James Moore: Losing streak

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The Independent Football

Today's bets: England v Slovenia, Draw at 100-30

Slovenia to win at 7-1

England are priced at a prohibitive 1-2 to beat Slovenia, and I'm not backing England at that price. No way. Nor are many others. Ladbrokes yesterday said they had taken more money on Slovenia to win at 6-1 (you can get sevens with Paddy Power). There's not a lot of faith in England and it's all too easy to see why.

The bookies have taken £10m on England during this World Cup. And I've contributed some of that. Not to win, you understand. I've never believed the national side were worth backing at the pre-tournament odds of 8-1. I still don't believe they're backable at the 11-1 they've drifted to.

I veer between deep pessimism that tomorrow will see a repeat of Friday night's debacle to the occasional flickers of optimism when I think surely, surely a 2-0 victory can't be beyond England (you can get 11-2 with Blue Square). The problem with betting on this game is that I just can't be sure which England will turn up: the one that destroyed Croatia 5-1 in qualifying or the one we've endured over the past few days. So my advice is to sit on the sidelines, although there's an argument for having a small bet on the draw and on Slovenia winning to cushion the blow of crashing out (and pay for the drowning of sorrows that could be all too necessary).

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