WE’VE got a week of Euro 2016 qualifiers to look forward starting with nine matches in Group A, B and H on Thursday.
It’s a big four days for Wales who will qualify for a major finals for the first time in 58 years if they beat Cyprus away Israel at home on Sunday.
There’s no doubt Chris Coleman’s side, up to ninth in the world rankings, can do the double but the visit to Cyprus is a tricky one and they’ll be hoping Gareth Bale is in top form.
The Real Madrid man has netted five of his country’s eight goals in qualifying while no one else has hit more than one.
Bale to score first at 7-2 with William Hill will be one of the most popular punts on Thursday while he is 5-4 at McBookie to score.
Wales are 4-5 with McBookie and bet365 to beat the islanders and I’m happy to take that against a side ranked 73 places below them.
It was only 2-1 when they met in Cardiff and the Welsh have actually netted four goals fewer than the Cypriots – but it’s points that count.
The home men have an outside chance of qualifying – they sit two points behind Belgium – but I’m on a narrow away success. Cyprus have won just one of their last nine home games – against Andorra – and this is a chance Wales can’t afford to let go.
All six of Cyprus’s Group B games have gone over 2.5 goals and another is a tempting 17-11 at 888sport.
Belgium are still favourites to finish second but must beat Bosnia in Brussels and are 1-2 to do so.
Man City’s new £50m man Kevin de Bruyne is 7-1 at McBookie to score first.
In the other game in Group B sees Israel at 1-14 with William Hill to beat Andorra. The Andorrans have conceded an average of four goals a game and lost 4-1 at home to the Israelis who should cover the -2 handicap at 4-6 with Paddy Power.
There’s already been a lot of talk about Holland v Iceland in Group A and with Iceland netting in their last 13 both to score is the call at a big price of 11-8 with Skybet.
Czech Republic are a best 2-9 at BetBright to beat Kazakhstan at home and Turkey are also short at 1-4 with Paddy Power to see off Latvia.
In Group H I like Croatia -1 at 11-10 with Skybet away to Azerbaijan. The Croats beat them 6-0 at home and have attackers such as Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic who will pose a goal threat.
Italy are unbeaten in Group H as they battle Croatia for top spot but they’ve netted just nine goals including a 1-0 win at Malta and 2-1 at home to Azerbaijan. The are no bigger than 1-18 at Ladbrokes at home to the Maltese and while they should win it’s difficult to back a side who score so few on the handicaps.
The third Group H match sees a tight one between Bulgaria and Norway meet and most likely outcomes could be under 2.5 goals but it pays no more than 8-15 at firms such as bet365.
Bale to score first (7.45pm)
(7-2, William Hill)
Holland v Iceland btts (7.45pm)
Croatia -1 (5pm)
Croatia/Belgium (both 7.45pm)
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