Here’s our England v South Africa betting preview of the opening match of the 2019 World Cup between hosts England and South Africa.



England Team news

England were the last team to finalise their squad. That had something to do with them wanting to come to some late conclusions once their ODI series against Pakistan was over but it also had quite a lot to do with the fact that they really were struggling to whittle it down to 15.

In the end Liam Dawson (who bizarrely didn’t play in any of those Pakistan games) and Jofra Archer were included and Joe Denly missed out, as did David Willey, perhaps the biggest surprise.


Likely XI: Roy, Bairstow, Root, Morgan (captain), Stokes, Buttler, Ali, Woakes, Archer, Plunkett, Rashid.


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South Africa Team News


It’s been a while since South Africa played an ODI so it’s hard to know what they’re thinking of terms of team selection. The biggest question mark is around who will open alongside Quinton de Kock. The ultra-experienced but out-of-form Hashim Amla or the less experienced but in-form Aiden Markram?

South Africa are unlikely to play more than one spinner so Imran Tahir is likely to be the only twirler for the first match.


Likely XI: Amla, de Kock, van der Dussen, du Plessis (captain), JP Duminy, Miller, Phehlukwayo, Rabada, Steyn, Ngidi, Tahir.


England v South Africa Betting: Match winner


  • England are ranked 1 in the ODI rankings; South Africa are 3..
  • England have won 46% of their matches against South Africa across all completed ODIs.
  • Looking at the last four years, England have won 50% of their matches (8) against South Africa.
  • England have won two of their last three matches against South Africa.
  • England have won 5 of their last 9 matches against SA played in England with one no result.


Betting Maestro says: In England v South Africa betting, Faf du Plessis’ men are a best price of 3.1 best price on the Betfair Exchange.



At first glance that looks like a very good price.

However, the England team of now is unrecognisable to that of five or 10 years ago with their powerful batting line-up, much-improved fielding and variety of their bowling attack. In Jofra Archer they have raw pace, in Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali two very different types of spinners and in Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes more traditional seam bowlers. The match winner is a hard market to call.


The Venue- The Oval


Unfortunately, we can’t have a good idea of how the pitch might play because the one ODI scheduled for the Oval this summer (against Pakistan) was washed out before a ball was bowled. What we can tell you is that England are on a four-match winning streak there having beaten Australia, the West Indies, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka there since June 2016.

With the exception of a low-scoring match against a poor Australia side last summer where they posted just 214 which was easily chased, the team batting first has generally passed 300 with one batsman getting to a century. Looking at ODIs including matches not involving England, here are the last 10 scores batting first.


Last 10 completed matches at The Oval


Team Batting First:  Australia    Score:   214     Century scored batting first: No

Team Batting First:  West Indies    Score:   356     Century scored batting first: Yes

Team Batting First: India    Score:   338     Century scored batting first: Yes

Team Batting First:  South Africa    Score:   191    Century scored batting first: No

Team Batting First:  India    Score:   321     Century scored batting first: yes

Team Batting First:  South Africa    Score:   299     Century scored batting first: Yes

Team Batting First:  Bangladesh     Score:   305     Century scored batting first: Yes

Team Batting First:  Sri Lanka    Score:   305    Century scored batting first: No

Team Batting First:  New Zealand   Score:   398     Century scored batting first: Yes

Team Batting First:  South Africa    Score:   175     Century scored batting first: No



Betting Maestro says:


So 300 was breached six times out of the last 10 by the side batting first (note the 299 posted by South Africa which fell just one run short) and in six of those first innings totals a player from the side batting first scored a century. So it could pay to go big on first innings run on the Betfair Exchange though ods on a first innings century are all too short to be advised.



England v South Africa Betting: England Top Batsman

Looking at the last year, here’s who has top scored the most often from 23 completed innings. Where there’s a 0.5 after a number it’s because they dead-heated.


Jason Roy: 5

Jos Buttler: 4.5

Joe Root: 3

Eoin Morgan: 3

Alex Hales: 2.5

Jonny Bairstow: 2

Ben Stokes: 2

Ben Foakes: 1


Betting Maestro says: Jason Roy is only fourth for most runs scored over that period but he played a lot less matches than the likes of Root and Morgan. And his average is lower than the two just mentioned, plus Bairstow, Stokes and Buttler. Bairstow by the way is one of our tips for top tournament runscorer.

But the reason for that is that because he opens, he’s a lot less likely to have not outs to boost that average than guys coming in at 4, 5 or 6.

The most important factor is the number of times each player has top scored in the last year. Roy is just ahead of Buttler in this regard but has the edge over him because he opens and Buttler down at 5 or 6 may not have much of a chance to bat, especially if it’s a good wicket. The Oval is also Roy’s home ground so that helps his cause.


Best England v South Africa betting tip: Back Jason Roy to be England top batsman @ 4.5 with Unibet


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