Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

Even if they lose you can win-win with England
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The Independent Online

There are two major international events involving England today but I sense a whiff of disillusion about both of them. The cricket team take on Sri Lanka from 9am after scraping through to the World Cup quarter-finals, while the footballers meet Wales in Cardiff in a European Championship qualifier, aiming to close the three-point gap on the Group G leaders, er, Montenegro.

Those are the bare facts – but you feel the cricket team have dissipated the momentum created by their World T20 and Ashes series wins, while the football team have still to recover credibility after a dire World Cup and a goalless draw in the last qualifier at Wembley against Montenegro. The embarrassing failure of the Football Association to land the 2018 World Cup and Fabio Capello's remote demeanour don't help.

Being so grumpy, it is probably wise not to bet, wise but impossible. I think Sri Lanka will put England out of the World Cup today, unless England are bold in playing leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who is also a decent batsman. But they'll probably go with the untested Surrey seamer Jade Dernbach – £15 win on Sri Lanka at 8-15, Totesport.

I quite fancied Wales to get a result against England but, without Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy's nuisance value and the class of Aaron Ramsey won't be enough to stop an England win – £10, at 4-9, Coral. Wayne Rooney, freed from his Manchester United midfield chains, may get the first goal – £10 at 4-1, Ladbrokes.

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