Wales, Scotland, Republic of Ireland and England are all favourites to win on the road this week. We preview all four matches and offer our suggested bets for each.
Cyprus v Wales
Thursday 3rd September / 7.45pm
|Wales 1-0||Correct Score||5/1||Unibet|
|Wales 2-1||Correct Score||19/2||Unibet|
|Gareth Bale||First Goalscorer||7/2||William Hill|
Wales sit proudly at the top of Euro 2016 qualifying Group B with 14 points and one place ahead of England in the latest FIFA world rankings. Chris Coleman’s men are all but assured of a place in France next year (1/12 to qualify with Unibet) and with 3 points more than Belgium they look a decent bet at 11/10 (Coral) to win the group.
Wales won the reverse fixture in Cardiff in October by just a 2-1 scoreline, but only played almost half of the match with 10 men following the sending off of Andy King.
Cyprus have already been beaten 1-2 at home by Israel in this group and the visitors should ease to another 3 points here. The way to play it may be to be back Wales to win by the odd goal; 1-0 Wales is best price 5/1 and 2-1 Wales 19/2 (both Unibet).
Gareth Bale has scored five goals in Wales’ six qualifiers in this group and he can be backed at 7/2 to score first with William Hill – with their ‘2nd Goalscorer Insurance’ of having your stake refunded if your player scores the second goal instead.
Georgia v Scotland
Friday 4th September / 5pm
|Scotland 1-0||Correct Score||21/4||Unibet|
|Scotland 2-0||Correct Score||17/2||Unibet|
|Shaun Maloney||First Goalscorer||10/1||Ladbrokes|
With just four games remaining, Scotland (11 points) are in third place in Group D behind Poland (14) and Germany (13), but can be backed at Evens with Sky Bet to make it to France, as the third-placed team will either qualify directly if it is the highest-placed third-placed team, or enter the playoffs for four remaining spots. Scotland have yet to host both of those rivals (who face each other on Friday).
Gordon Strachan’s side won the reverse fixture 1-0 back in October, courtesy of an own goal. But Georgia have lost all but one qualification game so far – against Gibraltar – scoring just four goals (3 against Gibraltar) and conceding 13 times, so Scotland should manage another win on Friday night. We suggest backing them to win in 90 minutes at Evens with Bet365 or Ladbrokes, as well as backing the 0-1 and 0-2 scorelines at best odds of 21/4 and 17/2 respectively – both with Unibet.
Poland won here 4-0 in November, but all four goals were scored in the second half and we also like the stand-out odds of 21/5 offered by Unibet on Draw/Scotland in the HT/FT market (9 of Georgia’s last 11 home games were a draw at half-time).
As far as First Goalscorers are concerned we’ll go for Shaun Maloney given that he has notched four times this campaign and should take any penalty Scotland are awarded. Take him at best odds of 10/1 with Ladbrokes (just 7/1 or 8/1 elsewhere).
Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland
Friday 4th September / 7.45pm
|2nd Half||Highest Scoring Half||Evens||William Hill|
|11-20||Time of First Goal||5/2||Bet365|
|21-30||Time of First Goal||9/2||Bet365|
|Rep of Ireland 4-0||Correct Score||7/1||Stan James|
|Rep of Ireland 5-0||Correct Score||15/2||Stan James|
|Robbie Keane||To Score 2 or More||Evens||Sky Bet|
|Robbie Keane||To Score a Hat-trick||5/1||Paddy Power|
Also in Group D, the Rep of Ireland (9 points) will be hoping for Scotland to slip up in Georgia to boost their most realistic goal of grabbing that third qualification/play-off spot. Martin O’Neill’s side can be backed at 13/5 with Coral to qualify for Euro2016.
One thing that we can be certain of is that the Irish will win on Friday night. Gibraltar have lost all six group games, scoring a solitary goal and conceding 34, seven in Dublin in October when Robbie Keane scored a hat-trick. Both Poland and Germany won their group games 7-0 here at the Estadio Algarve, Gibraltar’s temporary home.
Interestingly, in both of those 7-0 home defeats, Gibraltar were only 0-1 down at half-time and so the first bet has to be on more goals in the second half than the first at even money with William Hill. Eight of the Republic’s last nine competitive away goals have been scored in the second half.
Neither game saw a goal in the first 10 minutes and so we also suggest backing the first goal coming between 11-20 mins at 5/2 and 21-30 mins at 9/2 (both Bet365).
Keane, who has scored 16 goals in 18 appearances for LA Galaxy this season, is 5/2 to score first with Bet365, but a better bet could be on him scoring at least twice at Evens with Sky Bet, while Paddy Power offer 5/1 on him grabbing another hat-trick.
San Marino v England
Saturday 5th September / 5pm
|Wayne Rooney||First Goalscorer||23/10||William Hill|
|Phil Jagielka (ew)||First Goalscorer||20/1||Paddy Power|
|13+||Time of First Goal||4/5||Paddy Power|
|England 4-0||Correct Score||13/2||Stan James|
|England 5-0||Correct Score||6/1||Stan James|
England have a 100% record so far in Group E, winning all six matches scoring 18 goals and conceding just three – and they will maintain that run against a San Marino side who have lost five and drawn one of their six games without scoring.
Roy Hodgson’s side won the reverse fixture at Wembley 5-0 in October and won here 8-0 in March 2013. Wayne Rooney scored in both of those games and can be backed at best odds of 23/10 with William Hill to score first (again with their ‘2nd Goalscorer Insurance’ of refunding your stake if your player scores second).
But we’ll also throw in a player at biggish odds to score first. Phil Jagielka scored the first goal in that 5-0 victory last year and is sure to threaten from set pieces again. Paddy Power‘s odds of 20/1 on the Everton centre-back to score first looks a decent each-way price (1/3 odds for the ‘place’, if your player scores any of the first 5 goals).
However, again we wouldn’t be in a hurry to back any early goals here – Jagielka’s goal at Wembley came in the 24th minute and the value may be in backing the first goal to come after the 13th minute at 4/5 with Paddy Power.
But ultimately class will tell and we recommend backing the 0-4 result at best odds of 13/2 and 0-5 at best odds of 6/1, both with Stan James.