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jazzman02

UEFA Nations League Predictions > Sep 6th - 11th

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The dust will barely be settled on the 2018 World Cup when UEFAs new Nations League kicks off this September. Based on thier World Cup performances should Croatia really be 20/1 to win the inaugral competition? I don't think so. Looks to me like these prices haven't been updated as often as they should...

Bet

Croatia to win the UEFA Nations League @ 20/1 with Bet365

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I'm often critical of FIFA and UEFA. As a former manager of a local side that has had to deal with the silly changes they make to the rules I've kind of lost patience with them. However, the UEFA Nations League is one of the rare strokes of genius that the federation has introduced.

My understanding is that the 2020 European Championship Qualifiers will go ahead as normal but seeding will be dictated by the Nations League. Furthermore, the Nations League also has a huge impact on the play-offs in the qualifiers. Rather than the standard top two qualifying automatically and best third placed sides in each group earning a play-off spot I think I am correct in thinking that the top two qualify automatically from each group and then the best-performing sides in the Nations League that don't finish in the top two of their group will then compete in the play-offs instead? That's what Football Manager told me anyway! :lol

All very interesting and we'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to it though. I've bought my Red Wall campaign ticket for Wales. Denmark and Ireland up for us. Provided we don't finish bottom of the group then we will be seeded in pot 2 for qualification for Euro 2020. Ryan Giggs has impressed me as Wales head coach so far. I've loved how he's added more attacking balance to our play. We are 3.50 to win our group. Denmark obviously the favourites but I think we are looking better than Ireland right now.

The best thing for Wales, like England, is the wealth of young talent we have coming through. Ben Woodburn, Harry Wilson, David Brooks, Ethan Ampadu, Chris Mepham, Connor Roberts, Danny Ward, Joe Rodon, Matthew Smith, and Cameron Coxe are all players that will be pushing for starting spots in 2-4 years time.

In fact, I predict our best starting XI for the 2022 World Cup qualification campaign could be...

GK: Danny Ward

DR: Connor Roberts

DL: Ben Davies

DC: Chris Mepham

DC: James Chester

DM: Joe Allen

DM: Ethan Ampadu

MR: Harry Wilson

ML: Ben Woodburn

AM: Aaron Ramsey

FC: Gareth Bale

Or something similar to that. It's a far better side than the one we had for the 2016 European Championship. I'm hopeful we can qualify for the 2020 European Championship but I'm really excited at our prospects for the 2022 World Cup campaign.

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Slovenia - Bulgaria

The game between the two sides is in League C group 3. Bulgaria played decent in their World qualifying group with home wins against Holland and Sweden. However, the situation didn't look good in their away games with 1 draw (1-1 against Luxembourg)  and 4 losses against (Sweden, France, Belarus and Holland). The Bulgarian football is having issues right now as in the home league the big teams (Cska, Levski and Ludogorets) mostly use foreigners. The situation also doesn't look good with Bulgarians playing abroad. Even the star and captain of Bulgaria is not playing regularly for his club team Spartak Moscow. On the other side, Slovenia played strong at home with 3 wins and 2 draws and 0 losses. Slovenia are favorites to win this group with Cyprus and Norway also in the group. 

My pick: Home win at 2.05 bet365

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It's interesting to note that Denmark are set to field their national futsal team against Slovakia and Wales over the coming week. This is due to a contract dispute. Any Danish posters on here with more information on this?

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On 7/15/2018 at 9:10 AM, StevieDay1983 said:

I'm often critical of FIFA and UEFA. As a former manager of a local side that has had to deal with the silly changes they make to the rules I've kind of lost patience with them. However, the UEFA Nations League is one of the rare strokes of genius that the federation has introduced.

Agreed. It'll be interesting to see who takes it seriously and who doesn't. ;) 

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I think the main factor to winning this competition will be team depth. Teams like France, Germany, Spain can afford to field their second string and still win comfortably against lesser opponents or even equal strength opponents, where as teams like Wales, Denmark, Portugal when you take away Bale, Ramsay, Eriksen, Ronaldo then they become very ordinary (just example I don't know if all of these nations are playing). Surely at some point in the competitions, the substitutes or reserves will be given a chance to start the game and show what they can do.

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Wales vs Republic of Ireland

The first round of the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League kicks off this Thursday evening and the obvious starting point for me as a Welshman is to cover the 7:45pm kick-off at the Cardiff City Stadium between Wales and Republic of Ireland in what is certain to be a feisty affair.

It was almost a year ago that Martin O'Neill's team came to Cardiff and got the 1-0 win they needed against a tactically naive and Gareth Bale-less Wales. The Irish getting battered by Denmark in the play-offs kind of eased the pain of not reaching the play-offs but we still wonder what might have been if we had beaten Ireland on that day. The fact we only had Bale, Ramsey, and Allen all playing for just 33% of our qualifying games was also a problem.

Still, this is a new era under Ryan Giggs. It might sound controversial but I respected what Chris Coleman did to get us to Euro 2016 but his backroom staff can take most of the credit. Coleman simply delegated well and was a fantastic man motivator. As the 2018 World Cup qualifiers showed when it came to the tactical side of the game he was left wanting. He can look back on his reign with undeniable pride but he left at the right time.

Personally, I wasn't the biggest fan of Giggs being appointed as manager. I would have preferred Craig Bellamy. Now that Giggs is the manager he has my full support. I've been impressed with how tactically aware he is. He's clearly very tactically flexible and the performances against China, Uruguay, and Mexico have been very impressive.

It's also great to see him blooding a lot of youngsters. The likes of Chris Mepham, Connor Roberts, David Brooks, Ethan Ampadu, Matthew Smith, Ben Woodburn, Harry Wilson, and Tyler Roberts have all been called up for this game. All of those players are 22 years of age or under. It's a huge statement that Giggs wants success now but he is also building the next generation of first XI players. Only Tyler Roberts remains uncapped out of those players.

I feel this is the biggest test of Giggs' tenure so far. He comes up against a wily old fox in O'Neill. Ireland bullied us and out-thought us in the previous meeting. Did they deserve to win? Purely on being more street wise, yes. It could be different this time. We have practically a full squad available.

I'll be attending the game in the Canton Stand behind the goal but I'm not expecting a thriller. Ireland will be content with a draw. They are a dogged side under O'Neill and I'm really reluctant to say they are anti-football but they do like the kill games and get physical. Harry Arter and James McClean were a pain last time we played them and the absent Declan Rice will be a big loss. They still have enough experience to grind out a result.

If I'm being unusually optimistic, I'd like to think we should be looking to win this game. I'm worried that Ireland will beat us in the physicality stakes and that could be a problem. However, we have a wealth of exciting attacking prospects and the early days suggest Giggs knows how to get the best out of them. I'm quietly hoping we can destroy Ireland here but in the reality I think a single goal will decide it. I'm just not sure which way it'll go. You can't go wrong with backing Bale to score for Wales though. Especially in his current club form.

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.44 with Betfair

Anytime Scorer: Gareth Bale @ 2.25 with Boylesports

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Are countries going to take these games more seriously now there is a competitive competition to it? I'll be honest bit confused about the format but from what I can tell there appears to be a mini 4 team finals next summer from the group A league, which contains England and somekind of qualification for the next European Championships.

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 I mean we are just off a world cup and euro qualifying will be upon us and yet we have this competition to play, that said I think Wales will win 2-1 think the crowd will have a big part to play, if the Welsh can get their preferred 1st 11 out, they are a very decent side, and home advantage will tell for me, If Ramsey plays i'm going for him 1st goal, 

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Germany v France

Germany: Mesut Özil (92/23 m), Mario Gómez (78/31 f)(both retired), Shkodran Mustafi (22/0 d), Jonas Hector (40/3 d), Marvin Plattenhardt (7/0 d), Sami Khedira (77/7 m), Sebastian Rudy (26/1 m), Emre Can (20/1 m), Mario Götze (63/17 m), Amin Younes (5/2 m)

France: Hugo Lloris (104 first goalkeeper, captain), Steve Mandanda (28/0 2nd goalkeeper), Moussa Sissoko (58/2 m), Dimitri Payet (37/8 f)

 

Kazakhstan v Georgia

Kazakhstan: Aleksandr Mokin (20/0 g), Stas Pokatilov (15/0 g), Yeldos Akhmetov (14/0 d), Viktor Dmitrenko (19/1 d), Stanislav Lunin (2/0 d), Magomed Paragulgov (2/0 m), Azat Nurgaliev (39/3 m), Maksat Baizhanov (31/1 m), Askhat Tagybergen (18/0 m), Sergei Khizhnichenko (47/8 f), Tanat Nusserbayev (28/3 f)

Georgia: Nukri Revishvili (33/0 g), Giorgi Makaridze (13/0 g), Ucha Lobjanidze (54/1 d), Gia Grigalava (24/0 d), Jano Ananidze (39/6 m), Vladimer Dvalishvili (44/6 f)

 

Daily updated injuries and suspensions information from more then 100 football leagues and competitions worldwide at: www.injuriesandsuspensions.com

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Even though it has been billed as League, to me it sound more like a tiered group stage of a cup format. With the added element that contrary to normal group stages, ending last in the group represent not only missing qualification to next stage but also being demoted, therefore the last matches of the group will be more intense as teams will look to avoid that relegation (elements missing on the national teams friendlies).

I think this changes completely the  nature of FIFA windows for European nations, positive that it adds an element of competitiveness and emotion to rather meaningless matches, but for the coaches there is less space to manoeuvrer, make experiments, start generational changes, test new players or formations.

I think this will further the divide between Europeans nations and the rest of the world. As a national team, for example Colombia, looking to encounter them in friendlies to test their own level as to improve, will find they are not available.

Will there be any surprise? Or we can assume/bet on the likely suspects to dominate this new competition?

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Just to clarify some uncertainty about this, it does have a role to play in Euro 2020 qualification as well as affecting seeding for future tournaments. I played through as Wales manager on Football Manager and my understanding was as follows...

The Nations League in itself is, as @Xcout rightly says, a tiered tournament where nations can be promoted and relegated between the tiers. As @Kenton Schweppes also correctly states, there is a four team semi final and final knockout next summer to determine the overall winner. Only teams in the top tier can qualify for this and it will be the four winners of each top tier group.

However, this is where it gets interesting, and a little bit complex. Euro 2020 qualification will take place as normal but in a more congested schedule during just 2019. I think the usual friendly dates are now assigned for qualification games so they can get it all done in a single calendar year. The top two teams will qualify automatically as last time but then this is when it changes slightly.

Teams then qualify for the playoffs based on their Nations League performances. So the highest ranked sides in each tier of the Nations League that didn't qualify for the 2020 Euros automatically in qualification will qualify for the playoffs for a chance to reach the Euro 2020 Finals.

For example, if England somehow miss out an qualifying automatically from their group in Euro 2020 qualification then they will be guaranteed (I think!) a playoff place (even if they finish bottom of their qualification group!) because of their top tier standing in the Nations League.

The only bit I'm not sure on is if playoff berths are allocated evenly across the tiers so that even fourth tier nations have a chance to qualify for the playoffs or if the playoff berths are allocated on a trickle down basis from the top tier downwards to the bottom tier so that tier 1 teams that don't qualify automatically get priority over lower tier teams... if that makes sense?

Sorry if it's complicated but it is! :lol

Basically, you want your nation doing as well as possible in the Nations League because not only will it help FIFA rankings and seeding for future tournaments but it could also offer a back-up as qualifying for Euro 2020! :ok

Edit: Official UEFA Explanation of Nations League

The above link finally explains it well. Each tier is going to have playoff spaces reserved for those teams that don't qualify for the 2020 Euros automatically. So yes, the four winners of each pot in League D (provided they don't qualify automatically for the 2020 Euros) will playoff for a spot at the 2020 Euros... meaning someone from League D will qualify for the 2020 Euros! Obscene! Nice for the smaller nations mind.

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Romania - Montenegro

20:45CET

Montenegrin football players are flying today to Ploešti (Romania), to play against home team on their debut in the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League. Many major missings and canceling for away side - Stevan Jovetić, Marušić, Vešović, Marko Janković all out injured, Luka Đorđević probable will not play. I realy dont see this Montenegrin side has power to resist this rising Romania side with Kozmin Kontra in control who came after Kris Daum left the managerial spot.

Romania @1.71 sbobet 7/10

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2 hours ago, Bagzi said:

Romania - Montenegro

20:45CET

Montenegrin football players are flying today to Ploešti (Romania), to play against home team on their debut in the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League. Many major missings and canceling for away side - Stevan Jovetić, Marušić, Vešović, Marko Janković all out injured, Luka Đorđević probable will not play. I realy dont see this Montenegrin side has power to resist this rising Romania side with Kozmin Kontra in control who came after Kris Daum left the managerial spot.

Romania @1.71 sbobet 7/10

Love tips like this @Bagzi. Montenegro were looking decent a few years back but appear to have dropped off a bit recently. They have failed to score in 4 of their last 6 international matches and haven't won any of those games. Compare this to Romania who have won their last 4 international matches scoring 8 goals against opposition including Sweden and Chile. Romania also haven't lost at home in a competitive game since 11th November, 2016. Good shout.

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Northern Ireland vs Bosnia-Herzegovina

Northern Ireland begin their UEFA Nations League campaign in League B Group 3 against Bosnia-Herzegovina this Saturday afternoon in a 2pm kick-off at Windsor Park. Michael O'Neill is staying on as the nation's head coach and after cruelly missing out on the 2018 World Cup there is a feeling of justice needing to be carried out by the Green and White Army.

O'Neill led his side to the 2016 European Championship 2nd Round against all the odds but then fell just short to a controversial penalty in a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Switzerland in the play-offs for the 2018 World Cup. This competition is a chance for Norn Iron to rejuvenate the memories of two years ago.

Bosnia-Herzegovina narrowly missed out on the 2018 World Cup after finishing in 3rd place behind Belgium and Greece in their group. Head coach Robert Prosinecki was a key player for Croatia when they reached the 1998 World Cup Semi-Finals but failed to guide Bosnia to that glory. He has introduced a rather progressive style of play with three of the games he's been in charge for ending in a 0-0, two finishing 1-0, and just the one match with more than a single goal with the 3-1 win against South Korea out in Jeonju.

Windsor Park has always been a bit of a fortress for Northern Ireland. Before their World Cup qualification defeat at home to Germany, Northern Ireland has not lost a home competitive game since a 4-2 loss against Portugal on 6th September, 2013. However, the Germany defeat and the play-off loss to Switzerland has now taken the gloss off.

This is an intriguing opening game. The jury is still out on Bosnia under Prosinecki. On the one hand, his side has failed to score in 4 of his 6 games in charge. On the other hand, they've kept four clean sheets in those six games and are now undefeated in their last four matches. That win out in South Korea was a massive statement.

Northern Ireland need to be careful here. It seems that Bosnia are building momentum under Prosinecki. O'Neill has been an excellent servant to the national team but has he lost the hunger that drove him for so long. Northern Irish fans will undoubtedly be better informed than myself. I just think Bosnia have the more talented squad and Prosinecki is slowly working out how to get the best out of them. My feeling for this match is a low-scoring draw.

Draw @ 2.90 with Bet365

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.44 with Betfair

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Germany v France

France traditionally doesn't plays too well in low stakes games. This time is particular though, it's the first game after the WC and i think that a win is psychologically important because they want to consolidate the work done during the cup. Germany is the shattered shadow of its former self and i really can't see how they can win this, no matter how much they want to start fresh. 

Tactically, France packs a lot of punch and speed, with one of the strongest defense of the tournament, and the Germany we've seen was very slow, uninspired and uncoordinated. I expect at least a 2 goals difference win for France.

The odds are generous for France, with a 2.75 for France win and a 1.8 DNB. The former is very tempting but i think that i will go for a France DNB here, just in case i've misread their motivations. 

France win DNB : 1.8
 

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Norway – Cyprus

Betting suggestion: Norway first half -0,5 @1,909 Pinnacle

Bet on Norway is practically a public bet today, but I am not that comfortable with taking high handicaps on the Scandinavian team. In my opinion, now in 2018, all countries (or let’s say majority), even if their players aren’t that famous, aren’t playing in top5 leagues, etc… all of them are capable of positioning well and simply make it harder for their opponent. With a bit of daily form and luck, they might have a player or two who will make difference in attack or simply use the mistake of the opponent and when those small teams are 0-1 in front, then it’s extremely hard to overcome the result. Norway is one of the favorites in the group and it’s important for them to start with 3 points, especially as they are playing against the biggest underdog in the group. Truth is, that Norway possesses way more quality, much more experiences, their players have played more tough matches in careers, they are on the excellent run (winning last 4 international matches) and it looks that since they made a change in the leaderboard, they are back on solid track. As they didn’t participate on WC, I think that they will take this league pretty seriously but as I said above… teams like Cyprus can make an upset, and regarding the odds, I prefer to take Norway to win first half here because the longer match will stay at 0-0, more nervous the match will be and everything can happen then… If Norway will beat Cyprus with 2 goals difference as everyone is expecting, then I think that they will be up-front already in the first half.

https://footalyct.com/norway-cyprus/

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21 hours ago, StevieDay1983 said:

Love tips like this @Bagzi. Montenegro were looking decent a few years back but appear to have dropped off a bit recently. They have failed to score in 4 of their last 6 international matches and haven't won any of those games. Compare this to Romania who have won their last 4 international matches scoring 8 goals against opposition including Sweden and Chile. Romania also haven't lost at home in a competitive game since 11th November, 2016. Good shout.

 

if i'm allowed to say my opinion here , what concern me more is how much to trust such teams and country like Romania , I dont know but trusting this kind of teams always very hard like most of East Europe teams 

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23 minutes ago, Ameer said:

 

if i'm allowed to say my opinion here , what concern me more is how much to trust such teams and country like Romania , I dont know but trusting this kind of teams always very hard like most of East Europe teams 

I don't think it's an Eastern European thing but it's more teams at that level of Romania where they drift between being 2nd and 3rd seeds. Georgia, Austria, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are the same. Generally, you can pick up their form though. They may be inconsistent over decades but they have spells of consistency over 1 or 2 campaigns whether that consistency is good or bad.

On a side note, thoroughly enjoyed the Wales game last night. Giggs really pleasantly surprised us by starting so many youngsters. It paid off too because Ampadu (he's going to be one of the greatest British players of all-time if he carries on like this), Brooks, Roberts, Mepham, and Lawrence all shone. It's going to be a very interesting game against Denmark on the weekend. The Danish side have got their act together and will field a full strength team. I think not playing in midweek will give them an advantage and I think it's a game we might just lose based on fitness but if Giggs has us playing this fluid attacking football we saw last night we're going to be in for a thriller. I've always been keen to stay away from Giggs being labelled as a Sir Alex Ferguson protege but based on how we played last night it was like watching Manchester United in the 1990s. Loved it and really excited for the next few campaigns with this crop of players. We didn't even have Ward, Wilson, or Woodburn playing last night!

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England vs Spain

One of the big international games in this opening round of the UEFA Nations League is the 7:45pm kick-off this Saturday between England and Spain. The two nations experienced contrasting World Cup campaigns in the summer so this will give them a good indication of how well or badly they have reacted to that tournament.

England are still enjoying the feel-good factor after reaching the semi-final stages of the World Cup. The disappointment of surrendering a lead against Croatia has quickly evaporated with head coach Gareth Southgate keeping faith with those players that served him so well in Russia. The only down side being the lack of new blood such as Angus Gunn, Lewis Cook, Ryan Sessegnon, Harry Winks, and Jadon Sancho.

Spain enter a new era with Luis Enrique as head coach. He failed to impress during his trial period over the summer. However, he seems a popular choice with the players. The retirement of a number of key players such as Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, and David Silva heralds a change of the guard but it's an opportunity for others to step into the void.

The Three Lions don't have the best of recent records against Spain. The previous six meetings between the two sides has seen 4 wins for Spain, 1 win for England, and 1 draw. Worryingly, England have failed to score in four of those matches and that's something they will be hoping to remedy in this game.

One factor that England can draw strength from is the advantage of playing at Wembley. The last time they suffered defeat in a competitive game held at Wembley Stadium was back on 21st November, 2007 when Croatia stole away with a 3-2 that ultimately cost England a place at the 2008 European Championship. Not a bad competitive home record to have remaining unbeaten in almost 10 years.

As a neutral Welshman, I'm not convinced that this is an England team that are up there with the best national sides just yet. The run to the semi-finals was impressive but expected given the draw they had. Take nothing away from the squad's achievements, Southgate navigated his way past potential banana skins that previous managers have failed to do.

On the flip side, I'm not convinced by Enrique as a manager at all. I don't think he's as tactically aware as Southgate is and I'm not sure he knows how to get the best out of a talented group of players. I can see England getting at least a draw here but I can see it being a game where both teams would probably take that result. Not great value around but worth backing all the same. It won't be a classic.

England AH +0.25 @ 1.65 with Unibet

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.65 with Betway

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4 hours ago, StevieDay1983 said:

England vs Spain

One of the big international games in this opening round of the UEFA Nations League is the 7:45pm kick-off this Saturday between England and Spain. The two nations experienced contrasting World Cup campaigns in the summer so this will give them a good indication of how well or badly they have reacted to that tournament.

England are still enjoying the feel-good factor after reaching the semi-final stages of the World Cup. The disappointment of surrendering a lead against Croatia has quickly evaporated with head coach Gareth Southgate keeping faith with those players that served him so well in Russia. The only down side being the lack of new blood such as Angus Gunn, Lewis Cook, Ryan Sessegnon, Harry Winks, and Jadon Sancho.

Spain enter a new era with Luis Enrique as head coach. He failed to impress during his trial period over the summer. However, he seems a popular choice with the players. The retirement of a number of key players such as Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, and David Silva heralds a change of the guard but it's an opportunity for others to step into the void.

The Three Lions don't have the best of recent records against Spain. The previous six meetings between the two sides has seen 4 wins for Spain, 1 win for England, and 1 draw. Worryingly, England have failed to score in four of those matches and that's something they will be hoping to remedy in this game.

One factor that England can draw strength from is the advantage of playing at Wembley. The last time they suffered defeat in a competitive game held at Wembley Stadium was back on 21st November, 2007 when Croatia stole away with a 3-2 that ultimately cost England a place at the 2008 European Championship. Not a bad competitive home record to have remaining unbeaten in almost 10 years.

As a neutral Welshman, I'm not convinced that this is an England team that are up there with the best national sides just yet. The run to the semi-finals was impressive but expected given the draw they had. Take nothing away from the squad's achievements, Southgate navigated his way past potential banana skins that previous managers have failed to do.

On the flip side, I'm not convinced by Enrique as a manager at all. I don't think he's as tactically aware as Southgate is and I'm not sure he knows how to get the best out of a talented group of players. I can see England getting at least a draw here but I can see it being a game where both teams would probably take that result. Not great value around but worth backing all the same. It won't be a classic.

England AH +0.25 @ 1.65 with Unibet

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.65 with Betway

I'm opposing you here, Steve. In my opinion the overwhelming value is with Spain, who up until the last couple of days were actually available to back as outsiders in this match. In the end I got on Spain @ 2.00 DNB with Betfair Sportsbook, although this price has since been cut. 

Spain are capable of playing a level of football that England simply cannot match. For my money, the performance against Portugal in Spain's opening World Cup match was the premier display of attacking verve and interchangeability of the entire tournament. Only Ronaldo's genius and a rare mishap by David de Gea thwarted them in that game. Admittedly, Spain struggled to break down Iran and Russia in the summer, the latter ultimately costing them a proper run at the trophy, but in both cases their opponents lacked any ambition beyond defending their own penalty area and hoping to capitalise on the odd set piece situation. Saturday's game will play out in a different manner and Spain will be hoping to exploit England's defensive frailties in the same way Croatia and Belgium made their umpteen chances in Russia.

What we must take into account as we search for value in these prices is that six months ago, Spain would have been favourites around the evens mark or just higher. England's Benny Hill run to the semi-finals of the World Cup (Saudi Arabia managed as many shots on goal from open play) has distorted expectations in a manner not experienced since the Golden Generation. Lest we forget, in Russia, England lost more games than they've ever lost in a single major championship. The only nations they managed to defeat were a ragtag Tunisian team, a Panama side made up of saucer-eyed semi-professionals and a Sweden squad in transition having endured the retirement of their GOAT the previous summer.

The idea that Gareth Southgate can somehow outthink Luis Enrique is bordering on the absurd. Southgate came very close to singlehandedly ensuring a second round exit against Colombia with his substitutions in extra time. He persisted in playing Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling out of position throughout the tournament; Walker's unease in his shoehorned centre-back position eventually bore its rotten fruit as Mandzukic nipped in to silence the Twitter memes. Sterling, meanwhile, spent the tournament toiling in a position he doesn't have the ability to play. England's trickiest player divested of the freedom to express his skill. Luis Enrique has a double and a treble in his oeuvre. Southgate relegated Middlesbrough. Make no mistake; this is a mismatch.

 

Spain to win @ 2.75 Bet365

Edited by sydc

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On 6/9/2018 at 4:20 PM, Sir Puntalot said:

:welcome to PL @artichoke :ok 

Please put the bookmaker where the odds are on future posts, then anyone can follow you - good luck. ;)  

Thanks :)

Well, Fra v Ger was kind of disappointing, glad i've picked the DNB! Griezmann and Mbappe, the backbone of the attack, haven't seemed very interested in the game. 

Gutted that i totally forgot about Turkey v Russia, a few days ago i was surprised to see Russia being sold short (Russia to win was @ about 5 IIRC) considering what they've done in the WC, but then i just forgot about it.

For the forthcoming games i'm looking at : 

Portugal v Italy
Well Italy almost lost to Poland, which speaks for itself... and Portugal, in spite of an aging squad, is still a decent team. So Portugal @ 2.2 (winamax) seems like a decent odd to me. Even a DNB @ 1.45 is ok. This is probably going to be my bigger bet. 

Belgium v Iceland
There isn't a lot of value here, but those Belgian guys take almost every games seriously, as their record can testify... Iceland isn't that bad but there is a rather wide quality gap between the twos. 
Belgium to win @ 1.45

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15 hours ago, sydc said:

I'm opposing you here, Steve. In my opinion the overwhelming value is with Spain, who up until the last couple of days were actually available to back as outsiders in this match. In the end I got on Spain @ 2.00 DNB with Betfair Sportsbook, although this price has since been cut. 

Spain are capable of playing a level of football that England simply cannot match. For my money, the performance against Portugal in Spain's opening World Cup match was the premier display of attacking verve and interchangeability of the entire tournament. Only Ronaldo's genius and a rare mishap by David de Gea thwarted them in that game. Admittedly, Spain struggled to break down Iran and Russia in the summer, the latter ultimately costing them a proper run at the trophy, but in both cases their opponents lacked any ambition beyond defending their own penalty area and hoping to capitalise on the odd set piece situation. Saturday's game will play out in a different manner and Spain will be hoping to exploit England's defensive frailties in the same way Croatia and Belgium made their umpteen chances in Russia.

What we must take into account as we search for value in these prices is that six months ago, Spain would have been favourites around the evens mark or just higher. England's Benny Hill run to the semi-finals of the World Cup (Saudi Arabia managed as many shots on goal from open play) has distorted expectations in a manner not experienced since the Golden Generation. Lest we forget, in Russia, England lost more games than they've ever lost in a single major championship. The only nations they managed to defeat were a ragtag Tunisian team, a Panama side made up of saucer-eyed semi-professionals and a Sweden squad in transition having endured the retirement of their GOAT the previous summer.

The idea that Gareth Southgate can somehow outthink Luis Enrique is bordering on the absurd. Southgate came very close to singlehandedly ensuring a second round exit against Colombia with his substitutions in extra time. He persisted in playing Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling out of position throughout the tournament; Walker's unease in his shoehorned centre-back position eventually bore its rotten fruit as Mandzukic nipped in to silence the Twitter memes. Sterling, meanwhile, spent the tournament toiling in a position he doesn't have the ability to play. England's trickiest player divested of the freedom to express his skill. Luis Enrique has a double and a treble in his oeuvre. Southgate relegated Middlesbrough. Make no mistake; this is a mismatch.

 

Spain to win @ 2.75 Bet365

This is what it's all about mate. Counter-points to try and come to the right conclusion. You raise some fair points. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Southgate is without his flaws and he's certainly not a Marcello Lippi or Sir Alex Ferguson. I agree that he isn't getting the best out of certain players but he still knows how to shut games down effectively. Yes, the Croatia game was probably a case where that wasn't true but Luka Modric had the tournament of his life and even with the extra attention he was still influential.

I'm not sure you can compare Enrique winning trophies with a Barcelona side that was set-up for him and is widely regarded as one of the greatest squads of all-time with Southgate relegating a very average Middlesbrough side. It was a toxic club back then with the likes of Mido, Afonso Alves, and Jeremie Aliadiere all causing issues behind the scenes. To be fair, when he was sacked as Middlesbrough manager he had guided them to within 1 point of the top of the Championship table so it would have been interesting to see what he did if he had stayed in charge.

Still, as I say, you raise some fair points and even though I agree and disagree with things you say, you rightly point out that the price on a Spain win is tempting given the circumstances.

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22 hours ago, sydc said:

I'm opposing you here, Steve. In my opinion the overwhelming value is with Spain, who up until the last couple of days were actually available to back as outsiders in this match. In the end I got on Spain @ 2.00 DNB with Betfair Sportsbook, although this price has since been cut. 

Spain are capable of playing a level of football that England simply cannot match. For my money, the performance against Portugal in Spain's opening World Cup match was the premier display of attacking verve and interchangeability of the entire tournament. Only Ronaldo's genius and a rare mishap by David de Gea thwarted them in that game. Admittedly, Spain struggled to break down Iran and Russia in the summer, the latter ultimately costing them a proper run at the trophy, but in both cases their opponents lacked any ambition beyond defending their own penalty area and hoping to capitalise on the odd set piece situation. Saturday's game will play out in a different manner and Spain will be hoping to exploit England's defensive frailties in the same way Croatia and Belgium made their umpteen chances in Russia.

What we must take into account as we search for value in these prices is that six months ago, Spain would have been favourites around the evens mark or just higher. England's Benny Hill run to the semi-finals of the World Cup (Saudi Arabia managed as many shots on goal from open play) has distorted expectations in a manner not experienced since the Golden Generation. Lest we forget, in Russia, England lost more games than they've ever lost in a single major championship. The only nations they managed to defeat were a ragtag Tunisian team, a Panama side made up of saucer-eyed semi-professionals and a Sweden squad in transition having endured the retirement of their GOAT the previous summer.

The idea that Gareth Southgate can somehow outthink Luis Enrique is bordering on the absurd. Southgate came very close to singlehandedly ensuring a second round exit against Colombia with his substitutions in extra time. He persisted in playing Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling out of position throughout the tournament; Walker's unease in his shoehorned centre-back position eventually bore its rotten fruit as Mandzukic nipped in to silence the Twitter memes. Sterling, meanwhile, spent the tournament toiling in a position he doesn't have the ability to play. England's trickiest player divested of the freedom to express his skill. Luis Enrique has a double and a treble in his oeuvre. Southgate relegated Middlesbrough. Make no mistake; this is a mismatch.

 

Spain to win @ 2.75 Bet365

Well said that man, couldn't put it better myself.

England, the most over-hyped team since, well, the last very slightly better than average over-hyped England team.

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1 hour ago, allyhibs said:

Well said that man, couldn't put it better myself.

England, the most over-hyped team since, well, the last very slightly better than average over-hyped England team.

Well from a Scotsman we wouldn’t expect any other comment, at least we can play football! With Spain having 3 retirements to key players I can see us (England) beating Spain at our home fortress of Wembley! We are superb here and a halfcut Spanish Team with no confidence hold no fears for us lions.

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20 minutes ago, godofhorses said:

Well from a Scotsman we wouldn’t expect any other comment, at least we can play football! With Spain having 3 retirements to key players I can see us (England) beating Spain at our home fortress of Wembley! We are superb here and a halfcut Spanish Team with no confidence hold no fears for us lions.

I'm not your usual bitter Jock with a chip on my shoulder though. My mother is English, I have Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and many friends who are English. My opinion on the English football team has nothing to do with some sort of pathetic prejudice, it's based on my knowledge of the sport of football and my experience of life ( I'm 49 years old). 

In my opinion, the hype around this England side is way overblown, they're a decent side, nothing more. From a betting point of view, which is what this forum is all about, all the value lies with Spain.

Lions :loon

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Denmark vs Wales

Back on familiar territory for me here with my beloved Wales travelling to Denmark for their next UEFA Nations League game in a 5pm kick-off at the Idraetspark in Aarhus on Sunday afternoon. A second win would put Ryan Giggs and his team in dream land but the game has been marred by interruptions to both sides' preparations.

The big story surrounding this game was whether Denmark would be able to field their full strength side or not after a disagreement between the Danish FA and the Players' Association saw Denmark forced to field futsal and lower league players in a 3-0 loss to Slovakia. However, a temporary deal has now been sorted so that Denmark will have all their big names available to play Wales tomorrow.

Things haven't exactly been smooth sailing for Wales either. The 4-1 win over Ireland on Thursday was impressive but Wales played with such a high intensity with a large number of young players. Denmark's players having a whole week's rest could spell problems for Wales. As if that wasn't a big enough disadvantage, the Wales plane experienced technical issues before taking off this evening so their plans have been delayed by a number of hours disrupting preparations for the game.

Wales have won on their last two visits to Denmark but this is a very strong Danish side. Can Ethan Ampadu keep Christian Eriksen quiet? Will David Brooks and the other youngsters maintain their performance levels away from the partisan home fans of the Cardiff City Stadium? I'm not confident.

I'm nervous about this game. Giggs has shown against Uruguay and Mexico that he can shift his tactics to adapt to teams that will come at us as opposed to other sides that might sit back like Ireland and China. I just think Denmark not playing their best players in midweek will prove a blessing in disguise for them. I can't see our players playing with the same intensity as they did on Thursday. They'll battle until the end but I wouldn't be surprised if Denmark wrapped up a comfortable one goal or two goal victory on home turf.

Denmark to Win @ 2.15 with BetVictor

BTTS @ 2.05 with William Hill

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