winner against Slovenia at Wembley secured England’s place at the 2018 World Cup so today's trip to Lithuania will give Gareth Southgate the chance to assess some of his players without the pressure of needing a result.
Unibet blogger Steve Jennings assesses the stats ahead of this free hit.
England have won 3 out of 3 v Lithuania
The Three Lions’ 2-0 win in March’s reverse fixture, thanks to goals from Jermain Defoe and Jamie Vardy, was their third victory in three meetings with Lithuania. England scored nine times across those three games without conceding a single goal.
The nations previously met in Euro 2016 qualifying. England won 4-0 at Wembley in March 2015 with Harry Kane scoring on his international debut, they then ran out 3-0 winners in Lithuania seven months later – Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck either side of an own goal.
England to win (4-11, Unibet)
England & Germany have conceded fewest goals in qualifying (3)
Slovakia’s early strike at Wembley last month was only the third goal England have conceded in the qualifying campaign. Leigh Griffiths’ two free-kicks in the 2-2 draw against Scotland back in June make up the three.
Only Germany have conceded as few as England in European qualifying. The Three Lions have let in more goals in their last two friendlies (4) than they have in nine qualifiers. With Sunday likely to feel a bit like a friendly England will have to be vigilant.
England to win to nil (11-10, Unibet)
Lithuania have lost five of their last six qualifiers
Sunday’s hosts ended a run of five consecutive qualifying defeats on Thursday with a 1-1 draw in Malta. Lithuania started the qualifying campaign by going three games unbeaten, winning one and drawing two. But five straight defeats soon left them second bottom in Group F with only Malta below them. Thursday’s draw took them up to six points, which is 17 points behind group leaders England. Edgaras Jankauskas’ side have scored just twice in their last six qualifiers.
Lithuania to win (8-1, Unibet)
Kane has scored three times more than any team-mate under Gareth Southgate
Kane’s late winner against Slovenia on Thursday was his sixth England goal since Southgate took over as manager. The only other players to score more than once during that time are Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Jamie Vardy (all 2). Eight of England’s last 10 goals have been scored or assisted by Tottenham players; six of those goals were scored by Kane, another by Eric Dier. Kane scored 13 goals for club and country in September and with one in one in October there’s a chance he could replicate those figures this month.
Over 4.5 match goals (19-5, Unibet)
Eight of England’s last 9 qualifying goals have come in the second half
England made yet another slow start in Thursday’s win against Slovenia, leaving it until stoppage time to find a winner. Eight of their last nine goals in World Cup qualifying matches have come after half-time. Even in the victory over Malta last month, the Three Lions took 53 minutes to make a breakthrough before going on to win 4-0 with two goals after the 90th minute. Thankfully England have already qualified and a lack of urgency in Lithuania won’t matter. But the fans will be expecting the team to strike earlier in future games.
England to win both halves (23-10, Unibet)