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Jonathan Cordingley 9th Sep 2013 - 19:51

Four Nations Midweek Betting Preview

Luxembourg v Northern Ireland, 19:15 - live on Sky Sports 2

If football matches were held over 60 minutes and not 90, Michael O'Neil's Northern Ireland would have beaten Portugal last week. Instead, while Norn Iron' played the perfect game for two thirds of the contest, Chris Brunt's 61st minute red card gave ten-man Portugal the impetuous they needed to come from 2-1 down to win 4-2.

I should also mention that Northern Ireland were reduced to nine men when Nail Lafferty was sent off in the 83rd minute but, with Portugal already 3-2 up by then, his expulsion seems likely to have made no difference to the end result.

Northern Ireland, bar a miracle, cannot qualify for the 2014 World Cup, but can make a positive step forward by beating Luxembourg, who are bottom of the Group F standings.

Can Northern Ireland (6/5) win in Luxembourg (5/2)? Well, we must consider that Brunt and Lafferty will be missing through suspension - and that the last time these two sides met it was a 1-1 draw - but their squad should be full of confidence after playing so well against Portugal and they'll want to take revenge for only managing to draw with Luxembourg at Windsor Park.

For sure, this is no banker, but with under 2.5 goals only 6/10 it looks like the bet to take if you're planning a punt in this game.

Recommendation: Northern Ireland (6/5)

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FYR Macedonia v Scotland, 19:45 - live on BT Sport 1

It would be foolish to say that anything other than a defeat for Scotland (5/2) was expected when they hosted Belgium midweek, and that's exactly what happened as the visitors won 2-0 with a goal in each half.

Defeating Macedonia (13/10) is a more realistic proposition for Scotland - who cannot qualify for the 2014 World Cup - but actually winning in Macedonia is a tall order indeed. As such, and with Jordan Rhodes and Charlie Adam missing for Scotland, I'd bet on a home win.

Finally, for those who like to back a scorer, Goran Pandev (9/1 to score first, 15/8 anytime) is a high class predator and well worth a pop if you fancy a punt.

Recommendation: Macedonia (13/10)

Worth a punt: Pandev e/w first scorer (9/1)

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Ukraine v England, 19:45 - live on ITV

After twice coming from behind to defeat Scotland in a recent friendly, England (9/5) proceeded to beat Moldova 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier. Gerrard and Lambert each scored, with Welbeck bagging a brace.

All in all, it was a decent performance from England with an acceptable scoreline. Can the 'Three Lions' defeat Ukraine (9/5) on their own turf though?

Well, England did defeat Ukraine 1-0 during the recent European Championships, but they were very, very lucky to have done so, particularly with the hosts scoring a goal that wasn't actually given.

In conclusion, whoever plays for England (Welbeck and Sturridge are both out), I can't see them getting another result in Ukraine and won't be backing under 2.5 goals at 1/2.

Recommendation: Ukraine, draw no bet (10/11)

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Wales v Serbia, 19:45 - live on Sky Sports 1

The biggest news in Wales (2/1) v Serbia (7/5) is that Real Madrid's latest singing, Gareth Bale, is unlikely to start the match. Otherwise, there's little to say as neither side can qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, making this game a dead rubber.

However, it is expected that the Serbia boss, Sinisa Mihajlovic, will send his team out to win as securing third place in the group would give his side a favourable seeding for the 2016 European Championships.

Given this and despite the assumption that the Serbs will put far less effort into this clash than they did against Croatia in their draw last week, if I was to bet on this game I'd go for Serbia, draw no bet, particularly when you consider that they won 6-1 last time they met the Welsh.

Recommendation: Serbia, draw no bet (7/10)

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