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Nic Ladds 17th Nov 2009 - 13:42

One game left to realise that World Cup dream

With the first legs out of the way, we are nearer to knowing who the final four European teams are who will be taking their place in South Africa next year and here is a preview of each of the four games.

Ukraine v Greece - 16:00

As many will have predicted Ukraine and Greece played out a 0-0 stalemate in the first leg, a result which will delight Ukraine and frustrate Greece as they face a tough away journey and are 16/5 as a result.

Ukraine at 5/6 offer little value and the draw at 9/4 looks more likely with one thing looking certain and that is a lack of goals so under two match goals at 6/4 looks viable, while 0-0 again is 6/1, 1-1 5/1 then 1-0 to the home side is 5/1 and the same score line to the outsiders is as big as 8/1.

It has been five games since Ukraine conceded a goal so a home team clean sheet at even money will be popular and the only way this will have goals is if an early one goes in and one team is having to then chase the game and as a result open up.

Theofanis Gekas (13/2  for first goal) and Georgios Samaras (7/1) offer the biggest threat for Greece while Andriy Shevchenko (9/2) still leads the line admirably for the home side.

Greece do look a big price at 16/5 but it is hard to see them breaking down a solid if unspectacular Ukraine team who will shut up shop if they get the lead and 1-0 to the favourites at 5/1 looks the call.

Ukraine v Greece betting

Bosnia v Portugal - 19:45 live on William Hill TV

A match which at first glance will have punters thinking 13/10 is a great price for Portugal but on closer inspection, Bosnia look the value at 21/10 with the draw at 9/4.

Portugal won the home leg 1-0 with Bruno Alves getting the only goal but they under-performed greatly in the group stages while Bosnia only finished behind Spain and ahead of decent outfits Turkey and Belgium.

Edin Dzeko (13/2 to score first) and Zlatan Muslimovic (10/1) both have excellent goal scoring records for their country and are huge threats to Portugal's wobbly back line. Their main threats appear to come from midfield with Simao (7/1) and Deco (10/1) potent threats while Ronaldo has travelled but is highly unlikely to feature.

This looks tough to call as Portugal have the pedigree and bigger names on paper but Bosnia are a tough side who are not here by fluke and at the prices Bosnia at 21/10 looks the better bet. If it does go to extra time then Portugal would be more likely to qualify but 2/9 looks a little skinny about a team who have been infuriatingly inconsistent in the tournament so far.

Bosnia v Portugal betting

Slovenia v Russia - 19:45 live on William Hill TV

Russia coach Guus Hiddink will be seething that his side conceded in the dying minutes in the first leg to give Slovenia a lifeline of an away goal and the home side are 19/10 to win this time with Russia at 7/5.

The result means Slovenia need to win 1-0 (13/2) to go through while a draw (23/10) would be enough to see Hiddink's side through. This has more chance of goals than the other games and 2-1 to Russia again is 8/1 with 1-0 11/2 or a 2-1 reverse to the home side is 8/1.

Nejc Pecnik was the one who grabbed the late goal for Slovenia last time and is 12/1 to bag the first one here, while Roman Pavlyuchenko (11/2) and Andrei Arshavin (13/2) will be familiar faces for English punters and both carry huge goal threats but it was Everton's Diniyar Bilyaletdinov who grabbed both last time and is 10/1 to open the scoring again.

Slovenia are no mugs but Russia are a class outfit with an experience coach and if they can score just once, the home side look in trouble and another 2-1 victory to Hiddink's side at 8/1 looks a solid bet.

Slovenia v Russia betting

France v Republic Of Ireland - 20:00

To many, Ireland's narrow defeat at Croke Park has all but condemned them to not qualify for the World Cup as they need to defy odds of 6/1 and beat 8/15 chances France with the draw at 11/4.

Nicolas Anelka sealed their fate last time and is 5/1 to score first again with Karim Benzema (4/1) and Thierry Henry (4/1) offering potent threats also. Robbie Keane (13/2) and Kevin Doyle (8/1) will need to make what chances they get count and Giovanni Trapattoni is an experienced manager who should be able to ensure Ireland at least score.

This probably won't be enough though with a shutout unlikely for the home side something like 2-1 at 7/1 or 3-1 at 11/1 to France look in the right area, while a shock 2-1 Ireland victory is 16/1.

Ireland will give it their all that's for sure but this talented French side have it to lose and it will be a classic bout of French complacency or a heroic showing of Irish grit that give this one to the outsiders and Thierry Henry who is still scoring for fun for his country is taken to score first at 4/1.

France v Republic Of Ireland betting


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