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Simon Gott 25th Mar 2013 - 21:22

Midweek Internationals Preview


Montenegro v England

The next round of World Cup qualifiers get underway in what should prove, for England at least, to be a far sterner test than the 8 goal thrashing of minnows San Marino last week.

England (4/5) have never lost a World Cup or European Championships qualifier in the month of March and they will be looking to continue that trend in a tricky tie against Montenegro (4/1, Draw 21/10)

This fixture is fast becoming a regular one with the teams facing each other in the last qualifying tournament - for the 2012 European Championships - with both games ending level: 0-0 (8/1) at Wembley and 2-2 (18/1) in Podgorica.

England recorded their biggest win since October 1987 in their last game against San Marino .  And although a similar 8-0 result is unlikely at 500/1 the wise money could be on England to win with a handicap.  England -1 is 11/5, -2 at 6/1 and -3 goals 16/1.

Wayne Rooney seems to have found his scoring boots again for The Three Lions scoring in four successive England appearances and in five of his last six.  We have him at 4/1 to score the first or last goal and even money to score at any time.  We have included him in a cracking headline offer to score at anytime in an England win at 5/2.

Montenegro have won four successive qualifiers without conceding a goal (11 goals scored in total).  They are 16/5 to stop England scoring and keep a clean sheet, and 11/2 to win with a clean sheet.  England are 6/5 and 7/4 for the respective markets.  Our headline offer for Montenegro is for Fiorentina star Stevan Jovetic to score & Montenegro to win at 8/1.


Headline offers:

Stevan Jovetic to score & Montenegro to win  -   8/1

Wayne Rooney to score & England to win  -  5/2



Northern Ireland v Israel

Northern Ireland (2/1) have only faced Israel (11/8, Draw 11/5) twice before, while attempting to qualify for the 1982 World Cup.  They won one, drew the other and kept clean sheets in both.  They are 21/10 to keep a clean sheet this time around whilst Israel are 8/5.

Results seem to be picking up for Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland side who have drawn five of their last six, that said, the Green and White Army are winless in their last 12.

They are finding it hard to find the net in recent times.  Since September 2011, no Northern Ireland player has scored more than a single goal for his country.  We are backing Niall McGinn to change all that by scoring in a Northern Ireland win (6/1)

Tomer Hemed will be the main threat for Israel and we go 5/1 first/last and 5/4 anytime.  Hemed scored a hat-trick in his last away international appearance (v Luxembourg) and has six in his last five in all competitions for Israel.  At the same price we have Eden Ben Basat, and for him to score in an Israel win we are offering 9/2.


Headline offers:

Niall McGinn to score & Northern Ireland to win   -  6/1

Eden Ben Basat to score & Israel to win  -  9/2



Republic of Ireland v Austria

The omens don't look good for Republic of Ireland (23/20).  They have won just two of their 12 previous meetings with Austria (5/2, Draw 11/5), losing 8 and drawing two and since beating Austria 3-2 in Dublin in October 1963, Ireland have lost all four competitive clashes with Austria, scoring just 3 goals and conceding 16.  Against Sweden on Friday, Ireland failed to muster a shot on target for the first time in a competitive game under Giovanni Trapattoni.

Ireland have only failed to score though in one of their last nine home internationals (0-1 in a friendly against Greece).   West Brom striker Shane Long is the subject of our headline offer in this match.  For him to score in a Rep of Ireland win we go 7/2.

Austria have only won one of their last 18 internationals on the road: a 4-1 victory in Azerbaijan in October 2011.  The same score line against Ireland returns odds of 100/1!

Marc Janko has netted three times in his last four appearances for Austria and we offer 8/1 for him to score the first or last goal and 11/4 to score at anytime.  David Alaba to score & Austria to win is our headline offer for the away side.


Headline offers:

Shane Long to score & Rep of Ireland to win   -  7/2

David Alaba to score & Austria to win   -  16/1



Wales v Croatia

Wales (9/2) and Croatia (8/11, Draw 23/10) have met three times before, and Wales are yet to pick up their first victory though they have managed a draw.  However it's been 45 games since Wales last drew a game, that coming against Germany six years ago.  For a repeat of the 0-0 score-line we go 8/1.

A clean sheet for either side seems unlikely as Wales' goalkeeper Boaz Myhill has conceded five more goals (9) than he has made saves in World Cup 2014 qualification.  But with the prolific Gareth Bale in the Welsh ranks, Croatia will fear their goal-scoring ability.  In their 2-1 victory over Scotland last Friday, Wales scored in a game without Gareth Bale netting for the first time since September 2011.

The evergreen Craig Bellamy to score & Wales to win is our Headline offer for Wales and we offer 10/1.

Croatia have won their last four internationals in all competitions and are unbeaten in six.  Mario Mandzukic to score & Croatia to win is 5/2.


Headline offers:

Craig Bellamy to score & Wales to win   -  10/1

Mario Mandzukic to score & Croatia to win   -  5/2




Serbia v Scotland

Excluding games played as the former Yugoslavia, the match between Serbia (8/13) and Scotland (5/1, Draw 13/5) in September 2012 was their first ever clash.

Scotland are now without a win in six competitive games so will need their strikers to perform as they do for their club sides.  The prolific Jordan Rhodes is the favourite to score the first or last at 8/1 with a goal at anytime priced at 11/4.

Scotland have only failed to score in one of their last eight away internationals at to score and are 4/5 to score at least one here.  Can Shaun Maloney score in a Scotland win ?  We go 20/1 that he does.

On the other hand, Gordon Strachan's side have only mustered one clean sheet in 11 games on the road.  They are 18/5 to record one here.  Serbia to do the same are 17/20.

Serbia have lost their last three qualifiers without scoring a single goal, conceding six themselves so they need to halt that trend if they are to progress.  Can Filip Djordevic score in a Serbia win?  We offer 2/1 that he does.


Headline offers:

Filip Djordevic to score & Serbia to win  -  2/1

Shaun Maloney to score & Scotland to win   20/1




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