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World Cup Qualifiers

by Ben, last updated 2005-10-02 18:26:54

This weeks picks are:
Scotland to beat Belarus at 1.62 at Totalbet.
Michael Owen to score anytime at 2.2 at BlueSquare.
Denmark to beat Greece at 2.00 at totesport

Reasoning below plus picks from Nigel Ridgeway and Gerrry McDonnell.


Watch Saturday's huge Czech Rep. v Holland game live and exclusive on BlueSquare Internet TV. Holland draw no bet looks good for this one. The Czech's have been hit by an injury crisis.


 Denmark vs Greece

 Denmark (2) Draw (3.5) Greece (4)

Ukraine have already qualified from this group. This leaves 3 teams fighting it out for second place. This match is extremely important for both sides. A draw will practically hand Turkey second place.

Recent performances and home advantage give Denmark the edge here. Any team that can beat England 4-1 deserves respect. Greece have been so mediorce since winning Euro2004.

Denmark was on my list of potential bets for this weekend. Its the good price which has finally tempted me. The odds are currently 2.00 at totesport. I can't see this lasting much longer. They are on the wrong side of an arbitrage opportunity. You can get Greece +0.5 at 2.05 at bet365.


 England vs Austria

 England (1.22) Draw (6.9) Austria (15)

I was put off betting on England after watching their display against Wales. Joe Cole's lucky deflected goal was the only thing that separated the teams. I decided to skip the match against Northern Ireland. England were awful and deserved to be beaten.

I am skipping the 3 way and Asian Handicaps on this one too. England should bounce back but at 1.22 its of no interest to me. Even with the news that the Austrian team is in disarray after the sacking of their coach doesn't tempt me.

I am going for Michael Owen to score any time at BlueSquare. The price of 2.2 is excellent. Everywhere else he's odds on. The odds for over 2.5 goals is 1.75 suggesting that its likely to be a high scoring game. Owen's likely strike partner, Peter Crouch is tall and thats about it. He's useless as a striker so Owen will have to deliver the goals.




 Scotland vs Belarus

 Scotland (1.62) Draw (3.8) Belarus (7)

1. Italy 8 5 2 1 14:7 17
2. Norway 8 3 3 2 10:7 12
3. Slovenia 8 3 3 2 10:9 12
4. Scotland 8 2 4 2 6:6 10
5. Belarus 8 1 4 3 11:13 7
6. Moldova 8 1 2 5 4:13 5


Having a look at the group table, Scotland still have a slim chance of qualifying for the World Cup Final. They really need Norway to slip up. A win against Belarus is essential. Kenny Miller is on top form. He scored in the 1-1 draw with Italy and scored 2 in the away win against Norway.

Belarus have no realistichance of qualifying now. They lost their last 2 matches, 2-0 against Moldova and 4-1 to Italy. There have been reports from Arsenal star Alexander Hleb, that there is unrest in the Belarus camp.

I recommend the straight win for Scotland at 1.62 at Totalbet. Asian Handicap is -0.75 at about 1.8. Its a bit too low for me to bet interested in that. Scotland will win but probably just by a goal.

*I've actually put this in an accumulator. I've added the Republic of Ireland and some other dead certs to get the odds up to just above evens. I am regretting this slightly now. Ireland may not be the cert I was thinking.


 Nigels Picks

 by Nigel Ridgeway

ENGLAND v AUSTRIA
Sa Oct 8 – 4:00 pm ko (BBC)
With England at prohibitive odds of 2/9 for a game that they should (must) win, the correct play could be in the goals markets. In the hope that we won’t see Sven experimenting this time, we can expect a few goals from the anticipated Crouch / Owen combo up front (1/2 that they play up front together), which brought Owen a hat-trick against Colombia in the summer. The Austrians are in disarray, with only Azerbaijan and Wales having failed to score against them in qualifying, while even Scotland managed to breach their defence in a recent friendly, so a bet on over 2.5 goals looks best here. At the same time, Michael Owen looks a fair bet at 7/2 to open the scoring, especially considering we’ll give you your money back if he scores the last goals in the game instead. Once the game kicks off, don't forget to check out our 14 live In-Play markets via the new ‘In-Play Console.’

Bet with bet365

NORTHERN IRELAND v WALES
Live betting - Sa Oct 8 – 3:00 pm ko (BBC1 – NI/ BBC2 – Wales) Wales are winless in 14 competitive games and will be desperate to get something out of their World Cup campaign. However, they may have to have to wait until their final game against Azerbaijan to restore some Welsh pride, as the Irish look well up to the task. Their recent 1-0 win over England was no fluke, while they deserved their draw in Cardiff too, and this well organised side should be backed at 8/5 to follow up. Live betting available.

Bet with bet365

SCOTLAND V BELARUS
Sa Oct 8 – 3:00 pm ko (SS1)
With four teams scrapping it out for second spot in the group, this is a must win game for both teams. It’s three points or out, so we’re unlikely to see a repeat of the stalemate between the sides back in June. On their recent form, Scotland are more than entitled to win this but, from a punting perspective, the odds of 8/15 are not great. Instead, we’ll back the value option by playing the correct score market. Scotland’s four home games so far have produced five goals, so we'll split stakes on a 1-0 or 2-0 win, at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Bet Live In-Play on this match.

Weekend International Picks:

England v Austria – ‘Over’ 2.5 goals @ 6/5 / Michael Owen to score first @ 7/2 Northern Ireland to beat Wales @ 8/5 Scotland to beat Belarus 1-0 or 2-0 @ 5/1 / 11/2

Bet with bet365


 Gerry's Picks

 By Gerry McDonnell

Ramsay's Treat.

I'm not one for jumping on band-wagons, or any wooden form of transport, but Sven has made mistakes in the last couple of games that need to be rectified.

The Quarter-back formation has been a disaster, and should be binned quicker than Michelle McManus. The system suited David Beckham down to the ground, but completely negated the world class talent of Gerrard and Lampard.

With a change in formation a given, Sven's greatest dilemma is the centre back positions. Terry has been all gold this season, so his place in the starting 11 is assured. His partner will either be Rio Ferdinand or Sol Campbell, and for my money, Campbell should get the nod.

Rio has a notoriously bad memory, his recent performances for club and country would indicate that the art of defending has now slipped his mind. On the other hand, Campbell looks hungrier than Wayne Rooney; Sol is definitely worth a nibble at 25/1 to net the opener.

England go into the match with their greatest goal threat suspended. (R.E.M. had the foresight to write a song about Sven's crisis, "If you
believe, they put a ban on the Roon?") Early indications would suggest
that Peter Crouch will be Rooney's replacement, which proves that Sven has a severe case of Benitezitis, an infliction that makes you believe a gangly forward is the answer to all problems.

Even with Crouch playing, England should be backed at 1/5, if that's too skinny, get on England minus a goal at 8/15.

Now i'm not Gordon Ramsay; but I can knock up a tart no problem.

Here's a recipe for Sven:

Bin the quarter-back.
Bin Rio.
Bin Crouch.

Put these ingredients together, and in nine months, a World Cup challenge will be ready. You can back England for World Cup glory at 8/1.

Belgium v Spain is the tastiest looking match of the weekend; both teams are desperate for the win to remain in contention for qualification. The first meet between the two teams saw two Belgians see red; it's no surprise to see Van Damme in the squad for this one. The Spanish are famous big game chokers; I'll be on Belgium at 11/5.

Why is it all the great players end in 'O'? (Joseph Yobo is the exception that proves the rule.) Ronaldo, Robinho, Ze Roberto and Adriano will dazzle the Bolivians on Sunday night live on Bravo, back the breath-taking Brazilians at 4/6.

The following English team specials are all available at Super Soccer.

"On your Owen" - Owen to score the only goal of the game 16/1

"High and mighty" - Peter Crouch to score with a header 9/2
"The Real deal" - Beckham to score a penalty 6/1
"Magic Lamp" - Frank Lampard to score two or more goals 8/1
"Stevie Wonder" - Gerrard to score two or more goals 11/1
"Cole, mine" - Joe Cole to score two or more goals 14/1
"Close encounters of the Ferd kind" - Rio Ferdinand to be booked 4/1
"Terry, towel in" - John Terry to be sent off 50/1
"Sol destroying" - Campbell to score two or more goals 50/1
"Luke, warm" - Luke Young to score at any time 12/1
"Put your Scouse in order" - Jamie Carragher to be booked 5/2

Quote of the week:

"Fergie for England"
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is obviously missing a marble or two.

Stat, you're a liberty:

Only Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, the Faroe's and San Marino have collected fewer points than the Welsh in European World Cup qualifying.

Bet of the week:

Wales
Belgium
Switzerland

The treble will pay almost 40/1.


Weekend Betting:

Northern Ireland v Wales Saturday 8th October 14.00
Live on BBC2

Northern Ireland 5/4
Draw 11/5
Wales 7/4

Get on: Wales

The Welsh are a better team than their recent form suggests. At 7/4, they're the value bet of the week.
Match Special:
Hartson to score the first goal 6/1

Scotland v Belarus Saturday 8th October 15.00
Live on Sky

Scotland 8/15
Draw 12/5
Belarus 9/2

Get on: Draw

Belarus are no mugs, they've scored four goals against Italy in this group; score draw. Match Special:
Match to finish 1-1 11/2

England v Austria Saturday 8th October 16.00
Live on BBC1

England 1/5
Draw 4/1
Austria 10/1

Get on: England

Sven's men must win to keep their chances of topping the group alive; they will. Match Special:
Gerrard and Lampard both to score 10/1

Cyprus v Ireland Saturday 8th October 18.00 Live on
Sky

Cyprus 8/1
Draw 4/1
Ireland 2/9

Get on: Ireland

The Cypriots haven't been outclassed in this group; they're yet to concede more than three goals in a game. A safe 2-0 win for the Irish. Match Special:
Ireland to win 2-0 11/2

Belgium v Spain Saturday 8th October 19.45 Live on
Eurosport

Belgium 11/5
Draw 11/5
Spain Evs

Get on: Belgium

A must win game for both teams, with home advantage and 11/5 available; the value lies with the hosts. Match Special:
Spain to have a player sent off 7/1

Switzerland v France Saturday 8th October 19.45

Switzerland 10/3
Draw 11/5
France 8/11

Get on: Switzerland

It's eight matches unbeaten in one of the toughest groups for the Swiss; they're obviously on a roll. Apologies. Match Special:
Switzerland to win 1-0 7/1

Bolivia v Brazil Sunday 9th October 21.00
Live on Bravo

Bolivia 10/3
Draw 12/5
Brazil 4/6

Get on: Brazil

The Bolivians are the whipping boys of the South American group, Brazil could well go nuts. Match Special:
Ronaldinho to score the first goal 5/1




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