There is another big night of World Cup qualifiers on Monday night when three more groups complete their campaigns in Europe. There are some massive matches mixed in with the usual number of dead rubbers we get at this time of year but nonetheless it should be an entertaining evening.
Serbia have the chance to secure the automatic qualifying spot for the finals when they host Georgia. If they win they are through. Any other result opens it up to the winner of the clash at Cardiff where Wales take on the Republic of Ireland. If Serbia do win that match in Cardiff will determine who goes into the play-offs. Austria head to Moldova in the other match in the group.
Spain secured their place at another World Cup on Friday night when they took care of business while Italy slipped up. The Spanish finish their campaign against Israel while Italy head to Albania looking for a win which would secure a seeding in the play-off. Macedonia welcome Liechtenstein in the other game.
The automatic qualifying spot is yet to be settled in this division but it is in the hands of Iceland. If they win at home to Kosovo they will be in Russia. If they fail to win then the winner of the match between the Ukraine and Croatia will be in the finals. Assuming Iceland do not slip up that match in Kiev is a knockout for the play-off spot. Finland host Turkey in a dead rubber to round off the group.
I am severely tempted by Ukraine in this set of matches but I am going to resist in the hope that Croatia get a result as they will be a much better side to watch come the summer. In the end I’ve gone with just the one bet over the course of the evening.
That comes in the big match in Group D where I expect Wales to have too much for Republic of Ireland. The Republic have done well in getting this far but they have rarely convinced me and I just think they have a lack of goals which could be their undoing. Wales’ chances were done no favours when Gareth Bale was ruled out but they’ve shown recently they can cope without him, not least in Georgia on Friday night. Even without Bale, the likes of Ramsey, Allen, Vokes and Woodburn probably edge Ireland in the quality department.
When a goal is needed to get the job done I just fancy Wales to find it more than I would a Republic side who have only scored more than a goal once in this group against anyone other than Moldova.
Back Wales (-0.25AH) to beat Republic of Ireland for a 4/10 stake at 2.03 with Bet365
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