So – back to the Internationals. A lot of mis-matches often mean a severe lack of value, which you will find when you look at the match odds! I’ve picked out 8 games in the first round of games (Thursday to Saturday) that I feel represent good value, with an Acca that covers the three days:
1. Croatia Over 2.5 Team Goals @ 7/4 vs Azerbaijan (Group H, 1700 KO)
Croatia are top of their group, but have Italy and Norway breathing down their necks. In the corresponding fixture, Croatia mauled Azerbaijan and won 6-0. Their squad is pretty similar, and with the likes of Brozovic and Kovacic – youngsters who have made their big moves this summer, I feel they will be far too much for a poor Azeri side. 7/4 to score 3+ is great odds!
2. Wales Over 1.5 Team Goals @ 11/10 (Group B, 1945 KO)
Wales have scored 2 or more in 3 of their 6 games so far – and with a near full-strength side – I think they should beat a poor Cyprus team whom they beat 2-1 last year – and only scored 2 because they were down to 10 men for 40 minutes. Cyprus are doing okay, beating the likes of Bosnia so far but a loss here and they are out of it. 11/10 seems a great price for such a likely bet!
3. Holland-Iceland BTTS @ 6/4 (Group A, 1945 KO)
Holland have been very poor since the World Cup, with losses in this group stage to both Iceland and Czech Republic. Lost 5 of the 10 games since winning the 3rd place playoff – and with Iceland looking good for qualification, even a draw for them here should see them in good stead for a place in France next summer. Iceland have had BTTS in 6 of their last 7 matches, and won 6 of their last 10 games. Holland have had BTTS in 5/10, but played some pretty poor teams. Iceland won this game last time, and I fancy them to take something this time around as well.
4. Norway Draw No Bet @ 13/8 vs Bulgaria (Group H, 1945 KO)
Norway look a safe bet for the playoff’s at the moment. With Italy and Croatia to play, the two sides they have lost against – it seems likely. They beat Bulgaria 2-1 at home, and also won 2 other games. A win tomorrow should give them enough to put pressure on the top two but too much for anyone to catch them. Bulgaria are their main competition for this 3rd place, so a win should secure them a shot at next year’s group stage!
5. Scotland Win @ 1/1 vs Georgia (Group D, 1700 KO)
Scotland are currently in 3rd, two points clear of Ireland in 4th. With Germany and Poland likely to take the top two places, this is a key game. They win this, and they are in a great position to go into the play-offs. Lose or draw, and Ireland are going to break Gibraltar in two and then go ahead of them in the group with just three games to play. They won this game 1-0 last time, but what is key is form. Georgia have lost 7 of their last 10, only beating Gibraltar, Malta and Saudi Arabia. Scotland have won 5/10, but played admirably against Germany and took a point against Poland and Ireland
6. Hungary-Romania Under 1.5 Goals @ 11/8 (Group F, 1945 KO)
These two are perennial low scorers – Romania have a total of 8 goals (7 scored, 1 conceded) while Hungary have 8 goals (5 scored, 3 conceded). The tie ended up 1-1 last time, but in the group Hungary have had 4 under 1.5’s in their last 5 games and Romania have the same record in their last 5 games overall. Could easily be a 0-0, and both are pretty much certain of at least a playoff place with Greece, the Faroe’s and Finland unlikely to get anywhere near enough points to catch the two of them and N Ireland.
7. England -5 Handicap @ 6/5 v San Marino (Group E, 1700 KO)
England have encountered San Marino three times in recent times. 5-0, 5-0 and 8-0 wins – and at half time the scores have been 2-0, 2-0 and 5-0. England have struggled to break them down, but this time with the likes of Walcott, The Ox and Sterling turning the full backs inside out, I feel England will bag at least 7 goals. Rooney is chasing the top England goal-scorer record, while the likes of Harry Kane will get time and be far too much for the part-timers to handle. -2 First Half Handicap was tempting, but like mentioned above, 2-0 and 2-0 scorelines put me off. Away from home – less pressure and I forsee a penalty and even an own goal. Expect England to have at least 75% possession and pepper the goal for 90 minutes. If they don’t score at least 6 they need shooting.
8. Luxembourg-Macedonia Over 2.5 Goals @ 43/40 (Group C, 1700 KO)
Bar one 1-1 draw, Luxembourg have conceded and lost all other games. 3-0, 3-0, 3-0, 4-0 and 3-2. The other meet was a 3-2 win for Macedonia – and bar that Macedonia have also lost all other games. These two are awful, and for that reason alone there should be goals!
My suggested Accumulator is the following:
1. England -5 Goal Handicap @ 6/5
2. Wales Over 1.5 Team Goals @ 11/10
3. Scotland Win @ 1/1
4. Hungary-Romania Under 1.5 Goals @ 11/8
That pays 20/1, and if you add:
5. Croatia Over 2.5 Team Goals @ 7/4
6. Luxembourg-Macedonia Over 2.5 Goals @ 43/40
That is 125/1!
All 8 in an accumulator pays a grand total of 820/1!
Best of luck