With a place in the 2018 World Cup in Russia already guaranteed, but subject to much criticism for his weak football, England closes on Sunday, October 8, his participation in the European qualifiers. In match that is part of the schedule of the tenth round faces Lithuania in the LFF stadionas in Vilnius. The kickoff is scheduled for 13h (Brasília time).
Lithuania’s recent performance
For the selection of Lithuania the match also only serves to meet table. With five six points (one wins, three draws and five losses), the team occupies the fifth place in group F and that position will not leave. After all, Slovenia, ranked fourth, has 14 points and can not be exceeded. Malta, holding the flashlight with just one point, also does not threaten the Lithuanian team.
The only point won by the Malta team in the dispute so far has been precisely against the selection of Lithuania. On Thursday, October 5, the selections were in the 1 to 1. A shame for the Lithuanians.
The current form of England
The England playoff game had more off-field thrills than on the four lines. The team started the fight with coach Sam Allardyce. However, after a win at the premiere, the coach, who replaced Roy Hodgson, fired after a vexing elimination of Euro 2016 against tiny Iceland, ended up having to ask for the hat.
He was caught in a report requesting bribes to circumvent the rules of the English Federation for hiring foreign players. This made Gary Southgate, then “Big Sam” assistant technician, put on the spot. Southgate added the points expected in that position and ended up being put in the position.
It took the English to the Russian World without any fright. But without any enchantment. His conservative game style, with a lot of ball possession and little creativity with the ball dominance, has been the subject of much criticism.
Despite restrictions made by analysts and former players, it served to take the team to the first place of the key F with a round of anticipation. In the ninth round, at home, the English scored 1-0 in Slovenia, with a goal scored in extra time, reaching 23 points (seven wins and two draws).
Even with the classification, the crowd booed the performance. As he needed only equality, the English Team did not venture into the attack and waited for the despair of the Slovenians, who had an obligation to win, to get the goal in the end when the rival was less attentive in the defense.
Having the game against Lithuania as the starting kick-off of the 2018 World Cup preparation, the question is what Southgate is about. It is believed that, with the guaranteed spot, the coach can post the team more offensively, taking more risks.
Although this is the hope of those who want to see better quality football, the fact is that the conservative system set up by the coach has brought positive results. With three goals, England completed the ninth round as the undisputed leader of the undercard. A feat considering that the English goal is defended by weak goalkeeper John Hart, the first to be dismissed from Manchester City with the arrival of coach Pepe Guardiola.
History of the matches
The English won all three matches against Lithuania without taking a single goal. In the first round of the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia the success was by 2 to 0.