IT'S always difficult to find value on international football but one person who seems to be able to do it consistently is Selectabet who has his own method of making money from some of the biggest mismatches on the card.
This week I've invited him to share his tips for the Euro 2016 qualifying matches. Here's what he's got to say.
It's an international week so that means only one thing … time to back against the minnows. I've been doing this kind of bet for a few years now, dating back to 2009 when I landed a 593/1 treble and since then I've had quite a few more winners and several near misses.
The idea is simple. Pick three matches where one of the minnow nations are playing. Cover three correct scores in each match with a nil scoreline for the minnows and hope the opposition score any one of the number of goals you've backed. Let's get started.
Israel v Andorra (Thursday 7.45pm)
On Thursday Israel host Andorra and should win this one without conceding. Andorra have scored just 36 goals in 137 matches, that's an average of one every 3.5 games. They didn't score at all in the World Cup 2014 campaign but they have been showing signs of improvement as they've netted in three of their five Euro 2016 qualifiers so far, all at home. On their travels they've been soundly beaten 5-0 (Cyprus) and 6-0 (Belgium). Away from home they've scored just twice in their last 4 campaigns, a 93rd minute penalty against Belarus in 2009 and a goal on the stroke of half-time against Ireland in 2010.
If we're going to back anyone not to score it's Andorra (although in their history they have scored twice against Israel!).
Israel are still in the mix to qualify from a competitive group but have lost at home to Wales and Belgium and find themselves 5 points behind Chris Coleman's side. They've already beaten Andorra 4-1. The Andorrans scored a penalty (again) while Hemed's 96th-minute penalty for Israel probably made the scoreline look more flattering than it should have.
Previous form against minnows is thin on the ground for Israel. The only team of a similar nature they've come up against recently is Luxembourg over whom they recorded wins of 7-0, 2-1, 3-0 and 6-0 in 2010 and 2014 qualification. They'll be without Omer Damari who scored a hat-trick in Andorra. The Red Bull Salzburg player is ruled out with a broken foot so I'm going to keep the goal spread quite low for this one and cover Israel to win 3-0, 4-0 or 5-0.
San Marino v England (Saturday 5pm)
Hands up if you know who Davide Gaultieri is? No? He's the man who stunned England back in 1993 when lowly San Marino scored within 8.3 seconds (the fastest goal in World Cup history) to take a shock lead over Graham Taylor's side. England recovered to win the match 7-1 and have subsequently knocked in another 24 goals in four matches against the minnows to make it an aggregate score of 31-1 in just 5 games.
And, if you think Andorra are shot-shy then consider San Marino's stats of just 20 goals in 129 matches. That's just one goal in every 6.5 games. Needless to say they've not scored yet in this campaign and have managed just two goals in competitive matches since 2010.
So again it's a matter of how many England will score. They average just over 6 per match against San Marino and beat them 5-0 back in October 2014. Wayne Rooney may be misfiring for Man United at the moment but he'll no doubt relish the opportunity to add to his tally of 48 goals for England on Friday as he chases the record. Outwith Rooney however there aren't a lot of goals in the current squad, in fact between them they've only scored 18 times for their country so I'm not going to get over-ambitious on the correct score spread and will go with 5-0, 6-0 or 7-0 to England.
Italy v Malta (Thursday 7.45pm)
This is where it gets a bit tricky. I toyed with including Ireland's visit to Gibraltar but given the problems that Gib caused Scotland on their recent visit to Hampden I can't confidently say they won't score against the Irish, after all they have scored in four of 12 competitive matches to date. The Irish should keep a clean sheet and I wouldn't put anyone off covering them to win 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0 but I'm turning to the Italians to round off the treble.
Southampton's Graziano Pellè scored the only goal of the game when the sides met back in October in Malta and that result was in keeping with Malta's credible results of late. In fact both sides were drawn in the same group in World Cup 2014 qualification with the Italians winning 2-0 on both occasions. Despite regularly finishing bottom of their group the Maltese can't be placed in the same category as San Marino or Andorra. Already in this group they've scraped a draw against Bulgaria and they won in Armenia in 2013.
That said, they did lose heavily to Denmark (6-0) and Bulgaria (6-0) away from home in 2014's campaign. We need to take a leap of faith that the Italians can keep a clean sheet and that former Coventry striker, and Malta's all-time top scorer, Michael Mifsud can be kept at bay.
As for the Italians, they're making a bit of a meal of qualifying. 3 wins and 3 draws from 6 games leaves them in second place, having scored just 9 goals. A 2-1 win over Azerbaijan (where Chiellini scored all three goals!) doesn't inspire much confidence of a rout over Malta. None of the forwards in this week's squad have scored more than 2 international goals so there's not a lot of goals around the squad. This looks like it could be tight win for Italy. I'm hoping they'll score more than one and am going to cover 2-0, 3-0 and 4-0 for the Italians.
Placing your bet
So to summarise we're placing 3 correct score bets for 3 matches and perming them to make 27 trebles, so that's 27 bets.
- Israel to win 3-0, 4-0 or 5-0
- England to win 5-0, 6-0 or 7-0
- Italy to win 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0
I've researched the best prices and Titanbet are offering by far the best odds for the top-priced treble. If Israel win 5-0, England 7-0 and Italy 4-0 you'll get 654-1 on that treble. Compare that to a measly 307-1 at William Hill – that's less than half your return.