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World Cup Qualifying Betting: Will Home Nations Finish Strongly And Book Their Spot In Russia?


The weekend may seem a little light with no Premier League action, but at least there’s real tension in these international clashes. With teams heading in to this weekend looking to secure a place at the World Cup, there are some high profile matches to enjoy. That can be said for both Scotland and Northern Ireland this weekend, while Bosnia need a result against a talented Belgium side in the highlight of Saturday’s action.

Slovenia v Scotland: Scotland hoping to cap off great run

The Scots have put together an excellent run to finish this campaign, they’d have been safely second - at the very least - if they could have started this well. Their poor results early on could ultimately cost them, but they did manage to edge out their final opponents Slovenia at Hampden. That win set them up for a strong run in this group, but will they be able to claim all three points in their final match?

Slovenia are a decent side, as they showed in their draw with England here earlier in the tournament. They have one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, so there’s plenty to fear for the Scots in this trip. Can they secure a result, or will they come up short against organised opposition?

Slovenia came close to grinding out a draw in the away meeting, and we can see them getting one here. The hosts don’t really need the points, and their plan is likely to be setting up to defend attacks from the Scottish, who will be desperate to end the group on a high. However, we don’t see Scotland having the quality to break through here, so we’re backing the draw at 5/2 with Betfred.

For the latest prices on all of the World Cup Qualifying action, you should take a look at our odds comparison. It gives you the best betting odds available on whichever market you are eying up for a game. If you’re backing any of our betting tips or your own predictions, then it’s worth taking a look at our odds comparison first to make sure you have the best price on your bet.

Bosnia v Belgium: Can this Belgian attack be stopped?

The biggest game on Saturday sees already qualified Belgium heading to Bosnia. The Bosnians are in a tight battle with Greece for a spot in the play-offs, and that means that Bosnia can’t afford to slip up at home to the group leaders. However, recent Belgian sides have qualified early and kept up their form in the last couple of matches. Can Roberto Martinez do the same with his side this weekend?

Belgium do have an incredible attack, with Romelu Lukaku and Dries Mertens both tearing things up for their clubs. Those two are likely to start here, which poses a huge threat for Bosnia. They need to push forward and get the win, but can they afford to leave gaps against this brilliant attack?

We think everything in this game points to goals, with Belgium likely to be out to put on a show after their impressive campaign. They’re looking to combine their brilliant midfield and attack ahead of the tournament, and things might just click for them here. We’re backing over 2.5 goals in this game at 17/20 with Bet365. We’re also having a smaller stake on Belgium to win and both teams to score, which is priced at nice odds of 18/5 with BetVictor.

Lithuania v England: Three Lions to wrap up with a victory

England will want to finish their campaign on a high note ahead of the World Cup, especially as Gareth Southgate looks back on a long road to Russia. The Three Lions started this process with Sam Allardyce in charge, and Big Sam basically wrapped this group up in his one win, seeing off their main rivals Slovakia away from home.

England should be able to finish with a win here, but they might be a little lax at the back. Lithuania have a mixed home record, but they should score against what is likely to be a rotated England side. However, we’re also backing an away win for the Three Lions, so our advice is to go for England to win and both teams to score at 6/4 with Coral in this clash.

Norway v Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland’s dominance set to continue

Northern Ireland are at the end of an impressive campaign, which has seen them keep a clean sheet against every team in the group bar world champions Germany. They should be able to maintain that defensive form against a poor Norway side, who have made little impression on this qualification campaign so far.

Northern Ireland still need to get a result to ensure they’re in the play-offs, while they also have an eye on the world rankings. Climbing a few spots could see the Ulstermen seeded for the play-off, in theory landing them a more straightforward tie. They’ll want to boost their ranking with a win here, and we can see them edging this game given their great defensive record. We’re backing Northern Ireland to win this one at 19/10 with Betfair. We’re also tempted to go with an NI win to nil at a slightly smaller stake given their form.

Regardless of what you’re backing this week, don’t forget to check out our odds comparison. It could be the difference between a few extra quid in your return, or it could boost your accumulator significantly. It’s so easy to find the best available betting odds for this weekend’s matches, so why would you risk taking a worse price when you can simply pick out the biggest?