IT’S the final night of the World Cup qualifiers and I’m happy to see the back of them.
Betting wise it’s not been too bad with hardly any hot favourites slipping up but give me the bread and butter of league football any day. What you know is what you like.
Anyway let’s start with Scotland who were one of those favourites as bookies enjoyed a winning Saturday.
Gordon Strachan targeted four points from the double header with Lithuania and Slovakia but victory in Bratislava looks beyond his side on the evidence of the weekend.
Realistically, Scotland are competing with Slovakia and Slovenia for second spot so the key is to allow tonight’s opponents to gain no ground.
Strachan didn’t get much right at Hampden but was correct to say Slovakia need the points against us after opening with two defeats.
Scotland will point to stats that say Slovakia have failed to score in four games – two of them against England – but we’ve only kept one clean sheet in eight and that was in Gibraltar.
We usually find a way to net and William Hill‘s 23-20 on both teams to score has a bit of value.
It would be good to see Leigh Griffiths start and if he does the Celt is 9-2 at Betfred to hit his first international goal.
Group F leaders England were flat against Malta and by only winning 2-0 beat me and many others on the handicaps.
Gareth Southgate seemed pleased enough – maybe he was just relieved to launch his England career with a win – and a second 1-0 away win of the campaign is possible in Slovenia at 9-2 with William Hill. England are 7-10 with William Hill and under 2.5 goals is 11-18 with Marathonbet.
Northern Ireland face their toughest test away to Germany who have started with two 3-0 wins.
Michael McGovern’s heroics prevented nothing worse than a 1-0 defeat at the Euros but I’m taking the Germans minus one at 4-9 with Paddy Power and Thomas Muller to score first at 10-3 with Coral. That’s despite McGovern’s amazing stat that he’s not conceded more than one goal in his 17 internationals.
Elsewhere it’s all about trying to find value. Poland should see off Armenia without too much trouble and my Super Single is Robert Lewandowski to score first at 21-10 with McBookie. I also have the Poles to score 2+ and they could manage 3+.
Norway will beat San Marino but not sure if they’ll cover the -4 handicap as they’ve been poor of late.
Bets to Consider
Slovakia v Scotland btts
Hamsik to score
England to win 1-0
Muller to score first
Lewandowski to score first
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