WORLD: Friendly International
Time: 5:00 PM
Venue: Riverside Stadium (Middlesbrough)
On a run of seven straight friendly wins (last achieved between June 1985 – May 1986), England (FIFA rank: #4) hope a first meeting with Romania (FIFA rank: #43) since 2000 can see them win six straight internationals for the first time since 2014/2015 to build crucial momentum ahead of Euro 2020. Hard to stop once ahead, the hosts have now won their last 11 matches in which they netted first – including Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Austria.
With five of their last six home games witnessing the same HT/FT outcome, the ‘Three Lions’ have conceded an average of just 0.33 goals per match across their last nine home internationals. Encouragingly, they’ve won all five home friendlies since the 2018 World Cup ‘to nil’ after opening the scoring before the 60th minute.
Romania’s feisty midweek 2-1 defeat to Georgia featured their opponents missing a penalty and both sides having a player sent off! Currently on a three-game losing run, the visitor’s recent matches have exploded into life after HT, with 14 (87.5%) of 16 goals across their last five games coming in the second half.
With nine of Romania’s last ten away internationals producing over 2.5 goals, entertainment is possible although a repeat of H2H wins in 1998 and 2000 seems unlikely as they’ve won just one of their last six away internationals (D1, L4). Furthermore, ‘Tricolorii’ haven’t excelled on foreign soil against sides inside the world’s top 25 since beating 19th-ranked Chile in May 2018 (W1, D1, L2).
Players to watch: Mason Mount has netted in two of his last four international appearances with his last three international goals being England’s second of the game. Romania’s Andrei Ivan has scored three goals in six games for club and country – the last two were his side’s first of the game..
- England’s form in last 5 matches: WWWWW.
- Romania’s form in last 5 matches: LLLWD
PREDICTION: Home and Over 1.5