An interesting weekend ahead, with the 5th round of Euro 2016 qualifiers between Friday and Sunday. It also provides a huge problem, which is that in these games, with many mis-matches between top 20 nations and minnows, odds are very poor for the main markets – so it’s more a challenge to find good value. As usual, we pick 10 games – but this time just one tip for each. All bets this weekend are from Bet 365, as William Hill are being monumentally slow in pricing up most games, if at all. Games are in order of Friday to Sunday.
1. Slovakia -2 Goals @ 13/10 vs Luxembourg
Slovakia have the best chance of qualifying in years! Although they qualified for the 2010 World Cup, it’s been less than 2 decades since they became independant from the Czech Republic. Marek Hamsik and Martin Skrtel are the standout players, that also include Vlad Weiss, Filip Holosko and Miroslav Stoch. On to recent form – 4 wins from 4 so far, even beating Spain 2-1 recently. Luxembourg have a pretty poor record, 3 losses and a 1-1 draw with Belarus. Slovakia need to really hammer home the advantage in these games and get points on the board – nearly there now, only a couple more wins and they will be in France next summer!
2. Spain-Ukraine BTTS @ 13/8
Defensively, Spain have been poor recently. Lost 2-1 to Slovakia, and conceded to Macedonia in a 5-1 win. Ukraine have the same record – 3 wins and a loss – a 1-0 loss to Slovakia…Both obviously have their talented players – and with Konoplyanka and Yarmolenko running the flanks, Spain could have a torrid night.
3. England -2 Goals @ 6/5 vs Lithuania
England look like going with Rooney and Kane up front in an old fashioned 4-4-2…could they be the new Shearer and Sheringham? Either way, Lithuania have won 2/4, but lost to Slovenia and Switzerland, and scored just 2 vs San Marino. If England get on the scoreboard early, it could be similar to the Swiss’ 4-0 win over the Balkan side. England’s pace and power could be way too much, and I’m expecting a Penalty to be scored @ 7/2 for the home side. 4 wins from 4 – just 2 away from official qualification I would think!
4. Sweden Win + Under 2.5 Goals @ 2/1
Sweden have been poor of late, with no wins in their last 5 away games. However Moldova are equally poor, if not worse. Even with Zlatan (although I cannot find their squad list for the upcoming game) Not many of either’s games go over 2.5, and I can’t see past an easy 1-0 or 2-0 win for Sweden this time.
5. Iceland -1 Goal vs Kazakhstan
Iceland have won all of their games so far, bar the loss to the Czech’s, by -1. Kazakhstan have lost 3 of their 4 games by -1, and only managed a draw with Latvia. They do tend to score the odd goal, but always concede 3. Iceland are a very good side, and with the likes of Sigthorsson and Finnbogason up front, with Eider Gudjohnnsen kicking about in midfield with Gylfi Sigurdsson too, you can’t see past an easy Iceland victory – and with Holland breathing down their necks, they need to win to stay 2nd with the Dutch playing Turkey
6. Holland -1 Goal @ 5/4 vs Turkey
These two faced off in the last World Cup qualifying section, and on both occasions Holland won 2-0 both times. They may have lost to the Czech’s and Iceland, but losing to Turkey would be a new low. With the quality of the Dutch side, I cannot see it happening. At home as well, I see a 2/3 goal victory.
7. Bosnia -2 Goals @ Evens vs Andorra
Andorra have conceded 17 goals in 4 games so far, losing all but a 2-1 loss to Wales by 3 or more. Bosnia, after getting to the World Cup, have been abhorrent, losing to Cyprus 2-1 and Israel 3-0, while drawing with Wales and Belgium. If they want to finish 3rd, it starts Saturday. Dzeko and Ibisevic, as well as Besic, Pjanic and more – they should really hammer this shoddy Andorra side. -3 @ 7/4 is tempting, but go safe with -2 @ Evens.
8. Italy Win + Under 2.5 Goals @ 9/4 vs Bulgaria
Italy win most of their games in a low scoring match. Even the likes of Norway and Malta they only managed 1-0 and 2-0 wins. They seem to get ahead, and simply see out the game. Bulgaria are a pretty poor side – a win against Azerbaijan followed by a 1-1 draw with Malta. Again, these two were grouped together for the World Cup quals for the 2014 World Cup, with 1-0 and 2-2 results.
9. Czech Rep Win + Over 2.5 Goals @ Evens vs Latvia
The Czech side have conceded in all 4 games so far, winning all four however. This bet would have landed in all games for them – while Latvia have lost 3-0, 6-0 while drawing 0-0 and 1-1 with Kazakhstan and Turkey. Czech’s also have a very good team – Tecl, Darida, Rosicky, Cech, both Kadlec’s and more! A very underrated side in my opinion. Two more wins should see them qualify for the competition next season.
10. Germany -2 Goals @ 11/10 vs Georgia
Georgia are actually a decent side – don’t concede many, bar a 4-0 thrashing by Poland a few months ago. Germany scored just 4 against Gibraltor, but I think were merely sparing the side any embarrassment, which was nice in a way…They now see themselves joint 2nd, so need to pull away from Scotland and Ireland and secure a top 2 finish. I fancy a 3/4-0 win
Tips should be up tomorrow morning, with a couple of Accumulators and a selected NAP from these selections, I have tried to pick good value, and as you can see there was none to be had in normal markets such as the basic Win-Draw-Win. Last time out in November I picked some corking handicap bets, winning myself a 33/1 accumulator, and a 12/1 -1 double for many a punter.
Best of luck!