Three points was always a virtual guarantee in San Marino on Saturday, but the 6-0 success contained a few positive aspects. Jonjo Shelvey took full advantage of being handed a start to spray the expansive passes that have now become his trademark, forward duo Harry Kane and Theo Walcott – twice – both found the net with confidence boosting strikes, while Wayne Rooney’s early penalty saw him become his country’s joint highest scorer.
He will make it to 50 England goals one day, and he would love it to be here, especially in front of a near full house at Wembley. The Switzerland defence will not make it easy, having proved capable in the past of holding out the best sides in the world, but as an attacking unit the hosts clearly possess considerably more pace and menace, and have a number of very able options to call off the bench if need be.
In all honesty, this game is much more important for Switzerland, who have an outside chance of gaining qualification if they can emerge with a win. This chance was created by a miraculous comeback against Slovenia on Saturday, where they scored three goals in the final 10 minutes to overturn a two-goal deficit in order to leave them very much in pole position to follow England to the finals.
Josip Drmic scored twice in that match and provides the biggest threat to an England backline that has only conceded three goals in the campaign so far, and looks set to be part of a much more fluent Swiss side than the one that lost 2-0 in the reverse fixture a year ago, with manager Vladimir Petkovic recovering well from a poor start to his reign.
England are extremely likely to make changes for this one, with recalls expected for Manchester City duo Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling along with defender Gary Cahill, although boss Roy Hodgson does now have the freedom to experiment.