NORTHERN IRELAND have joined England at France 2016 and it could be Wales’ turn on Saturday – but even if they miss out they’ll qualify by beating Andorra at home on Tuesday.
Chris Coleman’s side visit a Bosnia outfit who have recovered well from a poor start and are fighting Israel for a play-off spot.
Edin Dzeko has seven goals in qualification – only Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski have more – and he is 13-10 at Ladbrokes to score again but is a fitness doubt.
Gareth Bale has six of Wales’ nine goals in qualification and is fit to play after picking up a knock in the Madrid derby. He is 2-1 at Ladbrokes to hit the target.
For a side ranked in FIFA’s top 10 (honestly) Wales are big at 7-2 with McBookie and William Hill and because the odds are so big I’m prepared to take a chance on Wales draw no bet at 21-10 with McBookie.
Wales and Belgium are fighting for top spot and the Belgians have a gimme away to Andorra. They are no bigger than 1-50 to win so it’s a question how many they’ll win by. Belgium -3 AH at 5-9 with McBookie features on my Daily Record Top Treble.
For a first scorer consider Romelu Lukaku at 7-2 with Betfred or in-form Man City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne at 5-1 with Paddy Power.
The other game in Group B sees Israel entertain Cyprus and with the home men competing with Bosnia for a play-off spot they should pick up the points against a side whose only wins have come against Andorra since matchday one.
In Group A it’s last-chance saloon for Holland who must win away to Kazakhstan to take their fight for a play-of place to the wire against the Czech Republic.
The Dutch have lost four out of eight matches and displays have been dire but they have quality forwards in the shape of the likes of Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and our old favourite by Bas Dost is in there now as well and the Wolfsburg man is 11-8 at bet365 to score at any time.
However, my money man will be on the more experienced Huntelaar at 11-10 and it’s time for Danny Blind’s men to notch a win against a side with just one point. Holland are 2-7 at Betfred.
Turkey hold a two-point advantage over Holland as they travel to the Czechs who have already qualified with Iceland. Top spot though is still up for grabs so take the home at 7-4 with Betfred.
Iceland are 1-2 at Coral to beat Latvia and it’s important they win ahead of their next match away to the Turks.
In Group H Italy, Norway and Croatia are guaranteed a playoff spot and all three are locked in a titanic struggle to clinch automatic qualification.
The Italians sit top, two points clear of second-placed Norway, who have a one-point advantage over Croatia in third.
Italy face Norway at home in the final group match which may well decide the top two places but only a fool would rule out Croatia who face Bulgaria at home and Malta away in their last two games. This group could well take one more unexpected twist and turn yet.
Italy are 3-10 with the likes of William Hill and Ladbrokes to win away to Azerbaijan and Norway 1-7 at home to a Malta side who rarely get hammered so the price is a tad short and on the handicaps I wouldn’t go further than -1.
Croatia are 1-3 with William Hill to beat a Bulgaria side for whom it’s game over.
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