SPORTS BETTING : Incisive England to brush aside Poland

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The Independent Online
England (4-11 with William Hill) are a sound bet to beat Poland in their World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Wednesday night. It was once fashionable to oppose England but the national side have come a long way in recent years. Going out in the semi-finals only on penalties to the eventual Euro 96 winners Germany was the performance of a side now among the best in the world. And while beating Moldova 3-0 is no claim to fame, the efficiency which Glenn Hoddle's side displayed confirms them a serious international force.

Italy (1-6), should follow up Saturday's 3-1 victory in Moldova at home to Georgia, while Scotland (1-5) should beat Estonia away following their 2-0 win in Latvia on Saturday.

Russian are 4-5 to beat Israel away, but Israel impressed when beating Bulgaria 2-1 at home and could force a draw (11-5).

The Czech Republic (11-8), who came so close to winning Euro 96, showed they had lost none of their summer flair when beating Malta 6-0 and, can beat Spain at home.

William Hill have displayed rare myopia as far as their core source of turnover - horse-racing - is concerned by making Frankie Dettori evens favourite to win the BBC Sports Personality of The Year. Dettori may be the new Lester Piggott, but even Piggott found racing's minority sporting niche too great an obstacle to overcome in this wider arena.

The British want a British world champion and Frankie, frankly, does not fit the bill. If the voting goes to form the winner will definitely be either the Olympic Gold medallist Steve Redgrave (6-4) or Damon Hill (5-2) if he wins the Formula One championship.