I'LL begin with a warning. These are international friendlies – fixtures that are not always the punters' pal.

So keep stakes small and try to check starting line-ups before having a bet.

Let's begin with a game that will be nothing like a friendly to England caretaker boss Stuart Pearce.

He'd love to strengthen his case for the job on a permanent basis with a win against Holland at Wembley but I think he'll fall short.

The last four meetings between the sides have been draws and the Dutch don't commit to friendlies the same way they do to competitive matches.

However, they'd love to put down a marker before the Euro 2012 finals and Pearce looks a bit short on experience up front with the likes of Frazier Campbell and Danny Welbeck expected to do a job usually performed by Wayne Rooney and Darren Bent.

Holland are 7-4 favourites at William Hill and Ladbrokes and could edge this. Arsenal star Robin van Persie is in sublime form and worth a look at 11-2 with bet365 and BetVictor for first goal if he recovers from a knock to start. If he doesn't make it look at Schalke star Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at 13-2 with bet365.

England are a biggest 19-10 at BetVictor while the draw pays 9-4 (various).

Scotland are underdogs for their trip to Slovenia with BetVictor offering 29-10 on an away win.

The Scots haven't conceded a goal to the Slovenians in two meetings and won 3-0 on their last visit.

Craig Levein's men are on the up having only lost to world champions Spain in their last six but Slovenia are ranked 21 places higher in FIFA's world rankings so can't be underestimated.

Levein has lost several players injured and will give debuts to Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew and Norwich full-back Russell Martin while late call-up James McArthur of Wigan also starts.

There's a little bit of inexperience there but the Scots' morale is high and I reckon they can go to Koper and sneak a win.

Slovenia are 6-5 at William Hill while the draw is always a possibility at 12-5 with the likes of BetVictor.

Kenny Miller will be benched after his Carling Cup exploits so Craig Mackail-Smith will start as a lone striker supported by QPR's Jamie Mackie.

Mackail-Smith is 10-1 at Ladbrokes to score first while Mackie is 14-1 at bet365. Battering ram Mackie is worth a look at 5-1 with the same firm just to score.

One man who can't be ruled out at a big price is James Morrison. He netted again for West Brom against Sunderland at the weekend and looks massive at 20-1 with bet365. To score at any time he is 15-2 at bet365 and Paddy Power.

Chris Coleman takes charge of Wales for the first time while Craig Bellamy will wear the captain’s armband for a home meeting with Costa Rica.

The Gary Speed memorial match will be an emotional occasion which the Welsh can mark with a victory.

Wales won four of their last five under Speed while Costa Rica who have failed to score in five of their last six defeats away from home.

The Welsh are a biggest 3-4 at Blue Square and consider skipper Bellamy, a bit-part player in Liverpool's Carling Cup Final win, at 5-1 with Paddy Power to bag the opener. If not Bellamy it's likely to be Spurs flier Gareth Bale who is 6-1 with firms such as Paddy Power and bet365.

Northern Ireland also have a new boss in the shape of Michael O’Neill whose side entertain Norway. It's a tough start for the Irish who are 12-5 at BetVictor to give O’Neill a winning start.

There won't be many creative players out there and with Norway minus John Carew a draw looks the shout at 23-10 with Paddy Power.

The Republic of Ireland are a better bet at 7-5 with William Hill at home to fellow Euro finalists the Czech Republic.

Boss Giovanni Trapattoni is playing his strongest side and having qualified in style I can see them picking up a confidence-boosting win although there is little between the teams.

Spain are just 2-13 at BetVictor to beat Venezuela at home but there could be value backing Roberto Soldado to score.

He is the second-highest scoring Spaniard in La Liga with 12 goals and is expected to start in Malaga in the absence of David Villa and Fernando Torres. If Soldado (4-1, bet365,BetVictor) doesn't make go for Fernando Llorente at 11-2 with the same two firms.

One of the biggest games is Germany v France and I'll be on the home men at 8-11 (various). Germany have netted three goals in each of their last four and netted 20 in six so clearly play on the offensive.

France are much improved but have only scored in goal in three games against Belgium, USA and Bosnia. All three were at home and away from the boo boys maybe France will play with a bit more freedom.

Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella takes his side to Switzerland with a full squad and expected to start with Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero up top. The South Americans look worth a shot at 19-20 with BetVictor and Messi is 9-2 at unibet to net first. It's a much better price than he is in La Liga.

If you're looking for a shock it could come in Poland where inconsistent Portugal are the visitors. The Poles, a biggest 7-2 at bet365 and BetVictor, have lost just once in nine and are a side on the up.

Portugal don't always travel well and and over-reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo who doesn't do his best work in friendlies.

Star-studded Uruguay are 6-5 with Coral to win in Romania and Italy (11-20, BetVictor) should see off the USA at home.

Other sides to consider are Croatia v Sweden, Hungary v Bulgaria and Chile v Ghana.


Van Persie to score first

(11-2, bet365, BetVictor)

Morrison to score

(15-2, bet365, Paddy Power)

Messi to score first

(9-2, unibet)

  1. steven 12 years ago

    RVP sat out training, picked up a knock although coach says hes confident he’ll play am not sure they will risk it, italy springs to mind. am against u here, i fancy England to win.

    • Mr Fixit 12 years ago

      Steven, it can go either way. Holland aren’t greatest when it comes to friendlies and will be weakened if van Persie doesn’t start so it’s one to watch.

  2. matthew downey 12 years ago

    Italy look a steal at 1/2

  3. george 12 years ago

    my acc will be


    both teams to score-

    england v holland
    germany v france
    denmark v croatia
    swizerland v argintina
    croatia v sweden

    • Mr Fixit 12 years ago

      George, just finalising my selections just now as I try to check for latest team news. Have a shortlist for btts and some of yours are on it.

  4. steven 12 years ago

    yeah true, wont be betting on it. i like uruguay, ukraine and rep of ire, and am looking at vasco da gama on the handicap market along with paraguay. am entrigued to see what u tip. always difficult

  5. Chris 12 years ago

    Paul any other tips for goalscorers mate. Any standout bets

    • Mr Fixit 12 years ago

      Chris, friendlies article has been updated with some more goalscorer tips included.

  6. Peter brown 12 years ago

    Anyonr fancy belgium away in Greece???

    • Mr Fixit 12 years ago

      Peter, I’ve got mixed views on it so left it alone. Greece are one of those sides who go under the radar. They are rarely spectacular but pretty solid and qualified for the Euros unbeaten. However, Belgium are an up and coming side boasting talents such as Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku so don’t let me put you off if you fancy backing them.

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