The middle matches in the last round of fixtures in the FIFA World Cup 2022 European Qualifiers get going on Saturday when the groups that were in action on Wednesday are back in the spotlight over the course of another busy day.
That means we see the likes of Scotland and Republic of Ireland looking to continue their bid to make it all the way through to Qatar next year on a night where a number of the leading nations in Europe are on show.
The leaders Portugal are the team not in action in Group A on Saturday so it gives the two sides immediately below them in the table the chance to close the gap on them when Serbia host Luxembourg in the pick of the two matches across the evening. The other match comes from Dublin where the Republic of Ireland host Azerbaijan in a match where with both sides having lost their first three matches in this section anything but a win for either will leave their World Cup dreams in complete tatters.
The action actually begins in Group D on Saturday when Finland play host to Kazakhstan in the early kick off. This group has had an absolute bucketload of draws in it so if either of these teams could find a win it will do their hopes of progressing no harm whatsoever. The big match comes along much later in the day though when the top two meet as the Euro 2020 quarter finalists Ukraine host the reigning world champions France in a match where if the visitors win they will assume control of the group.
Denmark have the chance to all but secure their qualification for the World Cup on Saturday evening when they make the relatively short trip to take on the Faroe Ilslands, who are yet to win a match in this group so far. Scotland are one of three teams who are right in the battle for second place in this section and they host Moldova in a match they simply have to win to have any chance of qualifying for the World Cup. The other two sides in the race for second meet in Haifa when Israel host Austria.
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Turkey continue to lead the way in Group G and they will be heavily expected to win their match on Saturday evening when they head to Gibraltar while their closest challengers Netherlands welcome a potentially tricky Montenegro side to Amsterdam. The other side in this group who are on course to qualify with a good second half of the campaign are Norway. They will be expected to win in the earlier kick off in the section which sees them travelling to Latvia.
Croatia and Russia are continuing to see the pace in Group H and the latter get the first chance to add to their tally of points when they make the trip to Cyprus in one of the earlier kick offs in the section. Slovenia host Malta in the other match to begin early. The big match comes later in the evening when third placed Slovakia host the 2018 finalists Croatia, who could slip as far down as third in the group table should they lose this match.
We didn’t really see a whole lot on Wednesday to take into these matches here so I’m not going to go mad with bets but there is one which I like which comes in the earlier of the main kick off times as Norway head over to Latvia in a match I’m expecting the Norwegians to win. I was disappointed Norway couldn’t come through the Euro 2020 play-offs as we were denied the chance to see an entertaining side on show but a win here would give them a good chance of going to Qatar.
This is a side who has the likes of Erling Haaland, Martin Odegaard and Joshua King in it among others so really it should be taking teams like Latvia to the cleaners. Latvia came through against Gibraltar on Wednesday evening but they conceded a goal in that match and this Norway side should feast on that defence. I don’t see Latvia having much of the ball to impose themselves on this encounter so I’m happy to back Norway on the Asian lines here.
Back Norway (-1.5AH) to beat Latvia for a 3/10 stake at 1.81 with BetVictor
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