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Euro 2016 Qualifiers Tips

We preview both crucial Euro 2016 Group D qualifiers on Thursday, plus England’s televised game against Estonia at Wembley on Friday.

Rep of Ireland v Germany

SkySports1 Thursday 8th October / 7.45pm

Under 2.5Total Goals43/40Bet365
1-1Correct Score7/1Bet365
Germany 1-0Correct Score6/1Bet365
Robbie KeaneAnytime Goalscorer37/10Unibet
Thomas MullerFirst Goalscorer17/4Unibet
After the 25th MinuteTime of First Goal10/11Paddy Power

Germany have won five qualifying games on the trot, but the reverse fixture finished 1-1, courtesy of a 94th minute John O’Shea equaliser.

Ireland are also in decent form, having won three and drawn three of their last six, including a 0-0 draw at home to England (friendly) as well as a 1-0 win here against Georgia last time. They are currently third in Group D, two points behind Poland in second place and four points ahead of Scotland with two games remaining (third place secures at least a play-off spot), with Poland (away) to come on Sunday.

On the reasonable assumption that Scotland will beat Gibraltar on Sunday, Ireland need to match Scotland’s result against Poland at Hampden Park on Thursday to secure third spot – if Scotland win both games then the Irish will need to draw both their remaining games, or win one.

Thus, while a draw would not be the worst result, they really must go for all 3 points – Bet365 offer a tempting 13/2 on them beating a side who have all but qualified.

Germany have conceded just 7 goals in their 8 qualifiers, while Ireland have only let in 5, so our first proposed bet is on Under 2.5 Goals at best odds of 43/40 (Bet365). In fact, that looks one of the best bets of the week – we would have it odds on.

With that in mind, we also suggest backing the 1-1 and 0-1 scorelines at 6/1 and 7/1 respectively with Bet365, who refund losing bets on all games that finish 0-0.

As for the goalscorer markets, there are just two names to focus upon. Nobody has scored more than Robbie Keane’s 21 goals in European Championship qualifiers and the LA Galaxy striker can celebrate the recent birth of his second child by scoring at the Aviva Stadium (he is a massive looking 37/10 with Unibet to do so).

Thomas Muller has scored eight times in this qualification campaign and he simply must be backed to score the first goal at stand-out odds of 17/4, again with Unibet.

Finally, given that we see this game as being a cagey affair, we would suggest backing the first goal being scored after the 25th minute at 10/11 (even when Germany won 7-0 in Gibraltar, the first goal didn’t come until the 28th minute).

Scotland v Poland

Sky-Sports-2 Thursday 8th October / 7.45pm

1-1Correct Score6/1Unibet
Robert LewandowskiFirst Goalscorer5/1Coral
Shaun MaloneyFirst Goalscorer12/1Unibet
Steven Naismith (ew)First Goalscorer8/1Paddy Power

Scotland really need to win this game to give themselves any chance of getting that all important play off spot ahead of Ireland.

But that’s going to be a tall order against a Polish side that have only lost once of late, against Germany. Poland though have drawn three of their last six – including 2-2 in the reverse fixture in Warsaw – and there must be a real chance that, with a partisan crowd behind them, Scotland can get something from this game.

We like the option of backing the 1-1 Correct Score at stand-out odds of 6/1 with  Unibet and a draw would still give Scotland hope, if Ireland don’t beat Germany.

Robert Lewandowski is the star player on show, the Bayern Munich forward has scored no less than 10 goals in this campaign and he has 12 goals in the Bundesliga already this season. He certainly looks overpriced at 5/1 to net first with Coral here.

As far as Scotland are concerned, there are two players to concentrate on. Shaun Maloney, who takes penalties, has already scored four times this campaign, three at Hampden, and he can be backed at a huge looking 12/1 with Unibet to score first.

Steven Naismith regularly comes up with important goals for club and country. He has scored two goals this campaign from seven appearances – one against Poland in October. Back the Everton striker each-way at best odds of 8/1 with Paddy Power.

England v Estonia

ITV1 Friday 9th October / 7.45pm

EnglandTo Win To Nil4/7Generally
England 3-0Correct Score9/2BetVictor
England 4-0Correct Score17/2BetVictor
England 5-0Correct Score17/1BetVictor
Harry Kane (ew)First Goalscorer7/2Bet365

Although England have already reached the European Championships, winning all eight qualifiers thus far, another win is still important as it means Roy Hodgson’s side are one step closer to securing that all important seeding place.

And the odds suggest that it should be another straight forward three points – it’s 4/7 (general) that England win to nil, while Estonia are as big as 28/1 (BetVictor) to cause an upset at Wembley.

Given that Estonia have yet to score away from home in these qualifiers, including against San Marino where it finished 0-0, England’s defence would be disappointed not to keep another clean sheet at Wembley (the only goal conceded in their last 8 games at Wembley was a Jordan Henderson og).

It took a 74th minute Wayne Rooney goal to separate the two sides in the reverse fixture, but with home advantage it should be a very different tale and we can see a high scoring home win.

England are currently ranked 10th in the FIFA world rankings, while Estonia languish in 87th. When England played Lithuania (ranked 117th) at Wembley in March they ran out 4-0 winners, while against Switzerland (ranked 12th) last time they won 2-0.

But we don’t expect more than five goals (v 196th ranked San Marino at home this time last year England won 5-0). So we suggest perming three Correct Score bets: 3-0, 4-0 and 5-0, with BetVictor offering the best odds on all three scorelines.

With Wayne Rooney injured, Harry Kane will see this as a further opportunity to stake his claim to partner Rooney in France next summer.

The Spurs striker has scored 3 goals in 4 appearances for England – all three as a substitute – and can be backed each-way at 7/2 with Bet365 to score first (1/3 odds for the ‘place’). Thus, you are getting better than even money that he scores, which compares favourably with odds as short as 1/2 in the Anytime Goalscorer market.