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15 October 2013

Roy Hodgson's men will guarantee a place at next year's World Cup with victory tonight

England are odds-on to claim the win they need in order to guarantee automatic qualification for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

With Ukraine highly likely to secure three points against San Marino, anything less than a win for England could see the Group H leaders drop into the play-offs. 

Roy Hodgson’s men are 1/4 to stay top of the group and 1/16 to qualify, but were in a near-identical situation back in 1973 and subsequently failed to beat Poland despite favourable odds.

On this occasion though the visitors have no chance of qualifying at England’s expense, with their only apparent motivation being to finish third in the group ahead of Montenegro.

The sides drew 1-1 in Wembley 40 years ago and it’s 10/1 for history to repeat itself, though aside from that result the Poles hold a poor head-to-head record with England, having beaten them just once in 18 attempts.

It was also 1-1 when the sides met last year, when Wayne Rooney opened the scoring - as he did against Montenegro on Friday – and the Manchester United forward is the favourite to continue that trend with his odds to net first Price Boosted to 9/2 (from 4/1).

Andros Townsend, who scored on his international debut, is 11/1 to score first and 4/1 to find the net in 90 minutes.

Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, who shone in last year’s Champions League campaign with Borussia Dortmund, is Boosted to 12/1 (from 9/1) to catch England cold and score the opener.

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*Odds subject to change

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