INTERNATIONAL football is back for a final round of crunch Euro 2020 qualifiers.
All of the Home Nations are in action this week and we’ve got selections from five crucial matches including England vs Montenegro, Azerbaijan vs Wales and Portugal vs Lithuania.
England vs Montenegro – Thursday, 7.45pm
THE Three Lions already have one foot already at Euro 2020.
They’re back in the familiar surroundings of Wembley for this one and England just don’t lose here in qualifying games.
As such they’re a tiny 1/14 to win the game.
Unless you’ve got a spare grand lying around to chuck on and make yourself 70 quid, playing that market is a complete waste of time.
Watching this fearless young England team isn’t the chore of a decade ago and you can be sure that Southgate will have them focused on getting the points they need to secure qualification on home soil.
All the value is in the goals and if you want to have a serious flutter on the game, that’s the way to play.
The Three Lions have hit five, four and then five again in their games on English soil during this qualification campaign – and as we mentioned earlier were five-star again in March’s reverse fixture.
You can get 17/10 on five or more goals in the game, or for the more ambitious of you 5/2 on England scoring five-plus.
Speaking of that, we wouldn’t recommend you chase the both teams to score which is at a tasty looking 7/4 on paper.
Montenegro drew a blank against Kosovo and Czech Republic on the road, although history buffs will remember they did net when last visiting England in 2013.
Marcus Rashford is starting to find his groove for both club and country, with five goals in his last seven.
Harry Kane is a small price to net as ever, so place your trust in Rashford at a much tastier 3/1 to open the floodgates at Wembley in the absence of Raheem Sterling.
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Portugal vs Lithuania – Thursday, 7.45pm
QUALIFICATION for the defending Euro champions isn’t yet assured.
And this is a must-win game for Portugal, who are just one goal ahead of Serbia in Group B with Ukraine already on the plane for next summer’s finals.
It seems unthinkable that the Nations League winners won’t make it. Uefa bigwigs must be nervous.
But their campaign has been littered with a number of shocking performances, including a wasteful trip to Ukraine where they piled in 22 shots.
All that effort to lose 2-1.
If they’re shot-shy again back on home soil against whipping boys Lithuania then boss Fernando Santos will be sweating over his position.
Whilst there’s plenty at stake then for the Portuguese, the visitors are looking to finish a fairly horrendous campaign on a high.
Lithuania have been the Group B whipping boys, conceding 19 in seven games whilst picking up just a solitary point.
And the only logical path to follow is CR7 to do it again.
When Portugal need a hero, nobody steps up quite like Ronaldo – and you just know he’d love those headlines.
He’s got seven in his last four international matches, whilst undergoing a three-game ‘drought’ for Juventus.
Back him to score two or more at 3/4 and watch the money roll right in.
Portugal haven’t done things easily in this qualifying campaign and we’re not convinced they will have everything all their own way.
Lithuania have nothing to lose and we like both teams to score at a massive 13/5.
And to capitalise on that, Portugal to win with Lithuania netting a consolation is a massive 3/1. There’s your Thursday night money-maker, 40 suds from a tenner.
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Cyprus vs Scotland – Saturday, 2pm
THE Scots just want this qualifying nightmare to end.
Forget that they thrashed San Marino last time out – every professional international team should.
There’s a very real possibility that the Tartan Army won’t be at Euro 2020 with their only path to the final now through next year’s Nations League playoffs.
Momentum isn’t really an issue with those games miles away in March, but Steve Clarke will want his side to end the group stages on a high note.
Cyprus go into the game ahead of the Scots in Group I, which is all that needs to be said about the visitors hapless campaign.
The home side have won two of their last three, including an eye-catching 2-1 victory in Kazakhstan.
They’re no pushovers and we can’t really understand why Scotland go into a dead-rubber as heavy 21/20 favourites.
It’s true that they’ve won on every competitive visit to Cyprus in the past – but the last one was before the Berlin Wall came down.
In other words, look at the current form instead.
Scotland have lost three of their four away matches in this group to nil, failing to net against Belgium, Russia and Kazakhstan.
They’ve conceded ten goals and barely looked a threat going forward.
Cyprus may have been thrashed by Russia last time out, but that was a game the visitors had to win to secure qualification.
Don’t you dare think about putting your hard-earned on a Scottish victory.
With the shackles off we’re expecting a fair few goals in this one – and over 2.5 goals at 6/5 is a steal.
That’s happened in seven of Scotland’s eight qualifying matches, so stay away from the result market at all costs.
Thinking a little bit outside of the box, we also like the evens shot on there to be a goal in each half.
In their four home games in this competition Cyprus have either score or conceded in the opening twenty minutes. Get on.
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Azerbaijan vs Wales – Saturday, 5pm
THIS is the big one for Ryan Giggs.
The Euro 2016 surprise-package have made a real hash of qualifying so far.
Dropped points against Hungary, Croatia and Slovakia have left the Dragons four points adrift of that coveted second-spot.
But crucially, they have a game in hand to close the gap and set up a potential showdown with the Hungarians in Cardiff on November 19.
A draw here and a win in that game should still see them through, but Giggs will expect nothing other than three points.
Azerbaijan came to Wales back in September and were mightily unlucky to leave empty handed.
They defended resolutely, attacked with purpose on the counter and found the net after forcing a mistake from the Welsh backline.
Bale is suffering with a calf injury – but such is the magnitude of this one Wales are ready to risk Madrid’s wrath and play him in Baku.
The hosts have been beaten 5-1 by Slovakia and 3-1 by Hungary earlier in Group E.
On paper, this is Wales’ to lose and qualification still being in their own hands has to be their motivation.
We expect them to come back with all three points – but not without a scare along the way.
Azerbaijan have netted in all of their qualifying home matches and they won’t simply pack eleven men behind the ball.
As such we love the 11/8 on both teams netting. Honestly, that’s huge.
Croatia conceded here and we can’t leave alone a price that big. It’s a real money maker, turning your tenner in £23.75.
If you’re looking for a goalscorer, Harry Wilson is a cracking 13/2 to open the scoring.
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Northern Ireland vs Holland – Saturday, 7.45pm
IT’S the beginning of the end for Michael O’Neill.
He wants to complete the job he started, and who can blame him?
Two away defeats on the spin to that heavyweight pair has derailed the Euro 2020 bandwagon somewhat, but Northern Irish supporters will be buoyant back at Windsor Park.
As you’d expect, the visitors are huge favourites to make it five wins on the spin and secure their place in next year’s finals.
The 2/5 on a Holland victory is very harsh on the home side, even if the Oranje are currently in such sparkling form.
Belarus managed to net against them and even with Virgil Van Dijk marshalling the defence, they’re not water-tight.
Northern Ireland of course managed to breach it in that Rotterdam heartbreak.
So why is both teams to net so big at 11/10? Beats us – that’s the bet to be on.
We can see this being a tight affair and reckon Northern Ireland will want to hold the visitors until the break before pushing for the win.
There’s value on going for a draw at half-time, Holland win on the half time/full time market. That’s 27/10.
Man Utd flop Memphis Depay has been in superb nick over the past two months, with the Lyon forward on fire infront of goal with seven in his last five.
He’s 16/5 to score first in Belfast and that’s where your hard-earned should be going.
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*All odds correct at time of publication