England vs Lithuania: 10 things to know about the opponent
With England’s this year’s first Euro 2016 qualification game coming up, the UK-licensed online sportsbook TonyBet claims to have interrogated their Lithuanian football experts in order to find out more about England’s opponent.
With England’s first Euro 2016 qualification game this year coming up, the UK-licensed online sportsbook TonyBet claims to have interrogated their Lithuanian football experts in order to find out more about England’s opponent.
Here’s what they found out:
- Friday’s game will be the first one between England and Lithuania in history. Founded back in 1922, the Lithuanian Football Federation has never delegated a team to play against England.
- The current Lithuanian squad has two players representing clubs from Great Britain: defender Marius Zaliukas plays for Glasgow Rangers while youngster Simonas Stankevicius represents the Leicester City academy.
- In the entire Lithuanian football history, the country had only one man to play for a Premier League side. In 2000, Tomas Danilevicius signed a contract with Arsenal after scoring in a pre-season friendly against Barcelona. However, his career with the Gunners didn’t last as he left on loan after appearing in just three League and FA Cup games as a substitute.
- In September 2006, Lithuania drew 1-1 in a UEFA Euro qualification game in Naples against the freshly-baked World Cup winners Italy. It was none other than Danilevicius who scored on the Lithuanian side.
- With a total of 19 international goals, Danilevicius remains the all-time Lithuanian top goal scorer. He’s also third on the most appearances list with 71 caps for his country.
- Back in 2003, Lithuania drew 1-1 with Germany in Nuremberg. Tomas Razanauskas who scored for the Lithuanian side was then named Europe’s player of the week.
- Although Lithuania might boast some “impressive” draws, they also have some equally impressive defeats. In 2009, they lost 1:2 to the Faroe Islands in their World Cup qualification campaign while in 2012 Euro qualification Lithuania suffered a 0:2 defeat in Lichtenstein.
- Although Lithuania never played against England, they have a rather long-lasting history with Scotland. The teams played a total of seven games against each other with Scotland taking down four victories, recording two draws and Lithuania scoring one win.
- Lithuanians make up for one of the biggest immigrant groups in UK and are expected to fill their entire 1,500-seat sector at Wembley on Friday.
- Lithuania has never played in the final rounds of the UEFA Euro or the World Cup competitions.