The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup continues this week and on Tuesday 18th June England take on Afghanistan in the group stage of the competition. The hosts will hope to play in-front of a packed crowd at Old Trafford in Manchester.
England will start the match in 4th place in the group, with the top four progressing to the semi-final. A win could take them up to the top of the table. Afghanistan sit bottom of the group and are still searching for their first point of the competition.
England started the 2019 Cricket World Cup as the favourites to win the tournament and they remain up there along with India.
The hosts have won three of their four matches to date in the tournament. England started with a good win over South Africa, defeating their opponents by 104 runs to make a very convincing start to the event. However, they slipped up in their second game against Pakistan and lost by 14 runs, which was a shock result.
England returned to winning ways, as expected against Bangladesh and then went on to defeat the West Indies by 8 wickets. Even with the possibility of playing without Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan, England should have more than enough to win this game.
The bookmakers agree and England are the 1/20 favourites with Betfair to win the match.
Afghanistan were predicted to struggle at this World Cup and that’s exactly how it has developed. They faced a tough ask in their opening game against Australia and lost the match by 7 wickets. Their second game was one they hoped they would win against Sri Lanka but the weather played a part and Sri Lanka won on the DLS method.
Another difficult task followed against New Zealand and Afghanistan has no answer to the Black Caps bowling attack as they were bowled out for just 172 runs in defeat. Then came another loss on the DLS method, this time in Cardiff against South Africa.
Time is running out for Afghanistan to get a point on the board and this is highly unlikely to be the match where it is going to happen.
Afghanistan are the huge outsiders to win the game at 10/1 with William Hill.
With Roy and Morgan likely to miss out with injury, much of the attention will fall on Jonny Bairstow in the England batting line-up. Bairstow has scored 128 runs to date at an average of 32 and will be hoping to make his most significant contribution with the bat in this game. You can back Bairstow at 10/3 with 888 to be the top run scorer.
The Old Trafford pitch had something for the spin bowlers in the match between India and Pakistan. Rashid Khan will be keen to show what he can do having suffered a disappointing World Cup to date. You can back Khan at 11/8 with William Hill to be the top bowler for Afghanistan.