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World Cup Qualifiers - Midweek final round

by Ben, last updated 2005-10-09 01:02:12

A few early picks for the Mid-week qualifiers.

Switzerland +0.5 at 1.90 to beat Ireland (see below for bookie information)
Cyprus to beat France at 51.0 at totesport
Wales HT/FT to beat Azerbaijan at 1.9 at Ladbrokes.

I think that'll be it in terms of picks on the site. See the Record for any other worth while bets.

Looking forward to the weekend there are some stand out bets. Tottenham should destroy Everton, Wigan to beat Newcastle and Blackburn should be able to get a point from Liverpool. All look good potential Asian Handicap bets.

Odds on 10th October.
Sat Oct 15, 2005
12:45 Wigan (2.88) Draw (3.25) Newcastle (2.5)
15:00 Chelsea (1.25) Draw (5.5) Bolton (12)
15:00 Liverpool (1.57) Draw (3.5) Blackburn (6)
15:00 Sunderland (7.5) Draw (3.75) Man Utd (1.5)
15:00 Tottenham (1.62) Draw (3.6) Everton (6)
15:00 West Brom (6) Draw (3.6) Arsenal (1.57)
17:15 Middlesbrough (1.73) Draw (3.4) Portsmouth (5.5)
Sun Oct 16, 2005
12:00 Birmingham (2.38) Draw (3.1) Aston Villa (3.2)
16:00 Man City (1.91) Draw (3.3) West Ham (4.3)
Mon Oct 17, 2005
20:00 Charlton (1.73) Draw (3.3) Fulham (5)

 Wales vs Azerbaijan

 Wales (1.4) Draw (5.5) Azerbaijan (12)

Wales did well to beat Northern Ireland. They deserved to be 2-0 at half time. Giggs is playing at his best. The win would have done their confidence no end of good. Last time they two teams met it was a dull 1-1 draw. That was last year when Welsh football was in the doldrums. The Welsh team has improved much since then.

Azerbaijan aren't the best of teams. They don't score very often. They've only scored 1 goal so far and that was against Wales.

This is match I wasn't going to bother with. However, the odds have just been put up by Ladbrokes. They seem to have Wales over priced at 1.40. Thats not really worth it still. I had a look at the HT/FT and the 1.90 for that is more like it.



 France vs Cyprus

 France (1.04) Draw (11) Cyprus (51)

Having said that realistically France will beat Cyprus, looking at the odds, its worth a speculative punt on Cyprus. (See my analysis of the Ireland/ Switzerland game below).

France have been very disappointing ever since Euro 2000. They’ve made hard work of qualifying for the world cup. Looking at their group you’d expect them to have qualified by now but they need a result from their last game to do so. A defeat will end their hopes. Home form hasn’t been too good for the French though, 3, 0-0 draws and a 3-0 win over the Faeroe Islands is all they’ve managed to achieve.

I am going with Cyprus because the odds are fantastic. 50-1 is just way to high. Cyprus were unlucky to lose to the Republic of Ireland. They aren’t the crappy team you think of when you think of the small Island. Most of their team play in the Greek National League. Even though Cyprus cannot qualify they have something to prove here. Its not like France haven’t been beat by a supposedly lesser team before. Recall the world cup 2002 when they were beat by Senegal 1-0.

Would it be such a shock really if France failed to qualify for the World Cup? At 50-1 its worth a couple of quid at totesport. I am almost certainly going to back Cypriots on the Asian Handicap when that comes out.



 Ireland vs Switzerland

 Ireland (1.91) Draw (3.4) Switzerland (4.3)

Looking at the table for Group 4, all 4 top teams could qualify for next years world cup final. Realistically, whats going to happen is that France will beat Cyprus and take top spot, while Ireland and Switzerland will battle for second place.

I watched the Cyprus/ Ireland game and was not impressed at all. Ireland should count themselves very lucky to be in this situation. Shay Given pulled off some terrific saves to keep the score at 1-0. Cyprus were all over them. They are missing the strong presence of Roy Keane in midfield.

Switzerland were disappointed by their 1-1 draw with the French. The dominated the first half but were undone by the introduction of Cisse. They only need a point from this encounter to get one of the top 2 spots. A win would put them certainly in top spot. All the pressure will be on Ireland.

Looking at the odds, the bookies have Ireland as favourites. I can't see why. I've priced this up as maybe a +0 zero match or at a push, Ireland -0.25. The have the home advantage but on current form, Switzerland should get the point they need from this. So I've gone for Switzerland +0.5. Asian odds are out but if you go to bet365 and put 55.84% of you stake on the draw at 3.4 and 44.16% at 4.33 at Paddypower, you get the equivalent +0.5 Asian Handicap at 1.90.





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