World Cup 2018 Qualifying // Europe // Game 2 Preview

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With the domestic football taking a small break again, the next round of World Cup qualifying games take place, with the 3rd next week. For many, it is a dull two weeks, with little interest in it. For others, even myself – I quite enjoy it. Something a bit different, and a bit of a challenge betting wise with such little value on offer.

Here are my 6 best bets for the next few days, with four between 1/1 and 6/4 and two a little bit higher:

Kosovo vs Croatia: Croatia -1 Goal Handicap @ 11/8 (Thursday, 1945 KO)

Kosovo made their World Cup debut in their last game, and earned a point against Finland, a game they should have won. Against tougher opposition in Croatia, I don’t think they will fare too well, but could potentially score. Croatia have a massively talented squad – young talent such as Marko Rog, Marko Pjaca and Ante Coric – the first two earning European moves to Napoli and Juventus. Then you have the likes of Brozovic, Madrid, Kovacic, Mandzukic etc – the list is endless. I think will win and win well, but defensively I don’t fully trust them, hence why I did not go with Win to Nil.

 

 

 

 

Iceland vs Finland: Iceland Win to Nil @ 7/5 (Thursday, 1945 KO)

Iceland have been a revelation in the last 2 years or so – very organised defensively and grab the all important goal or two when attacking – even against France and England! Against a poor Finland side, I see nothing more than a narrow 1 or 2 goal win, to nil.

I also quite like Win + Under 2.5 @ 12/5. International football has a funny way of being pretty boring at times, and with their record at home, and Finland’s away – it seems a very good value bet!

Armenia vs Romania: Romania Win @ 11/10 (Saturday, 1700 KO)

This has boring written all over it. Armenia’s last 10 home games has seen them fail to score on 7 occasions, and while Romania aren’t in the best of form – they have the better players. Take into account the fact that Armenia should be missing the services of Mkhitaryan, who is injured and not featured for Man Utd for a few weeks.

With Armenia struggling for goals – Win + Under 2.5 Goals @ 3/1 is incredible value!

Moldova vs Serbia: Serbia -1 Goal Handicap @ 21/20 (Thursday, 1945 KO)

Serbia are a bit like Belgium in a strange way – a lot of talented players, but never really achieve what they should. Mitrovic, Matic, Ivanovic, Begovic, Markovic, Grujic, Pjanic…the list goes on – but never put it together in qualifying.

Against Moldova, who lost 4-0 to Wales – I feel they should be fine. They have enough quality to overcome a very poor side.

Ireland vs Georgia: Ireland Win + Under 2.5 Goals @ 7/4 (Thursday, 1945 KO)

Ireland are a very handy side – especially under Martin O’Neil. The last time they lost a competitive game at home was about 3 years ago, and with wins over Bosnia, Germany and Georgia  in recent times (the latter a 1-0 win).

Georgia are a funny team – very hard to beat, but often give in in the end. They actually beat Spain in a recent friendly, but it was more a game that somehow Spain didn’t score, rather than Georgia playing particularly well. I can see a narrow win to nil, with Under 2.5 and an Ireland win.

Slovenia vs Slovakia: BTTS + Over 2.5 Goals @ 9/4 (Saturday, 1945 KO)

This is ridiculously overpriced in my eyes – Slovenia started with a 2-2 draw against Lithuania, while Slovakia threatened but eventually lost 1-0 against England. I think it will be between these two who finish 2nd, both have an array of attacking players – Hamsik, Mak and Weiss in terms of Slovakia, and then the likes of Birsa, Kampl and Robert Beric.

For me, Slovakia are the better side and at 21/10 very overpriced – a DNB would be a decent shout, but I see goals in this one!

Variations:

The four lower priced bets add up to a 23/1 accumulator, while the four higher priced bets add up to a 120/1 accumulator.