England to Get Back on Track

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England will play their first international match since the Euro 2020 final when they travel to Hungary on Thursday evening.

England captain Harry Kane

Gareth Southgate’s side lost on penalties to Italy at Wembley back in July, but the Three Lions have no time to rest on their laurels as they prepare to do battle at the Puskas Arena.

Northern Ireland are also in action, and the two sides will hopefully fare better than the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, who both tasted defeat in their 2022 World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday.

England to Set the Record Straight

Southgate’s men were so close yet so far from winning their first European Championship this summer, but they will hopefully use that disappointment to inspire them going forward.

England have already won their first three games during qualifying in Group I, while Hungary are on their tails, having won two and drawn one so far.

However, the record books are firmly in England’s favour, with the Three Lions unbeaten in their last 13 matches against Hungary.

Hungary have not won three World Cup qualifying matches in a row since April 2009, and they should find life tough on Thursday.

England have not lost a World Cup qualifier since 2009, while they have won seven on the bounce. Southgate’s side are 11/10 to win to nil, while they are 13/10 to win in the half-time/full-time market.

It’s Time for Northern Ireland to Strike

Lithuania host Northern Ireland in Group C on Thursday, and both sides will be looking for their first wins during qualifying.

Northern Ireland started their qualifying campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Italy, while Bulgaria held them to a goalless draw in March.

Lithuania have found life tough so far, but they have played the best two teams in the Group in Switzerland and Italy in their defence.

The Rinktine have lost seven games in a row, with their last victory coming in November last year. Northern Ireland’s squad is much stronger than the one that Valdas Ivanauskas has at his disposal, and they look good value to win at 4/5.

Entertaining Affair Expected at the Friends Arena

Sweden and Spain will return to action on Thursday night, having both made strong starts to qualification.

Both teams won their opening qualifiers back in March, and they also caught the eye at Euro 2020. Sweden and Spain narrowly missed out in the semi-finals, and the home side will be no pushovers.

Spain are not the powerhouse they once were, but they showed at the Euros that they could dominate matches with ease. Luis Enrique’s men struggled to shine in the final third, and there’s every chance they struggle to get the job done on Thursday.

While it looks difficult to pick a winner, both sides should find the back of the net at 1/1. Sweden have scored nine goals in their previous five matches at home, while Spain have found the back of the net in four of their last five matches on their travels.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Tom is a fantasy football fanatic who brings years of experience to bear when it comes to picking the best FPL players every week. Back in the real world of sports, Tom offers a strong insight into football and rugby league, whilst also having a good knowledge of several other sports including boxing, horse racing and American Football.

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