World Cup Qualifying: 9th Oct 2017

As we begin the new football season, all focus on the international football is squarely on the qualification of the teams towards the World Cup 2018 in Russia. The qualifying campaign is expected to finish by November 2017, and we will have a full host of qualifying games until then to decide who makes it to the finals.

World Cup Qualifying – Europe
Ukraine v Croatia – Both to Score @ 1.75 (Bet365) – 3 points

Ukraine are looking forward to having their own destiny in their own hands and in front of their home fans in order to try and get that critical victory that would push them to qualify for the playoffs of the World Cup Qualifying. Ukraine come into this game level on points against Croatia tonight, leaving it as a do or die encounter but Croatia having the better on the goal difference incase the match is drawn. Ukraine will need to rely on some of their scoring forwards Yarmolenko (6 goals) and Kravets (3 goals) who have been instrumental in getting Ukraine to that position. Defensively, Ukraine have shown some struggles ing their 1-0 loss to Croatia earlier in the campaign, but today’s game will see them having to be on the ball on everything.

Croatia come into this encounter in the same position aiming to score critical goals that could help them qualify to the next stage as they currently occupy the last runners-up spot; which will not be enough to qualify for the playoffs. Croatia boast a talented team, but poor results against Turkey and Iceland, as well as the draw against Finland have dragged them into a poor position. Croatia will need all of their experienced players in Perisic, Manduzkic, Brozovic, Modric, Rakitic, Kramaric will all need to stand up and be counted to try and blast in the goals in this encounter.

With this group being soo tight and both teams in the hunt for qualifying, I am expecting both teams to go out attacking to try and find the back of the net. Additionally, this group needs goals to be scored in order to qualify for the playoffs, so I am expecting a heavy scoring game tonight. I am backing both teams to score in this encounter.

World Cup Qualifying – Europe
Wales v Ireland – Over 2 Asian Goal Line @ 1.91 (Bet365) – 3 points
Wales v Ireland – Over 10 Asian Corners @ 1.98 (Bet365) – 3 points

Wales head into this game against Ireland with all possible scenarios still in place of either direct or playoff qualification depending if results go their way. Wales will be looking at the way they robbed a victory against Georgia to get into this position against their neighbors Ireland. Wales will be without their talisman Gareth Bale which makes things more open in this encounter. This means the likes of Ramsey, Vokes, Ledley, Allen and as was seen in the last game where Lawrence stepped up to give them the critical goal. The earlier match up between the 2 sides was a boring 0-0; but that will change with everything in such a critical game where its all to play for.

Ireland have been decent in qualifying and come into this game on a confident 2-0 win over Moldova that has helped them to get into this position of having to win to stay alive. This group also has the added pressure of Croatia occupying a spot behind them in the playoffs, so goals will be required to be scored for either side to have a chance to qualify. Ireland have to rely on the likes of McClean, Murphy, McGeady, Brady and Long among their attacking bunch to help them get a goal in the back of the net.

This game promises to be attacking, entertaining and with both sides needing a win to try and get to that first spot, we can expect goals to fly, and probably from both ends. I am backing Over 2 Asian Goal line in this encounter.

World Cup Qualifying – Europe
Albania v Italy – Immobile Anytime Scorer @ 2.25 (Bet365) – 2 points

Italy are looking good coming into this encounter, having already secured 2nd spot in the table and are looking to continue building that momentum ahead of their playoffs encounter next month. With the Italians performing poorly below their standard in their last encounter in a 1-1 draw with Macedonia; pressure will be on manager Gian Piero Ventura to ensure the team builds well ahead of that encounter. Central to their performances will be Ciro Immobile who has been in outstanding form for club and country heading into this encounter. He has already netted 6 goals in 9 qualifying games into this encounter while netting 13 goals in 10 appearances for Lazio this season. He is the no.1 choice striker for the Italian team these days and his form is simply sensational heading into this encounter.

I am backing Immobile to continue his good scoring form against Albania tonight; against whom he already netted earlier in the campaign.


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