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England v Slovenia
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England v Slovenia Prediction, Tips and Odds: Rice 9/4 to test Slovenia keeper

Gareth Southgate's England side received criticism for their performance in the 1-1 draw with Denmark on Thursday and showing signs of improvement against Slovenia could be just as important as the result in Cologne.

The Racing Post's Mark Langdon has picked out his three best bets for the Cologne clash, including two markets which might be worth considering in a bet builder.

England v Slovenia Betting

England v Slovenia betting tips and predictions

Early goal before 28:00 - 5/6

There have been many issues for England in Germany during their Euros campaign, but early goals have not been among them and it could be worth backing another fast start against Slovenia in Cologne.

It has been a tournament of early goals and England have played their part in that.

Jude Bellingham broke the deadlock after 13 minutes against Serbia in the 1-0 win and Harry Kane was off the mark inside 20 minutes for Thursday's otherwise disappointing 1-1 draw with Denmark.

There are many different theories as to why England have been unable to push home their advantage, with team selection criticised, substitutions scrutinised and the fitness of the squad questioned, but this is nothing new for Southgate's England.

Kieran Trippier gave England the perfect start in the 2018 World Cup semi-final against Croatia, scoring after five minutes before the Three Lions retreated and ultimately lost in extra-time. 

It was the same story in the last European Championship final, only Luke Shaw put England ahead even earlier (two minutes) before Italy equalised and won on penalties.

Whether England can sustain their early intent remains to be seen, but a goal before 28:00 minutes looks a good bet.

Slovenia shipped after just 17 minutes against Denmark and, while all of the action came in the second half in their 1-1 draw with Serbia, they are an open side with a 4-4-2 formation offering attacking intent through Benjamin Sesko, but it also means they could be troubled by England's forwards.

Declan Rice to have over 0.5 shots on target - 9/4

England's midfield has been the subject of much debate and it's clear something needs to be changed with the total of four points in Group C masking performances below the standard expected of a team which went into the tournament as favourites.

There is still time for Southgate to get it right - but alterations will be needed - and this looks the perfect time to try something else.

The experiment of Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield has not gone to plan and, following his early hooking against Denmark, it seems logical to expect a more natural player to go into the heart of the engine room alongside Declan Rice.

That in turn could help Rice to flourish. He was exceptional for Arsenal in the Premier League, but has not been able to show his best in Germany, possibly because of Alexander-Arnold's lack of understanding of his positioning next to him.

If Southgate alters the midfield there could be some value in backing Rice to have a shot on target and the more speculative may even want to consider the 9/1 about him scoring.

Rice had an effort on target against Denmark and it's also worth noting that Slovenia have looked uncomfortable when defending set-pieces, a weakness Serbia took advantage of when Luka Jovic equalised right at the death in Thursday's 1-1 draw.

Therefore, the Arsenal man could take advantage of any lapses in concentration from free kicks or corners as well as from open play.

Adam Cerin to be booked - 10/3

Slovenia's 4-4-2 formation is giving them opportunities to press opponents and create chances with Sesko the star man and his forward partner, former Middlesbrough man Andraz Sporar, an ever-willing runner who happily chases down opposition defenders.

However, that often leaves spaces elsewhere and Slovenia are normally a player short in midfield as a consequence of fielding two out-and-out strikers. 

Slovenia midfielder Adam Cerin has committed nine fouls in two games in Germany, but has so far managed to escape the attention of the referees to go unpunished despite consistent minor misdemeanours. He might not be so lucky this time.

Serbia had two midfielders booked against England - Nemanja Gudelj and Dusan Tadic - while Denmark's Christian Norgaard also received a yellow card, so it looks like the right area of the pitch to target for a bet in this player market.

Much has been made of England's midfield woes but Bellingham, Rice and Phil Foden are world-class talents who need to be stopped, whether by fair means or foul.

Read more football betting tips and predictions on site

England v Slovenia odds

England - 4/11
Draw -
Slovenia -

View the full market and more odds for England v Slovenia on site

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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