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2022 World Cup Qualifying European Predictions > Mar 24th - 31st


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The 2022 World Cup qualification campaign starts for the UEFA section this week. Plenty of games coming up in a hectic week of international action. Take a look at the odds here and give us your opinions. @ALEXXXXXXXX, @StefanBB, @Neubs, @allyhibs, @harry_rag, and @betcatalog, are any of you guys interested in these games?

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Don't doubt it, @StevieDay1983 :)

Belgium vs Wales

After topping their UEFA Nations League group in the latest international window, the home side is set for another successful campaign. Belgium secured a place in the final tournament in this competition, and they aim to win the trophy. Roberto Martinez’s side has been excellent lately, and the hosts tied four victories in a row. Romelu Lukaku and the lads have been clinical in front of the oppositions’ net, netting at least twice per match during that period. However, Belgium needs to tighten their defense, as they conceded in six out of the previous seven games. The hosts are the top favorites for 1st place in the group, and they want to open this campaign with a victory.

Wales has also been on a good run lately, and the visitors secured the promotion to the UEFA Nations League top division. They missed the chance to win just once during that campaign, and the only draw came against Ireland on the road. Ryan Giggs’s side lost just once in the previous 14 matches, and they search for a successful campaign in these qualifiers. Wales has been very disciplined lately, as they conceded just once in six UEFA Nations League games. On the other hand, Gareth Bale and the lads need to improve their finishing, as they scored more than one goal just once in the last eight games. The visitors need another defensively-solid display to get something from this clash.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction

Belgium is the hottest favorite for winning this group, and we believe they will pick up where they left off. Therefore, the hosts should secure a victory at the beginning of the campaign.

Goals Market Prediction

The hosts have massive attacking potential, and they can score against any team. Although Wales has been tough to beat in the back recently, we expect to see at least three goals in total.

Belgium to win @ 1.40 

Over 2.5 FT @ 1.95 

Correct score 3:1 @ 13.00 

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Serbia vs Ireland

It’s a hot beginning of Spring for the Serbian national team. The hosts have a new head coach since their legendary player Dragan Stojkovic Piksi took over the bench. Luka Milivojevic retired from the international career, while the FA president resigned from his function due to suspicions about his involvement in some criminal acts. While all of this happened in just a few days, the fans hope for a much better campaign. Serbia disappointed them in the EURO quals and the latest edition of the UEFA Nations League. The hosts saved themselves from relegation at the last moment, thanks to a 5:0 victory over Russia. However, the Eagles missed the chance to qualify to EURO through playoffs after a defeat against Scotland. Serbia has many talented individuals, but we will see if the new coach and build a strong team as well.

Ireland faces many selection issues, and they will miss several important players in Belgrade. Stephen Kenny needs to put a backup goalkeeper on the line, which is not the only trouble. The visitors are in very poor form since they failed to win nine times in a row. They survived in the UEFA Nations League Division B thanks to the goalless draw against Bulgaria in the closing round. Despite being pretty tight in the back, Ireland has many problems converting their chances into goals. As a consequence, Shane Long and the lads scored just once in six Nations League games. Additionally, they failed to find the back of the net on the previous seven occasions. If they manage to win something from this game, the visitors should be more than happy.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction

Despite many side-effects that may disrupt the hosts, Serbia is the favorite to win this game. We believe the hosts will meet the expectations and start the campaign with valuable three points.

Goals Market Prediction

Serbia has been poor in the back recently, however, Ireland struggles to beat the oppositions’ goalkeeper. We don’t expect to see too many goals in this game, which should stay under a 2.5 margin.

Serbia to win @ 1.70 

Under 2.5 FT @ 1.65 

Correct score 2:0 @ 6.50 

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Belgium vs Wales

Great to see those previews of yours, @StefanBB, and I'll throw in my two cents as well. This fixture immediately evokes wonderful memories for us Welsh fans over recent years with the 0-0 draw out in Belgium, the 1-0 win over Belgium at home, and then the epic 3-1 victory over Belgium in the 2016 European Championship Quarter-Finals giving us a psychological advantage over the Belgians. However, it just feels like maybe it's our turn to be on the receiving end of a defeat now?

Belgium come into this game at the top of the FIFA World Rankings. Roberto Martinez continues to do a brilliant job with the team that includes an array of talented individuals such as Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Youri Tielemans, and Thibaut Courtois. The Red Devils do have a number of injury problems with the likes of Axel Witsel and Eden Hazard missing but they have enough quality to come in to replace them. It's 23 wins from their last 24 qualification matches. Their home record in qualifiers is also incredible having not lost since a defeat to Germany back in September 2010. They have remained undefeated in 24 home qualifiers since. The one thing Martinez has really got right with Belgium is bringing the best out of striker Lukaku. The Inter Milan front man has bagged 40 goals in 38 appearances under Martinez making him one of the most lethal finishers on the international stage right now.

Wales might have had a hoodoo over Belgium in recent times but they head into this game plagued by problems. The Dragons might have earned promotion to League A in the UEFA Nations League and already guaranteed a play-off spot for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers but it's not all sunshines and rainbows within the camp. Aaron Ramsey failing to win his battle to be fit is a huge blow for the team but we're getting used to playing games without him at the moment. Head coach Ryan Giggs is also still suspended from fulfilling his duties with the court case against him by his partner for assault drags on. Interim head coach Robert Page has done a sterling job in his absence but it's a far from ideal scenario. Then there is also the imminent departure of former FAW Chief Executive Jonathan Ford. There is no denying the good that Ford has done for Welsh football on the international but his complete disrespect towards grassroots football in Wales during the pandemic (including clubs being forced to pay pitch fees up front and then not being refunded when seasons have been declared null and void) condemning him to an early exit from the role.

Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling about this game. It's almost as if we're going to suffer payback for the joy we have experienced against Belgium in recent times. Belgium still seem to be performing to a stratospheric level right now and we're just about finding our feet again after the halcyon Chris Coleman days. It feels now that we need all our best players available if we're to win games like this. I have no doubt our players will give everything tonight from kick-off at 7:45pm GMT but there is such a huge gap in quality. I can see a solid Belgium win.

Belgium HT/FT @ 2.06 with SBK

Belgium -1 @ 2.16 with Sporting Index

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Serbia vs Republic of Ireland

The second game involving the so-called "home nations" on Wednesday night is the 7:45pm GMT kick-off between Serbia and Republic of Ireland at the Rajko Mitic Stadium in Belgrade. Both of these two teams suffered heartbreak in the 2020 European Championship Play-Offs last year and will be looking to give their fans something to cheer in this opening round of qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.

Serbia are looking to compete at a second consecutive World Cup after reaching the 2018 World Cup. Group stage elimination meant it was a tournament that had promised so much but failed to deliver. Head coach Dragan Stojkovic Piksi is the new man in the role after he replaced Ilija Stolica this year. The pair of Aleksandar Kolarov and Luka Milivojevic have been ruled out due to covid regulations but Piksi generally has a fully fit squad to pick from. Just 1 win from their last 7 matches including drawing two friendlies against Dominican Republic and Panama by a 0-0 score-line in January suggests the team is not in the best of form or confidence. It'll be interesting to see how they set up here in the new manager's first game in charge.

Republic of Ireland look like a team that are in trouble heading into this game. Stephen Kenny's side are severely hampered by injuries with their absentees including Darren Randolph, Conor Hourihane, Kevin Long, John Egan, James McCarthy, Harry Arter, and Adam Idah. If that wasn't enough, then the fact the Boys in Green have gone 9 matches without a win shows their self belief is on the floor. Bournemouth's Mark Travers is set to start in goal for the Irish here and you have to say that anything other than a defeat will have to be seen as a positive.

Wales have played both of these teams in recent qualification campaigns and neither have stood out as very capable opponents, with all due respect to them. I think this game is there for Serbia to win and if Republic of Ireland can start this campaign with a draw or even a win then it'll be a massive result for them. I'm not sold on Kenny as a decent appointment and feel this qualification campaign will undoubtedly end in tears for the Irish starting tonight.

Serbia to Win to Nil @ 2.54 with Sporting Index

Draw HT/ Serbia FT @ 4.55 with Matchbook

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Slovenia - Croatia

WC qualies are about to kick off this evening... I`m particulary interested in this group H encounter which takes place in Slovenia capital of Ljubljana. On the first look this looks like any other game for both sides, but one mustn`t forget that we`re talking about two neighbouring contries and, what`s more important, rivalry that has always existed between these two sides.

Slovenia is managed by Matjaz Kek. He is an old-school sort of a coach who likes to put emphasis on defence and likes structured, responsible football. Slovenia hasn`t played the strongest European teams recently, but it`s important to say that they lost their last match in 2019. Jan Oblak is their star player, together with the likes of Iličić and Šporar.

Croatia managed to stay in A group od Uefa Nations League athough I felt like it wasn`t the  most important competition for them. They are still managed by Zlatko Dalic who led them to the 2nd place in WC 2018 in Russia. In Croatian national team everything revolves around Luka Modric. He`s like wine - the older the better. A leader and a great footballer. Croatia isn`t as strong as two years ago, but a team with the likes of Modric, Brozovic, Perisic, Kovacic, Lovren or Kramaric is  more than respectable.

I expect a duel in which Croatia will dominate possession and Slovenia will try to break on counters. Having Oblak between the posts is additional boost for the home defence. Keep in mind that Croatia has never dealt easily with the hosts. That`s why I exepect a game with only a couple of goals scored.

Slovenia - Croatia under 2,5 @1,70

correct score 1:1

Edited by ivanhoe
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1 hour ago, ivanhoe said:

Slovenia - Croatia

WC qualies are about to kick off this evening... I`m particulary interested in this group H encounter which takes place in Slovenia capital of Ljubljana. On the first look this looks like any other game for both sides, but one mustn`t forget that we`re talking about two neighbouring contries and, what`s more important, rivalry that has always existed between these two sides.

Slovenia is managed by Matjaz Kek. He is an old-school sort of a coach who likes to put emphasis on defence and likes structured, responsible football. Slovenia hasn`t played the strongest European teams recently, but it`s important to say that they lost their last match in 2019. Jan Oblak is their star player, together with the likes of Iličić and Šporar.

Croatia managed to stay in A group od Uefa Nations League athough I felt like it wasn`t the  most important competition for them. They are still managed by Zlatko Dalic who led them to the 2nd place in WC 2018 in Russia. In Croatian national team everything revolves around Luka Modric. He`s like wine - the older the better. A leader and a great footballer. Croatia isn`t as strong as two years ago, but a team with the likes of Modric, Brozovic, Perisic, Kovacic, Lovren or Kramaric is  more than respectable.

I expect a duel in which Croatia will dominate possession and Slovenia will try to break on counters. Having Oblak between the posts is additional boost for the home defence. Keep in mind that Croatia has never dealt easily with the hosts. That`s why I exepect a game with only a couple of goals scored.

Slovenia - Croatia under 2,5 @1,70

correct score 1:1

Love this, @ivanhoe! Almost as much as I love your avatar. Wibble. Anyway, I have actually felt Croatia are a team that are still vastly playing above their station and think they are prone to being caught off guard by a side like Slovenia.

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28 minutes ago, StevieDay1983 said:

Love this, @ivanhoe! Almost as much as I love your avatar. Wibble. Anyway, I have actually felt Croatia are a team that are still vastly playing above their station and think they are prone to being caught off guard by a side like Slovenia.

You`re speaking to a long time Black Adder fan. I believe this won`t be a walk in the park for Croatia. All we have to do now is wait and see... Good luck anyways !

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I usually end up repeating the mantra "should've had a night off" when Internationals come round but these have drawn me in,

France v Ukraine: 10 points on a Griezmann assist at 10/3 PP

Belgium v Wales: 15 points on a De Bruyne assist at 11/5 Lads and 5 points on Lukaku to score and 2+ cards each team at 18/1 WH

Serbia v Ireland: 15 points on Vlahovic to score at 11/4 with 365

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1 hour ago, harry_rag said:

I usually end up repeating the mantra "should've had a night off" when Internationals come round but these have drawn me in,

France v Ukraine: 10 points on a Griezmann assist at 10/3 PP

Belgium v Wales: 15 points on a De Bruyne assist at 11/5 Lads and 5 points on Lukaku to score and 2+ cards each team at 18/1 WH

Serbia v Ireland: 15 points on Vlahovic to score at 11/4 with 365

Bet you're glad you didn't have a night off! :lol

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Switzerland played well against the best in Europe during the Nations League, so Petkovic can expect his team to be above its opponents from day one. The hosts will enjoy the opportunity to learn from their new coach, but it would take a miracle for Petrov to inspire his team, so a comfortable victory away from Switzerland is the only result we can predict.
Bulgaria vs. Switzerland @@ win Switzerland, odds 1,47

A tough showdown is expected tonight and Hungary are likely to be stubborn rivals for the Poles to collapse. The hosts will go to keep their home against Poland intact, we believe it will be judged in detail and I will go with the few goals.
Hungary vs. Poland @@ Under 2,5, odds 1,65

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Scotland vs Austria

The home side managed to secure a ticket for EURO for the first time since 1996. Although they were not successful in the main quals, Scotland found their place in the final tournament through the UEFA Nations League playoffs. Steve Clarke’s side was better than Israel and Serbia, both times after the penalty shootout. Ryan Christie and the lads managed to put defensively solid performances and kept their nerves in the crucial moments. However, Scotland failed to score in their next two matches against Israel and Slovakia. They lost both games and missed the chance to win the promotion to the UEFA Nations League top division. Scotland aims for the spot in the World Cup next year, but there are serious contenders around.

Austria managed to secure their spot in EURO through the main qualifiers. The visitors finished 2nd in their group, comfortably ahead of Northern Macedonia and Slovenia. Franco Foda’s side enjoys a very good run of six games without losing. During that period, Marko Arnautovic and the lads failed to win only once in a 1:1 draw against Norway. The away side had a successful UEFA Nations League campaign as well, as they got promoted to the top division. Austria will search for valuable points in this match, and the visitors are among the top contenders for the World Cup qualification.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction

Despite Scotland’s success in the UNL playoffs, they haven’t played well lately. Austria is in much better form, and we believe the visitors should take all three points at Hampden Park.

Goals Market Prediction

The home side has been involved in a lot of low-scoring matches lately. Six out of their last seven games stayed under a 2.5 margin. Therefore, we expect another tight encounter and not more than two goals in total.

Austria to win @ 2.25

Under 2.5 FT @ 1.70

Correct score 0:1 @ 6.50 

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Germany vs Iceland

Germany enjoyed almost a perfect EURO qualifiers campaign, booking seven victories in eight rounds. The hosts secured a place in the final tournament by winning their group. However, Joachim Low’s side didn’t have much success in the UEFA Nations League. Germany faced Spain in the group winner decider and suffered a humiliating 6:0 defeat. Spaniards secured the top spot in the group and advanced to the final tournament. Timo Werner and the lads have been clinical in front of the oppositions’ goal, but they need to tighten the defense. Germany managed to keep the clean sheet only once on the previous nine occasions. The hosts are the hottest favorites in their group, and the fans expect a good start.

Iceland failed to qualify for the EURO, as they finished 3rd in their group behind France and Turkey. They had another chance against Hungary in the UNL playoffs but conceded two late goals and lost 2:1. A terrible UEFA Nations League campaign followed since the visitors lost all six games. Consequently, Iceland got relegated to the second division. Arnar Viðarsson should be very concerned about his team’s poor defending. The away side conceded almost three goals per match on average in the UEFA Nations League Division A. Defeats against Belgium and England on the road were particularly hard. Gylfi Sigurdsson and the lads search for an improvement, but they have a very tough task at the start of the new campaign. However, they want to take their best shot against one of the strongest European national teams.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction

Germany is a firm favorite in this clash, and we believe the hosts will meet the expectations. Since the visitors have been very poor when playing away from home, we expect the home side to celebrate by at least two goals.

Goals Market Prediction

Since Germany has been very productive, while Iceland’s defense is pretty leaky, it is natural to expect many goals. We believe football fans will enjoy an efficient game with at least four goals in total.

Germany AH -1.5 @ 1.45

Over 3.5 FT @ 2.10

Correct score 4:1 @ 16.50

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England vs San Marino

OK, so the first preview for Thursday nights games is a tricky one not because of who will win but more because of how many they will win by. It's England versus San Marino in a 7:45pm GMT kick-off at Wembley Stadium in Group I of the 2022 World Cup Qualification process for the UEFA section. Now, where is the value in this game? Better get digging!

England are obviously the overwhelming favourites for this game. There have been 6 meetings between these two sides down the years and England have won all 6 of those games by an aggregate score of 37-1. That single goal that England conceded notoriously came in the 7-1 win away back on 17th November, 1993 when San Marino scored the opening goal in the 1st minute of play. A word of warning from history for anyone thinking of backing a first scorer bet. The Three Lions face tough competition from Poland in this group for that top spot so Gareth Southgate will be keen to see his side give their goal difference a boost here because there's every chance automatic qualification for the 2022 World Cup could come down to that factor. Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka are the only potential absentees for England so we could see a strong squad starting here.

San Marino might well be the lowest ranked side in international football but with Andorra also in this group they'll see it as a fantastic opportunity to avoid finishing rock bottom of a qualification group. Head coach Franco Varrella has seen his team lose just 1 of their last 3 matches having drawn 0-0 away to Liechtenstein and at home to Gibraltar in their UEFA Nations League campaign. Only two players in the squad, defender Mirko Palazzi and striker Filippo Berardi, have scored on the international stage and we can undoubtedly expect an "all hands to the pump" defensive display that will end in inevitable defeat.

Not a lot to say about this game really. San Marino have enjoyed a couple of positive results recently given their small nation status but this is another level. I would be astonished if the visitors scored and I can see England's attacking might being far too much for them. The only worry here is if England get complacent. We could see double figures here if England are on it. I'd say backing a -5 or -6 handicap isn't beyond thinking. I'm also going to take a punt on Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagging a hat trick with my feeling being that Southgate will save Harry Kane for Albania and Poland.

England -6 @ 1.76 with Novibet

To Score a Hat Trick: Dominic Calvert-Lewin @ 3.50 with BetVictor

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Italy vs Northern Ireland

It's a true mammoth challenge for Northern Ireland in their opening group game of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers as they travel away to face in-form Italy in a 7:45pm GMT kick-off at the Stadio Ennio Tardini in Parma for this Group C clash. There couldn't have been many tougher first games for the Northern Irish to face but if they can somehow get a result then it would put them in a fantastic position in this group.

Italy are thriving under head coach Roberto Mancini with the team unbeaten in their last 22 matches including 17 victories. The team might still only be ranked number 10 in the FIFA World Rankings but there aren't many national sides in much finer form than the Azzurri right now. One of the scariest stats in international football is the fact that Italy have never lost a home qualifier for the World Cup. The team infamously missed out on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup altogether but bounced back by reaching the 2020 European Championship in stunning fashion and head into that tournament as one of the favourites. Mancini has put faith in the younger players coming through with the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Nicolo Barella, Lorenzo Pellegrini, and Federico Chiesa all being given a chance to shine. Yet there has still been a place for the experience of Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Marco Verratti, and Ciro Immobile to balance the team. What a squad of players they now have at their disposal.

Northern Ireland would be forgiven for still licking their wounds after failure to qualify for the 2020 European Championship after a disappointing play-off defeat to Slovakia. Head coach Ian Baraclough has the thankless task of taking the nation on after the successful Michael O'Neill era and it's been hard work so far. The Green and White Army not only missed out on Euro 2020 but also finished bottom of their group in the UEFA Nations League to suffer relegation to League C. It's now 10 matches without a win and the last time they took on a top 10 ranked side away was Germany in 2019 and that ended in a 6-1 loss. I have a feeling this could be a dark day of football for Northern Ireland as they continue to struggle in this new era.

As if the quality of players on display and current form wasn't enough to convince you that this was only ending one way then the head-to-head record will only add weight to that. Northern Ireland have won just 1 of their 9 matches with Italy and that was in a 2-1 victory at the 1958 World Cup. It's been 5 losses and 1 draw since with no goals scored for Northern Ireland in the previous 5 meetings. I anticipate a similar tale here.

Italy -1 @ 1.67 with SpreadEx

Italy HT/FT @ 1.77 with SBK

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Scotland vs Austria

The most intriguing game of the day in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers in the UEFA section on Thursday night is the encounter between Scotland and Austria in a 7:45pm GMT kick-off at Hampden Park in Group F. In what is arguably one of the most open groups of the qualification phase, the result in this game could have a major impact on the destiny of these two teams even at this early stage.

Scotland are enjoying a decent period of form at the moment. Steve Clarke might have courted his fair share of criticism for his management so far but there is no denying the former West Brom manager is making progress. The Tartan Army not only reached their first major international tournament since 1998 by qualifying for the 2020 European Championship but they also produced a solid performance in the UEFA Nations League to not only secure their spot in League B but also give themselves a chance of bagging a play-off spot in these qualifiers. It's now 9 wins from the last 13 home qualifiers for Scotland and the Scots did not lose a single one of their home qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. If you fancy an outside bet for anytime scorer then midfielder John McGinn has scored 7 goals in 15 appearances under Clarke.

Austria will be another side buzzing after qualifying for the 2020 European Championship. Head coach Franco Foda has a full complement of players to pick from after German and French authorities relaxed their covid quarantine rules. This is an Austrian team that is in decent form heading into this game having won all four of their away games during 2020 and earning promotion to League A after finishing top of their group in League B of the UEFA Nations League. It's also interesting to see that Austria have won 12 of their 18 opening games in World Cup qualification down the years. Foda is also working wonders for the team with the nation enjoying a 67% win ratio under their manager.

This is going to be a tough game for Scotland to open their World Cup qualification campaign but what an opportunity this is for both nations. Denmark, Israel, Faroe Islands, and Moldova are the other teams in the group so a victory here would put either side in a prime position to contest the top spot. However, a defeat and it's already looking like a tall order. Austria are guaranteed a play-off spot already so they have nothing to lose. I anticipate they'll come out fighting as they look to get the win. Could that play into the conservative approach of Clarke? @allyhibs, what are you thinking? I love Scotland. I have family heritage linked to the country and I have fond memories of visits there. On that basis, I'm going to give them some support and back them to get a draw. Austria are not to be underrated though!

Draw @ 3.40 with Novibet

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.67 with Novibet

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Israel v Denmark: 2.5 points on Eriksen to score first at 9/1 ("Power Price") and 15 on him to score at 11/4, both with PP (sub 2/1 everywhere else).

The spread firms make him Denmark's most likely scorer but the fixed odds prices favour Wind, Poulsen and Braithwaite. I agree with the spreads!

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1 hour ago, StevieDay1983 said:

Scotland vs Austria

The most intriguing game of the day in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers in the UEFA section on Thursday night is the encounter between Scotland and Austria in a 7:45pm GMT kick-off at Hampden Park in Group F. In what is arguably one of the most open groups of the qualification phase, the result in this game could have a major impact on the destiny of these two teams even at this early stage.

Scotland are enjoying a decent period of form at the moment. Steve Clarke might have courted his fair share of criticism for his management so far but there is no denying the former West Brom manager is making progress. The Tartan Army not only reached their first major international tournament since 1998 by qualifying for the 2020 European Championship but they also produced a solid performance in the UEFA Nations League to not only secure their spot in League B but also give themselves a chance of bagging a play-off spot in these qualifiers. It's now 9 wins from the last 13 home qualifiers for Scotland and the Scots did not lose a single one of their home qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. If you fancy an outside bet for anytime scorer then midfielder John McGinn has scored 7 goals in 15 appearances under Clarke.

Austria will be another side buzzing after qualifying for the 2020 European Championship. Head coach Franco Foda has a full complement of players to pick from after German and French authorities relaxed their covid quarantine rules. This is an Austrian team that is in decent form heading into this game having won all four of their away games during 2020 and earning promotion to League A after finishing top of their group in League B of the UEFA Nations League. It's also interesting to see that Austria have won 12 of their 18 opening games in World Cup qualification down the years. Foda is also working wonders for the team with the nation enjoying a 67% win ratio under their manager.

This is going to be a tough game for Scotland to open their World Cup qualification campaign but what an opportunity this is for both nations. Denmark, Israel, Faroe Islands, and Moldova are the other teams in the group so a victory here would put either side in a prime position to contest the top spot. However, a defeat and it's already looking like a tall order. Austria are guaranteed a play-off spot already so they have nothing to lose. I anticipate they'll come out fighting as they look to get the win. Could that play into the conservative approach of Clarke? @allyhibs, what are you thinking? I love Scotland. I have family heritage linked to the country and I have fond memories of visits there. On that basis, I'm going to give them some support and back them to get a draw. Austria are not to be underrated though!

Draw @ 3.40 with Novibet

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.67 with Novibet

I think this is one of those games where Scotland need to be at their best to get anything from. Austria are a good side with some top players but Clarke has us well organised with a sprinkling of top players also, a low scoring draw wouldn't be a surprise.

John McGinn for anytime scorer's a great shout, funnily enough, I was thinking the same driving home from work.

 

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4 hours ago, StevieDay1983 said:

England vs San Marino

OK, so the first preview for Thursday nights games is a tricky one not because of who will win but more because of how many they will win by. It's England versus San Marino in a 7:45pm GMT kick-off at Wembley Stadium in Group I of the 2022 World Cup Qualification process for the UEFA section. Now, where is the value in this game? Better get digging!

 

How about San Marino bookings? Their last 8 competitive games have seen them collect 35, 50, 50, 20, 40, 30, 20 and 20 bookings points. Today's referee is Russian Kirill Levnikov. Frequently referees differ between their domestic and international duties (e.g. card-happy Spanish refs seem to ease up considerably on the international stage). However,  Comrade Levnikov has dished out 30 yellows and 6 reds in his last 4 international games - admittedly 2 and U19 level and 1 at U21 level.

My perception is that San Marino can be almost as agricultural as Andorra - especially late in games when they are tired and frustrated. If they pick up their minimum 2 yellows, then a buy of San Marino bookings at 21 with Sporting Index is virtually covered. However, there is good potential for more. On the fixed odds market there could be value in skybet's 9/4 about over 29 San Marino bookings points.

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Serbia

It is surprising that they have been knocked out of UEFA European Championship by Scotland. Undoubtedly they want to prove themselves in Qualification. Dragan Stojkovic has taken charge of them. In last game, they come back from being two goals down to win Ireland at 3-2.

 

Portugal

They are full of excellent players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Joao N. Borges Fernandes, Kepler Laveran Lima Ferreira, Pepe and so on. But they win over Azerbaijan at 1-0 for their own goal. They show put more efforts to show their quality.

 

Verdict:

There is a gap between Serbia and Portugal. Portugal take the upper hand over Serbia in every aspect. In addition, Portugal are in form, with 70% winning percentage. They will absolutely win.

 

Serbia VS Portugal

Prediction: 0-2, 1-2

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14 hours ago, harry_rag said:

Rude not to jinx you! 20 points on that and 5 on 40+ at 6/1 same firm.

Saw a couple of blatant bookable San Marino challenges in the 2nd half totally ignored by the ref - then he goes and books Mings as the last action of the game for a virtual non-challenge. Hey-ho🚽.

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19 hours ago, allyhibs said:

John McGinn for anytime scorer's a great shout, funnily enough, I was thinking the same driving home from work.

My maaaaan!!! What a goal as well! Ironically, both Scotland and Austria seemed a bit off their best so think a draw was probably a fair result. Disappointing for you guys not to win but far from a disaster. All to play for.

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5 hours ago, StevieDay1983 said:

My maaaaan!!! What a goal as well! Ironically, both Scotland and Austria seemed a bit off their best so think a draw was probably a fair result. Disappointing for you guys not to win but far from a disaster. All to play for.

Didn't back the draw unfortunately, I thought Scotland were far too defensive, Clarke needs to realise some games can be won by having a go at the other team.

Did back McGinn anytime at 5.50 though, my man crush on the legend that is Super John just gets deeper and deeper.

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Norway vs Turkey

The hosts booked three points at the start of the campaign on an easy trip to Gibraltar. Norway celebrated without too much trouble in the game that finished 3:0. However, the major challenges are about to start, and the first one comes against Turkey. After the opening round, we can see at least three contenders for the top two spots, and Norway is one of them. Lars Lagerback’s side failed to qualify for EURO, despite only one defeat in their group.

Nevertheless, Erling Haaland and the lads had another chance in the UEFA Nations League playoffs, but they lost to Serbia in the semi-finals. Norway has a very talented group of players, which could build great careers. If they get a chance to play in the final tournament at such a young age, that might speed up their development. Therefore, Norway needs to go for another win and keep challenging qualification spots.

Turkey surprised the Netherlands in the opening round with a 4:2 home victory. The visitors booked an important win on the wings of Burak Yilmaz, who scored a hat-trick. Senol Gunes’s side had a great campaign in the EURO Quals after finishing right behind France in their group. They conceded only three goals and were four points ahead of Iceland. However, Turkey’s form dropped in their UEFA Nations League campaign, where they got relegated to the third division. The away side celebrated just twice on the previous nine occasions, but the latest victory might be vital. If the visitors can repeat the display from the latest match, they might get something against Norway.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction

It is going to be a tight clash in which both sides have a chance of taking some points. However, we believe Norway is a slight favorite, and they should book an important victory.

Goals Market Prediction

Both teams have been pretty productive lately, while their previous head-to-head clashes have also been efficient. Therefore, we don’t think nets will remain still in this one.

Norway to win @ 2.45

BTTS Yes @ 1.90

Correct score 2:1 @ 9.00

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Serbia vs Portugal

After eleven years, Serbia managed to open its quals campaign with a victory. And that one came against a direct rival for one of the top two spots. Nevertheless, Dusan Tadic and the lads needed to come from behind to celebrate a 3:2 victory. Again, the hosts showed how insecure they are in the back, but eventually, Dragan Stojkovic had a successful debut on the bench. Serbia and Portugal were rivals in the EURO quals as well, where the hosts finished third. These two sides met each other on six occasions so far, and Serbia is still searching for its first victory. A win in the opening round could be a great boost of confidence ahead of this very important match.

Portugal also enjoyed a victorious start, but they celebrated only 1:0 against Azerbaijan. Despite 25 attempts, from which more than a dozen were on target, the defending European champions didn’t score. Maksim Medvedev did that instead of them, and Fernando Santos’s side picked up all three points thanks to an own goal. Cristiano Ronaldo and the lads lost only once in the previous 11 games, but that defeat cost them a place in the UEFA Nations League playoffs. They won’t have a chance to defend the title, so this competition will get a new winner. Portugal has been very good in the back, as the visitors conceded only four goals on the previous 11 occasions. They will search for another three points and celebrate for the third time in Belgrade.

Full-Time Winner Odds & Prediction

It is one of the most important games for both teams in this campaign, and a winner might get much closer to the final tournament. We think the bookies underestimated Serbia very much, and the hosts might remain undefeated.

Goals Market Prediction

Head-to-head clashes between these two teams have always been very exciting. None of the sides managed to keep the clean sheet in their last six encounters, and we expect the tradition to continue.

Serbia AH +1 @ 1.65

BTTS Yes @ 1.95

Correct score 1:1 @ 7.00

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Republic of Ireland vs Luxembourg

The next game coming up for the home nations in the 2022 World Cup Qualification schedule is Republic of Ireland versus Luxembourg in the second round of games in Group A. It was a tough start for the home team suffering defeat away to Serbia but they'll be looking to bounce back to winning ways here against the minnows of the group who kickstart their campaign with this 7:45pm GMT kick-off on Saturday night at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Republic of Ireland are going through a tough period at the moment. You look at the squad that lost 3-2 to Serbia in their opening group game and it's not a patch on Irish teams of years gone by. Yes, they boast some top quality in the likes of Seamus Coleman, Jeff Hendrick, and Robbie Brady but even they don't compare to the Damien Duff, Roy Keane, Robbie Keane, Ray Houghton, and Paddy Bonner of the days past. Head coach Stephen Kenny seems to be winning favour with the supporters for his bravery in bringing through younger players such as Dara O'Shea, Jayson Molumby, and Aaron Connolly but it's a formula unlikely to bring instant success. Qualification already seems a tall order knowing they have dropped points to Serbia and still have to play Portugal twice. The injury list grows for Ireland with Connolly likely ruled out. He joins fellow absentees James McCarthy, Harry Arter, Conor Hourihane, Caoimhin Kelleher, Kevin Long, John Egan, Callum O'Dowda, and Adam Idah.

Luxembourg aren't the walkover result that European teams used to enjoy against the small nation down the years. Head coach Luc Holtz has seen his team come close to winning their group in the UEFA Nations League C after wins over Azerbaijan, Cyprus, and Montenegro. It was only back on 3rd September, 2017 that Luxembourg pulled off one of their greatest results by holding the soon-to-be world champions France to a 0-0 draw in Toulouse during that World Cup qualification campaign. So make no mistake that this Luxembourg side has experience of going to tough places grinding out gritty performances. The current squad has more players than ever playing at an elite level such as Racing Santander's Lars Krogh Gerson, Standard Liege's Laurent Jans, New York City's Maxime Chanot, Young Boys' Christopher Martins, Dynamo Kiev's Gerson Rodrigues, and the Mainz 05 duo of Leandro Barreiro and Florian Bohnert.

You'd like to think that Republic of Ireland will walk this one but never has the saying of there being no easy games at international level been truer than here. Luxembourg are the sort of team that will cause you problems if you aren't at your best. I worry for Republic of Ireland at this time. I do think Kenny is doing the best he can with limited resources. It's going to be a tough game but I think they should squeeze the win. It's going to be nerve-wracking though!

Republic of Ireland to Win to Nil @ 2.30 with BetVictor

Republic of Ireland HT/FT @ 2.38 with Boylesports

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