England v Australia Preview – ICC Champions Trophy 2017

England may be through to the semi finals of the ICC Champions Trophy but in all probability, Australia will have to win this in order to progress themselves. Unless we get another washout in Friday’s game between New Zealand and Bangladesh, a point is unlikely to be enough.

Weather forecasts remain poor for the next two days but we have to ignore those and assess both teams on form ahead of this final match in Group A.

Match Odds

This is the tightest market we’ve seen at the Champions Trophy so far this year with England just narrowly ahead at 1.83 with Betfair. Meanwhile, if you’re backing Australia, they are the marginal outsiders at best odds of 2.00 with Bet365.

It’s impossible not to think about the potential of Duckworth Lewis to ruin another game and the toss could certainly be important in this one. England have been lucky enough to avoid the poor weather and they’ve given two strong displays that seem to justify their position as pre-tournament favourites.

Australia, meanwhile, were struggling against New Zealand whose bowlers exploited damp conditions perfectly. England have been good enough to suggest that they should be shorter but, at their best and with a little luck in terms of toss and conditions, the Aussies are a value pick at that 2.00 price.

Match Odds Summary: England 1.83 (Betfair), Australia 2.00 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick).

Top Batsmen

England’s Joe Root has top scored in both of the opening matches so it’s obvious that he should be favourite to do so again at a top price of 3.75 with Bet365 and Betfair. Alex Hales has also been in good touch, making two half centuries, and the Notts Outlaw is quoted at 4.33 with Bet365.

Jason Roy has, however, been badly out of nick and has therefore drifted to 5.50 with Bet365 and you can also find that 5.50 price for Eoin Morgan with Bet365 and Betfair. Root would be our selection here but there is some excellent value against the names of Ben Stokes at best odds of 8.00 with Bet365 and Jos Buttler at 9.00 with Bet365 and Betfair.

In Australia’s top batsman betting, David Warner and Steve Smith are joint favourites at 3.75 with both Bet365 and Betfair. Aaron Finch follows at best odds of 5.00 with Bet365 while Moises Henriques and Glenn Maxwell could be good middle order punts if the top four fall early. Henriques is on offer at 8.00 with Bet365 while Maxwell is quoted at 7.50 with Betfair.

The two men for us are Warner and Smith and you could even punt on both: It’s close, but Warner was looking solid when rain fell in the match against Bangladesh so we’ll keep faith with the left hander.

Top Batsman Odds Summary: England: Root 3.75 (Bet365), Hales 4.33 (Bet365), Roy 5.50 (Bet365), Morgan 5.50 (Bet365), Stokes 8.00 (Bet365), Buttler 9.00 (Bet365).

Australia: Warner 3.75 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick), Smith 3.75 (Bet365), Finch 5.00 (Bet365), Maxwell 7.50 (Betfair), Henriques 8.00 (Bet365).

Other Side Bets

When you’re not sure if the weather will allow you to get a full game in, the batting side bets such as Most Sixes, Century Scored, Powerplay etc become more of a lottery so we’ll finish with Australia’s top bowler.

Josh Hazlewood returned the second best figures in Champions Trophy history with 6/52 against New Zealand while Mitchell Starc ran through the Bangladesh tail in the second game. England’s batters should be more resilient but the bet should be between those two men. Hazlewood offers surprising value at an excellent top price of 4.50 with Bet365 but our tip relies on the left arm swing and pace of Starc who is shorter at 3.75 with Betfair.

Australian Top Bowler Odds Summary: Starc 3.75 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), Hazlewood 4.50 (Bet365), Cummins 4.50 (Bet365), Zampa 5.00 (Bet365).

In a full game, Australia’s bowlers could hold the key against this impressive English top order. The expected rain makes this less certain and we’ll certainly wait for the toss but with conditions in their favour, the Aussies should just edge this.