Dele Alli to lead Gareth Southgate’s new-look England in World Cup qualifying

England manager Gareth Southgate says Germany serve as an excellent example of a winning international setup.

The friendly business is out the way, now it’s time for the weekend’s crucial World Cup qualifiers. Here’s the best bets …

Alli can lead England in World Cup qualifier 

After their embarrassing Euro 2016 exit to Iceland, the signs are now encouraging for England under Gareth Southgate. They lost 1-0 to Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday night — Southgate’s first defeat as manager — but were dominant for long spells. Dele Alli and Adam Lallana thrived in an experimental 3-4-3 line up, with Southgate remarking afterwards: “We should have had the game won.”

They face Lithuania at home on Sunday and the bookmakers are not expecting the Three Lions to slip up. England top Group F by two points after three wins and a draw and should prove too hot for a Lithuanian side humbled 4-0 by Slovakia in November. There will be no Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney or Daniel Sturridge for England to call on at Wembley but they should still have enough quality to get the job done in front of a decent crowd.

Alli was bright from the first whistle against Germany and the Tottenham man is such a difficult player to subdue going forward. He gets into some great positions though at times does lack that clinical edge of a truly world class finisher. However, he should get a few chances in front of goal against Lithuania and looks a decent price at 7/5 with bet365 to score anytime.

Scotland to suffer against Slovenia

Elsewhere in the same group, Scotland look wholly unconvincing favourites in the betting to see off Slovenia. The Scots are currently second bottom of Group F and could only claim a 1-1 draw with Canada on Wednesday.

Confidence is clearly an issue for Gordon Strachan’s side, who needed a late goal to salvage a home point against Lithuania last year. Successive 3-0 away defeats to Slovakia and England followed and with this in mind, Slovenia look live underdogs here….

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