By News Team
11th October 2021
Last week brought mixed results for the Home Nations.
England continued their cruise towards the World Cup, Scotland threw down a big marker for second place in their group, Wales kept themselves in the hunt with a hard-fought draw, but Northern Ireland’s chances of making it to Qatar look increasingly slim.
We preview the next Home Nations World Cup qualifying fixtures below.
England v Hungary
England made light work of minnows Andorra last week, cruising to a 5-0 win, with many different players on the score sheet.
Gareth Southgate’s side have been imperious in qualifying and are unbeaten in 10 games in all qualifiers, but still only sit four points clear at the top of Group I.
That means they cannot afford to be complacent when Hungary visit Wembley on Tuesday, but memories of their 4-0 win in Budapest in September will give the Three Lions plenty of confidence that they once again can claim victory.
England have scored 14 goals in their last four games and there might be some value in backing them at 17/20 to score in both halves at Wembley. England are also unbeaten in 17 games in all competitions – their longest unbeaten streak since 1990 – so the omens look good.
Estonia v Wales
Wales recovered well against the Czech Republic in Prague last week, after an extraordinary own goal by keeper Danny Ward early in the second half, to secure a much-needed point.
The Welsh remain level with Czech Republic on eight points in Group E as both sides look to secure second place in their pool, but crucially Wales have a game in hand.
They face Estonia next on Monday, a team that frustrated them in a goalless draw in Cardiff last month.
This time around a draw is priced at 27/10, but with Wales now having a great opportunity to cement their claims on second place, they may have too much firepower for their opposition, and are 1/2 to take all three points.
An Estonia win would see them move one point behind Wales and throw Group E wide open. They are 15/2 to record an upset.
Faroe Islands v Scotland
Scotland’s heroics at Hampden last week, where Scott McTominay’s injury time winner secured all three points against Israel, their nearest rivals for second place in Group F, has left Steve Clarke’s side in a strong position.
With only three games left to play in Group F, they are four points clear of Israel and Austria and a trip to the Faroe Islands looks a perfect opportunity to secure a fourth win on the bounce.
A few goals are likely in this game on Tuesday and perhaps Lyndon Dykes, who has scored in each of Scotland’s last three qualifiers, can add his name to the score sheet once again. He is 23/20 to score at anytime.
The Faroe Islands have never beaten Scotland in any of their eight previous meetings and a surprise first win is priced at 11/1.
Bulgaria v Northern Ireland
After defeat to Switzerland last week, Northern Ireland sit six points off second place in Group C and are level with fourth-placed Bulgaria on five points.
If they are to keep their already slim hopes of qualification alive a win in Bulgaria is a must.
These two sides played out a goalless draw when they last met in March and Tuesday night’s tie could be another close affair.