Here we take a look at UEFA World Cup qualifying and the spotlight is on Group H. Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Estonia, Gibraltar and Greece will battle it out over the next year or so. Only the top side will claim a place at the Russian World Cup in 2018 but the second placed nation will have a good chance of making the play-offs and so there is much to play for.
Read on as we take a look at the outright winner betting, offer up our tips and predictions for who will finish top of the pile and who might finish second. We’ve also got our odds comparison to make getting the biggest and best odds easier than ever before, with live odds provided for both the outright winner betting and the individual matches.
As things stand after one game, the three best sides all have three points. Belgium beat Cyprus 3-0 in Cyprus, Bosnia thrashed Estonia 5-0 and Greece secured a solid 4-1 win away from home in Gibraltar.
So far, so predictable. Obviously the crunch games will be when those three sides play each other but the bookies have got no doubt who will prevail and nor have we. Belgium, currently ranked the world’s second best team by FIFA’s arcane coefficients, are priced at best betting odds of 1/4 with Bet365.
It raised many eyebrows, not least on Merseyside, when former Everton boss Roberto Martinez was appointed as the new Belgium coach. He brought in Thierry Henry alongside him and there is no doubt that those two will be able to develop an attacking and attractive side. However, there are sure to be concerns about the defensive side of things, although given how poorly Martinez’s predecessor did with the players available to him, there seems little to lose.
Behind Belgium come the rugged and determined Bosnians, who have a sprinkle or two of magic and class provided by the likes of Juve’s Miralem Pjanić, captain Edin Džeko and Senad Lulić. Dzeko’s men can be backed at odds of 7/2 in the outright winner betting for Group H, those odds available at William Hill.
Greece can be backed at odds of 10/1 with Bet365 and the fact that there is such a jump is a fair reflection of the current standing of the Greek national time. Their victory at Euro 2004 seems a long time ago and they have been in the doldrums for some time now. They can be backed at odds of 6/4 (BetVictor) for a top two finish but those odds seem far too short to us.
The dreamers and optimists, or just those who are fiercely patriotic, can back Cyprus at 500/1, Estonia at 2,000/1 or Gibraltar at 5,000/1. There are enough Leicester-backers with cash in their pockets to prove that anything can happen in football – and betting – but anyone fancying Gibraltar should note they are ranked 183rd by FIFA and are captained by a Customs Officer!
Ultimately we have to predict it will be Belgium qualifying for the World Cup. Despite concerns over their new manager, they simply have too much class not to prevail. With Bosnia by far the best of the rest, the banker bet here is the Belgium/Bosnia forecast. The odds aren’t huge but this really is one of the safest World Cup bets available at this stage of qualification.Google+