4 to Watch: International Previews – 21 March 2013

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Whilst the English media have focused on the problems the national side have in Central Defence, the truth is that England could stick Gazza (drunk or otherwise) in the backline for a match with San Marino and they’d still romp home.

The betting on a simple win is of course an unbackable 1/100 with Bet365, but we think there’s value in the over/under markets. Since losing 13-0 at home to Germany in September 2006, only one home game of the twenty San Marino have played has seen six goals or more, yet under 5.5 goals is getting matched at 1.83 on Betfair. Blue Square will give you 10/11 about the second half having more goals, which has been the case in eight of San Marino’s last ten games – their fitness being the key reason.

Our second tip comes in the form of recommending Sweden to overcome the Republic of Ireland at 8/15 with Ladbrokes. The Swedes have scored in their last 17 competitive fixtures, dating back to October 2009 and showed extraordinary powers to salvage a draw when 4-0 down on German soil in their last qualifier. Ireland meanwhile, whilst boosted by a 2-0 friendly win over Poland last month, have been in desperate form in competitive football, with a 6-1 thumping at home to Germany in October still leaving huge questions as to their progress. They’ll likely need something from this game if they are to make it to Rio, but the Swedes should prove too strong.

Portugal are arguably the Liverpool of International football in that you’re probably doing your money if you keep on backing them at short prices based on history rather than current form. Their most recent three qualifiers feature a win over Azerbaijan, defeat to Russia and a draw at home to Northern Ireland whilst a draw against Gabon and defeat at home to Ecuador in their last two friendly games make the 1/2 price they are to win in Israel on Friday look very short. Israel aren’t in great shape either, but in what is likely to be a tight affair, don’t be surprised to see Israel pick up a point. We’ll take them at 8/5 with Bet365 on the Double Chance market.

Finally we’ll back Fabio Capello’s Russian side to be victorious in Northern Ireland who have just three points from their opening four games. Whilst one of those impressively came away in Portgual, the fact they followed it up with a home draw against Azerbaijan tells us much about their current state. Russia’s shock 1-0 defeat at Euro 2012 was the only match they have lost in their last 24 and their pragmatic football should prevail at 8/15 with Blue Square. It may well be tight and we would suggest covering under 2.5 goals at 1.64 on Betfair.

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