World Cup Qualifiers Betting Preview: Mixed Results For Home Nations

World Cup Qualifiers Betting Preview: Mixed Results For Home Nations

The new club season has only been back for three weeks, but we’re already heading to an international break. While these breaks are a pain for many, there’s plenty of value around these international matches and some great contests. We think we’ve found a few top value bets, which you can see below. We’ve put together a few World Cup qualifier predictions, having checked out the latest form and, via our odds comparison, the best prices.

England to continue march to Russia

England’s path to the World Cup seems pretty clear, Gareth Southgate’s men are now just preparing for the tournament. Their latest “test” is a trip to Malta, which won’t exactly prepare them for bigger challenges. However, the former Middlesbrough coach needs all the time he can to get his side in order. They head in to this game hoping to get another three points on the board, whilst slowly finding a new way to approach the tournament, where they tend to fall apart.

England never seem to go out to hammer these small sides. They usually face stiff opposition, eventually get in front and then see a series of changes. That leaves them limited in these matches, and we don’t expect them to have an easier evening this week. We think the best way to go on this one is to back a limited display from the Three Lions, who are lacking in strength up front. We’re predicting under 3.5 goals for the visitors, which is priced at best betting odds of 7/10 with Coral. We also think it’s worth backing under 2.5 England goals, which can be backed at 17/10 with William Hill.

With Malta unlikely to score – even against Joe Hart in goal – we do expect England to win to nil. A 2-0 victory for the Three Lions is our final tip on this qualifier, which can be backed at 51/10 with Unibet.

For the latest Malta vs England betting odds, you should take a look at our odds comparison. It covers a wide range of markets across the biggest sports, ensuring you get the best price for your bet. If you’re backing our World Cup betting tips or predictions of your own, using our odds comparison ensures you don’t miss out on the best returns available.

Northern Ireland to edge towards play-offs

Northern Ireland have had a wonderful few years under Michael O’Neill, and they’re hoping to finish that in Russia next year. The Ulstermen are flying high in the group, trailing only behind world champions Germany. They’re on course to finish in the top two, which should see them take part in the play-offs for Russia. NI can secure a top two finish this month, starting with a win over minnows San Marino.

Three points this week would put them on the verge of a place in the play-off round, they’d need a victory over the Czech Republic on Monday to finish the job. The Northern Irish should have a straightforward task in this first game, having won by a score of either 3-0 or 4-0 in their recent head to head meetings. We think it’s worth backing Northern Ireland with a -2 handicap here, which can be backed at 8/11 with Ladbrokes. Given the gulf between these two, we think that is an excellent value bet.

Could Scots suffer more humiliation?

Scotland have had an entirely forgettable qualifying campaign, which is basically over for them already. They head in to their next tie with Lithuania as favourites, but we’re not entirely sure why. Having struggled to get points on the board so far, it’s hard to see the visitors coming here and getting a result. Morale must surely be low in the Scotland camp, especially given that they have already dropped two points at home to Lithuania earlier in the campaign.

We can’t see the home side losing this game, as we expect Scotland to continue to struggle. Having underwhelmed in the opening matches, there’s little to suggest that the Tartan Army can enjoy success here. Scotland have won just one of their last six internationals, so we’re backing Lithuania with a +1 handicap, which is available at odds of 21/20 with Bet365.

Can Wales rally for World Cup place?

The Welsh have really failed to build on the momentum of their brilliant Euro 2016 run, which has petered out in their push for Russia. Having been handed a comfortable group – after being the top seeded team in the pool – Chris Coleman’s troops have struggled in recent internationals, and playing Austria next is worrying. Can they find a way past the Austrians to keep their World Cup dream alive? With time ticking away, they have to kick on soon.

The problem for Wales hasn’t been losing matches, they’ve just suffered too many draws. Having taken this new status on, it’s probably understandable that Wales are struggling against other sides. They’ve now drawn their last five internationals, while they no longer have friendly games to find other ways around defences which play for a point against them.

While Gareth Bale is always someone for Wales to rely on, he’s their main threat up front. Otherwise they’re limited, which leaves them struggling to make a breakthrough. Austria can tend to have the same issues up front, and we can see these two sides cancelling each other out. We’re predicting a draw in this clash, which can be backed at odds of 11/5 with Bet365. We’re also really confident in under 2.5 goals in this encounter, which is available at 4/7 with Ladbrokes. Given how well these two can defend, we can see a low scoring match when these two meet in Cardiff.

Spain and Italy fight for top spot

The highlight of this weekend’s internationals isn’t one of the home nations, it’s a fight between two recent World Cup winners. The 2010 winners Spain and 2006 champions Italy are going head to head this weekend, with the pair gunning for top spot in their group. While many criticise the current state of qualifying in Europe, this is a clash where the result really matters. Which of these two sides will need a play-off to qualify, and who will go straight through?

Having another heavyweight side in your group should also make a side more competitive going into a tournament. This will be a real test for both teams, and we expect a thrilling encounter on Saturday. While we’re waiting on the return of competitive club football, this feels like a big Champions League tie. We have a huge match to get excited about, which should get us through the international break.

With genuine tension and plenty on the line here, we can see this one being tight. This is going to be close between these two, given the quality of defences on show. We’ve got to expect a low scoring match, with both searching for the breakthrough. Under 2.5 goals seems like a banker as far as we’re concerned, and is well priced at odds of 8/15 with Bet365. Given how the Italians tend to approach games, they should be very defensive in this trip, which has us going with fewer than three goals.

We can also see fewer than two goals in this one, as the Spanish won’t be pouring forward with so much on the line. It might not be the goalfest some would like, but this could be a real technical and tactical battle between two brilliant outfits. You can back under 1.5 goals in this game at big odds of 8/5 with Coral. While that seems a bit of a risk, we can’t see these two excellent backlines being breached in a match of this magnitude. That’s why we expect a close affair, with limited chances.

We also can see Italy taking a result in such a tight clash, which would put them in a great position to take top spot. We think Italy will take at least a point, given their strong record against the Spanish in recent encounters. We’re tipping Italy on the double chance market, which can be backed at 10/11 with Ladbrokes. With arguably the best defensive line in world football, we see Italy holding out here, while their young attacking talent are certainly a danger on the counter.

Don’t forget to check out our odds comparison before placing your next World Cup qualifying bets. It ensures you get the biggest possible returns for your latest bets or accumulators. If you want to make sure you’re getting the best price for your predictions or our betting tips, then it’s a valuable tool to keep an eye on. With a wide range of markets and matches available, our odds comparison has you covered.