First Goalscorer Odds
- England: Harry Kane 4/1, Daniel Sturridge 4/1, Jamie Vardy 5/1, Marcus Rashford 11/2, Wayne Rooney 13/2, Dele Alli 7/1, Raheem Sterling 9/1, Adam Lallana 9/1, Ross Barkley 10/1 - Sky Bet
- Slovakia: Marek Hamsik 21/2, Adam Nemec 21/2, Michal Duris 21/2, Stanislav Sestak 21/2, Ondrej Duda 11/1, Miroslav Stoch 11/1, Vladimir Weiss 13/1 - BetVictor
- No goalscorer: 9/1 - Sky Bet
- Eric Dier was the surprise first scorer for England in their 1-1 draw against Russia. Vardy and Sturridge netted in the 2-1 win over Wales, but only after Gareth Bale had given Wales the lead. Rooney is England’s record scorer with 52 international goals.
- Weiss opened the scoring for Slovakia in the 2-1 victory over Russia, before Hamsik added a stunning second. Ondrej Duda got Slovakia’s goal in their 2-1 defeat by Wales. Hamsik has the best goalscoring record of anyone in the Slovakia squad with an international tally of 18, followed by Stanislav Sestak on 13.
Kane has been trusted with the responsibility of leading the England line in the past couple of matches but has made little impact and the performances of Sturridge and Vardy from the bench against Wales added to the pressure on his place. Sturridge, in particular, was very sharp and justified those reports that he had been training exceptionally well to push for a starting spot.
He has the trickery to torment any defence and cool head to take his chances, so looks a good bet to open the scoring. He should start this time and can be backed at odds of 19/4 with BetVictor. Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring threat has been offset by his switch to a deeper role, while Dele Alli has yet to show the cutting edge which made him such a Premier League success for Tottenham Hotspur, but they are both contenders. Anyone who fancies more of a long shot might be inclined to consider Dier, who proved against Russia that he could strike a free-kick and also has the aerial ability to trouble Slovakia from set-pieces.
Hamsik is Slovakia’s standout contender to be the first goalscorer. The Napoli midfielder is capable of either scoring from distance, beating defenders with a piece of skill or making clever runs to latch onto passes and will entice some punters at 19/2 with BetVictor, but he is also his country’s most creative player and a slightly better option might be Duda, who is rated at 11/1 and played up front in the win over Russia following his goal against Wales.
Slovakia could win the group with a victory and it looks like being an open match, but England will be desperate to get off to a better start than they did against Wales and Sturridge could well be the man to shine.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Daniel Sturridge as first goalscorer - 19/4 at BetVictor
Please note, odds may fluctuate before the match.