England backed for top spot
Sky Bet identify where the money's going ahead of England's final World Cup qualifier
By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @skyjamiecasey
Last Updated: 15/10/13 5:27pm
Sky Bet's patriotic punters have been backing England in abundance ahead of their must-win final group game against Poland on Tuesday.
England are odds-on to claim the three points they need in order to guarantee automatic qualification for next year's World Cup in Brazil and it's a one-sided book with the large majority of bets backing the hosts at Wembley.
With Ukraine - England's only contenders for the automatic spot - highly likely to secure three points against San Marino, anything less than a win for the favourites should see the Group H leaders drop into the play-offs.
Roy Hodgson's men are 1/4 to stay top of the group and 1/16 to qualify by any means, but were in a near-identical situation back in 1973 and subsequently failed to beat Poland despite favourable odds.
On this occasion, though, the visitors have no chance of qualifying at England's expense, with their only apparent motivation being to finish third in the group ahead of Montenegro.
The sides drew 1-1 at Wembley 40 years ago and it's 10/1 for history to repeat itself, though aside from that result the Poles hold a poor head-to-head record with England, having beaten them just once in 18 attempts.
It was also 1-1 when the sides met last year, when Wayne Rooney opened the scoring - as he did against the Montenegrins on Friday - and the Manchester United forward is the favourite to continue that trend.
Sky Bet's Dale Tempest said: "For once, bookmakers will be hoping to pay out on the favourite as a summer without our nation at the World Cup doesn't bear thinking about.
"We're as patriotic as the punters and on this occasion we're all on the same side, so here's hoping we're celebrating an England win on Tuesday night."
Meanwhile, Sky Bet are taking bets on who will make the 23-man squad should England qualify, with Andros Townsend, Fraser Forster and Rickie Lambert all gaining support from the punters.