World Cup 2019, Match 24, England vs Afghanistan Match Prediction: Who will win today's match
It has been a near-perfect World Cup 2019 for the co-hosts England so far. A shock defeat at the hands of an unpredictable Pakistan team ensured that they tightened all loose ends, especially their fielding and catching, which were the difference between victory and defeat against the Asian outfit.
Following their loss to Pakistan, England have defeated Bangladesh and West Indies comprehensively in consecutive games. In their last match, the England bowlers put the Windies batsmen under tremendous pressure as the Caribbean found Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes too hot to handle. Even injuries to Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan couldn't stop England from winning the game comfortably.
England can be thrilled by the fact that Joe Root was in sublime form against West Indies in their last game, scoring a superb century. It's very tough to see England cooling down and taking things easy against minnows Afghanistan at Old Trafford today.
Morgan should likely be fit for today's clash, but even if there is a slight chance of his injury flaring up, the skipper would not be risked against Afghanistan. However, Roy is certain to miss the game with a hamstring tear.
Afghanistan came into the tournament on a positive note, but things haven't gone according to plan for them in England and Wales. They have lost all the four matches they have played thus far, and presently find themselves rock-bottom in the points table.
Controversies too have played a part in Afghanistan's dismal World Cup campaign. They made Gulbadin Naib the captain days before the start of the World Cup, and their fiesty opener and wicket-keeper Mohammed Shehzad was sent home due to an injury, but later on Shehzad himself came out and said that he was fit and was forcefully removed from the squad.
On a whole, England look settled as they have got all bases covered. Since this match will be played on the same ground where Kuldeep Yadav dominated Pakistan with his leg-spinners last Sunday, both England and Afghanistan's spinners should enjoy bowling at Old Trafford.
It goes without saying that England will win today's game, even if the spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi get to trouble the co-hosts. One hopes to get a full game of cricket, and one which is not an one-sided contest.
Also see – Australia vs England head to head stats