By News Team
Last Updated: 9th June 2022
The third round of this summer’s Nations League fixtures continue on Saturday, with England hoping to end their winless start to the competition while Wales look to build on their World Cup qualification success as they take on Belgium.
England v Italy
England’s World Cup preparations have not started exactly as they would have hoped, with uninspiring performances against Hungary and Germany having seen the Three Lions pick up just one point from their two opening fixtures. Looking to take revenge on Italy after suffering heartbreak in the European Championship final last year, England come into this game at Wolves’ Molineux Stadium as the favourites at 8/11.
One positive for England has been Harry Kane reaching the milestone of 50 goals for his country, and he heads into the game at 3/1 to be the first goal scorer. Sitting just three goals behind all-time top goal scorer Wayne Rooney, a Kane hat-trick at odds of 35/1 would see him become England’s joint highest scorer of all time.
Italy have fielded significantly less experienced sides than England in their past two games with key players such as Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Lorenzo Insigne all being given time to rest before the start of the new season.
Italy currently sit at the top of the A3 group, beating Hungary and drawing 1-1 with Germany. However, their less experienced squad, consisting of players such as FC Zurich forward Wilfried Gnonto, sees them come into the game as the underdogs at 4/1.
After lacklustre England displays in attack in both previous games, we could see Gareth Southgate opt for more creative players in the side which could spell more minutes for Reece James or Trent Alexander-Arnold, with exciting midfielder Jude Bellingham expected to replace the injured Kalvin Phillips. However, if England were to continue in the same lacklustre vain, no England player to score at 13/2 could be interesting.
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Ireland v Scotland
Scotland bounced back from their 3-1 defeat to Ukraine, which ended their hopes of appearing at the World Cup in Qatar, by beating Armenia 2-0, a result that will give them renewed confidence ahead of their first meeting with Ireland since 2015.
At 21/10 Scotland are the underdogs in this fixture against Ireland. If Scotland are to get a result John McGinn is likely to be a key player and as Scotland’s joint top scorer in World Cup qualifying he is 7/1 to be the first goal scorer in this match-up.
Despite sitting bottom of the B1 group following 1-0 losses to Armenia and Ukraine, Ireland head into this game as favourites at 8/5.
Despite not scoring, Ireland forward Callum Robinson registered three shots in the 1-0 loss to Armenia and this sees him as the favourite to be the first goal scorer in Saturday’s match at 5/1, just ahead of Scotland’s Che Adams at 11/2.
Wales v Belgium
Rob Page’s Wales side will come into this game with their spirits still high after confirming their qualification for the World Cup in Qatar with a 1-0 win over Ukraine, a feeling their most recent narrow defeat to the Netherlands is unlikely to have extinguished.
Wales come into the game against the second ranked side in the world as the outsiders at 16/5. When Wales score you can usually be fairly sure that Gareth Bale was the man to put the ball in the back of the net, and he heads into the game as 9/2 to score first and 13/8 to score anytime.
Belgium suffered an embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Netherlands in their opening Nations League game but Roberto Martinez’s side are sure to remain confident as the 17/20 favourites ahead of Saturday’s game.
Eden Hazard will be looking to find form after his well reported recovery from a persistent ankle problem. A first goal for Belgium since September 2021 could kickstart his comeback and the tricky winger is 7/1 to score the first goal and 27/10 at any time. His former Chelsea teammate Michy Batshuayi is favourite to score first at 4/1.