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So why does watching them so often feel like a waste of time? Maybe it’s the fact that their last match, against Montenegro in March, was that clichéd game of two halfs, with England seemingly entrenched in their own one for 45 minutes, resulting in a 1-1 draw that’s left them in a precarious position for qualification. Maybe it’s because manager Roy Hodgson lacks the necessary chutzpah and confidence. Or maybe it’s because England have a worrying tendency to fold under pressure.
Whatever it is, we’ll be reluctantly glued to ITV hopefully watching them net a slew of goals against low-lying Moldova. And on ITV, at least the punditry of Lee Dixon and Roy Keane can usually be relied on for a nervous laugh. The other home nations will be in action on assorted Sky Sports channels.