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England in strong position ahead of Denmark game

We at Betfred are certainly keeping faith with England despite two below par performances against Iceland in the friendly defeat and our opening Euro Championship victory over Serbia.

England are rightly  favourites with us - and odds on to beat Denmark in the second group game on Thursday. Skipper Harry Kane is 3/1 with Betfred to get us up and running with the opener while Phil Foden and man of the moment Jude Bellingham are both 7/1 to score first.

Like everyone else I was disappointed with the performance against Serbia...but not the result which puts in in a great position to progress.

You do wonder about our midfield and the form of Foden, who is struggling to find the form he  produces every week for City.

Frankly you would have thought coach Gareth Southgate would have sorted out the tactics in this key part of the team....still there is time yet!

Despite this being the toughest spell so far for Wire coach Sam Burgess he has had time to praise three academy youngsters who have won selection for England under 19s.

Arron Lindop, Tom McKinney and Cai Taylor-Wray have been picked for the squad to play France here at the Halliwell Jones on July 2.

Burgess said of the trio: "It’s a good reward for them...they are all really good lads."

It's great that Burgess has taken time out to recognise the work going on behind the scenes to ensure the Wire are well prepared for the future. 

Burgess meanwhile expressed his faith in the first team who has now lost three times on the bounce to Wigan in the Betfred Challenge Cup as well as to the Warriors in Super League - and 25-14 at home to Salford on Friday.

Burgess believes the team are suffering a "tiny bit of a hangover" after the Wembley defeat but he assured fans his players are a different proposition to last season when they faded after a promising start.

Burgess said: "They don't give in. I love their effort. I'd never question that, " adding the team will get through the test of culture.

The slump in Warrington's form means they have now drifted out to 9/1 at Betfred for Super League Grand Final glory behind favourites and reigning champs Wigan at 4/5 - and Saints at 5/2. Next up are in form Hull KR at 10/1 and fading Catalans at 14/1.

Here's Oldham born Paul Sculthorpe's take on the wonderful world of RL. The legend of the game who is a Betfred TV pundit writes:

"You must know by now my mate and St Helens coach Paul Wellens is something of a perfectionist! I knew as  soon as he was interviewed post game he would be filthy with conceding a last-minute try against the London Broncos.

"Despite scoring 52 unanswered points in the first 79 mins, Wello admitted the final try of the game ‘stung’. That is the expectations of a club like St Helens, and it will no doubt be something mentioned in the video room this week, albeit certainly not dwelled on.

"For most of the match on Sunday, back at the Broncos spiritual home, The Stoop it was a pretty professional performance from the Saints. It was great to see over 5000 fans turn out for the game too -  the biggest crowd the home side have had in over 14 years.

"It was never going to be a classic, with such a vast difference in quality, with the Betfred Super League’s top team vs bottom. That was very quickly evident with a Waqa Blake double in the first 15 minutes.

"The guy who created both of these tries, later scored one and went on to receive the Betfred Man of the Match that's Moses Mbye.

"Playing at stand-off in place of injured skipper Jonny Lomax, Mbye yet again showed his quality. His coach Wellens said it was his best performance in the Red V to date.

"To be honest, I think Saints best performances on attack have been when Moses has been at the heart of things…be it filling in for Lewis Dodd or more recently Lomax. And for me would be staying there.

"He came to the UK with a big reputation from the NRL, and I think he's really  settled in and enjoying his football.

"These games can be mentally challenging for players, especially when it was quickly established that you are going to win convincingly - and the challenge is being clinical and not losing the standards of your performance. It can be easy to force passes that you wouldn’t usually throw and at times this happened.

"However, there was plenty of quality shown, especially after the break with hooker Daryl Clark scoring an eight minute hat trick. Loose forward James Bell was in fine form too, running the Broncos defence ragged, creating numerous tries, including two of Clarkys.

"Other notable performance were no nonsense young prop George Delaney, back rower Sione Matautia, and a special mention for Mark Percival who was deadly with the boot, kicking eight from nine.

"This weekend's fixture is certainly going to be a far tougher task, as we face the high-flying Salford Red Devils at the AJ Bell Stadium.

"Paul Rowley’s men come into the game on the back of a dominant win against the Warrington Wolves, and will be looking to improve on their current top half  place in the Betfred Super League table.

"Half back Mark Sneyd is playing some of the best rugby of his career, and someone the Saints defence will have to put under pressure. The rejuvenated Kallum Watkins is also a player in great form.

"I do believe this will be a close game, but am backing the visitors to take the two points with a win by more than ten points (7/4 at Betfred) and therefore remain in top spot.

"After just over half way through the season, unsurprisingly it’s Saints and Wigan that lead the way. Two teams who on recent form can certainly not be ignored are the Red Devils and third-placed Hull KR. In the meantime the Wire seem to have fallen off a cliff, losing their last three games."

Bricklayer Jimmy Edwards  sadly missed out on  becoming Betfred's second Geordie millionaire winner.

The 50 year old family man was  hoping to follow in the footsteps of the biggest winner in our history Micky Millions who  hails from the same Walker estate in  Newcastle.

Jimmy  has however  already won £75,000 from a £1 bet after beating  odds of 74,000/1 to correctly pick the three bonus balls in the Irish Lottery draws.

He picked 36 twice and 8 in the main Irish Lotto  draw to hit the jackpot in Betfred's own Bonus Ball Lotto game.

And as part of the Betfred game, he had the chance to make it a cool million if he could have chosen the bonus ball  when the main  Irish Lottery draw took place on Saturday

In a nod to Fathers Day he  opted for the birth date of his teenage daughter Jessamine....number 27 but should have picked his wife's birth date number 9 which did come out.

Jimmy - who is nicknamed Jammy Jimmy at the Betfred shop in Newcastle where he's a popular regular customer - plans to splash most of his £75,000 on a kitchen extension.

He won £98,000 only two years ago on the Irish Lottery which he spent paying off his mortgage and  a trip to the Philippines,  his wife's home country.

Jimmy said: "I have been a Betfred customer for thirty years and although I missed out on a million I  have already got £75,000 from a  £1 bet which isn't bad at all. I just don't know why I picked those bonus ball numbers...they just came to me. "

Micky Millions - real name Michael Clark - entered Betfred folklore after becoming the biggest winner in our 57 year history. The big hearted father of three  last year  totally transformed his life after winning an amazing £5.4 million from a £1.40 online slot game bet. 

This time last year Michael, aged 33 who won his huge windfall  on the King Kong Cashpots game had a special guest at his money no object wedding to long term partner Sherelle Pooley  at the St James Park home of his beloved Newcastle United... me and what a smashing do it was too! 

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