The new domestic season is disturbed once again by International matches – at least it’s not for friendlies. Now that we have had a handful of games, we can make better predictions. We can also see how teams fare home and away. I tend not to pay too much attention to results in friendly matches when predicting. Friendlies are merely a way for the footballing bodies to make money and managers to try new formations and players. It’s unlikely players will try their utmost in case of injury too.
Azerbaijan vs Belgium
Belgium have been developing as a football nation slowly over recent years. They’ve done this under the radar and it’s only when you look at the players, you realise the quality they possess. Players like Vincent Kompany, Moussa Dembele, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Thomas Vermaelen are the most familiar names to many football fans. Vermaelen will miss this match through injury but you have to say Belgium will have enough to keep out an Azerbaijan side who have been poor throughout the qualifiers. Five losses in six games with one of those defeats being a 4-1 defeat to the away side. Belgium are 2nd to a dominant Germany side, but with Turkey only one point away from them, they will expect to take all three points to keep their position. Belgium are at a decent price at 1.44 while -1 is a very generous price at 2.25.
Norway vs Iceland
It’s all to play for in Group H. It’s a fantastic battle between Norway, Denmark and Portugal where all three teams are on ten points. Norway take on an Iceland side who sit rock bottom of the group with one point. Norway will want to keep up with the other two teams with a win tonight. Norway won the away leg against Iceland 2-1 and Iceland have failed to score in three of their five games and I expect Norway to keep a clean sheet. Norway are priced at 1.36. To gain some extra value, Norway to win and under 2.5 goals is 3.10.
Bulgaria vs England
Bulgaria have fallen on hard times and are no longer the force they once were. The Bulgarian press and public have been very negative suggesting the England win is a formality and why bother playing. Bulgaria suffered a 4-0 away defeat to England. England will be fired up to make sure they win this group. England have been in free scoring form with eleven goals in five games. I’m siding with the Bulgarian press and public that this will be an England win at a reasonable 1.53 and -1 at 2.30.
Germany vs Austria
The Germans have strolled their way through this group with consummate ease – winning all seven games and scoring a ridiculous 22 goals. Most of these goals have come when playing at home and the -2 would have come in all those games. This is priced at 2.15 or the outright win is 1.17.
Cyprus vs Portugal
Cyprus grabbed a point in Portugal a the start of the campaign with an 89th minute goal in a thrilling 4-4 draw. Portugal have won their last three games against Norway, Denmark and Iceland scoring seven goals. Portugal, like Norway, will want all three points despite playing away and will not want another upset against the Cypriots. Portugal are 1.33 while the -1 is 1.91.
Albania vs France
It’s been just over ten years since France were reigning Euro and World Cup champs. Since then, they’ve exited early from the finals and had spats with the managerial staff. They have begun showing past form with four wins – each a 2-0 win. They clearly have too much quality for Albania and are at a good price of 1.40 and -1 is an excellent price of 2.15.
Putting all of these teams into an outright accy gets you the price of 6.58