* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Friday’s football accumulator has us looking at four of the European World Cup Qualification matches happening on the night. In Group I we’ll be checking out Gareth Southgate’s 67th game in charge of England, equalling Bobby Robinson’s tenure of the national side, as they take on Albania.
In the same group, Poland are away to Andorra and will surely score a hatful. Austria take on Israel in Group F as well and finally, European champions Italy host Switzerland in Rome with both teams level on points at the top of Group C. Let’s get stuck in then and look for some value in the markets.
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England can all but book their place in next year’s World Cup with a win here, as their superior goal difference should see them qualify ahead of Poland even if they lose a game. Of course, Southgate’s side aren’t going to want to take their foot off the gas here, England have now gone 17 games with losing in normal or extra time (losing one on penalties, that was a big one admittedly) and at Wembley (not counting the European Championships) they’ve gone nine games unbeaten, winning eight of them and only conceding in two of those nine games.
Albania have obviously been completely written off in this match, but it’s worth mentioning that they scored away to the Czechs, Poland and Hungary over their last three away games. A positive result for them here, should Poland mess up any of their remaining games, could see them advancing to the next round.
England have only conceded three goals over their eight games, but two of them came over their last three outings and with Albania desperate for a good result here, as well as their recent record of eight goals over their last five games, there’s very good value to be found here in backing them to get on the scoresheet. England will win though, the gulf in talent between the sides is immense.
Poland will no doubt see this game as another three points in the bag as they chase down England who top Group I. If Poland can put four unanswered goals past Andorra, they can potentially draw level with England on goal difference. With England facing San Marino in the last group game though, there’s really little chance of the Poles claiming top spot.
There’s no way to sugar coat just how bad Andorra are, their only two wins over their last 16 games have been against San Marino and over their last 10 games home games, they have only scored in four of them. Poland are in strong form, winning four of their last five and we have to look at their talisman Robert Lewandowski here. The Bayern Munich striker has 23 goals in 17 games in all competitions for his club side and has six in seven for the national side. With all the traffic being likely to played through him, we’re really liking the odds for him to open the scoring here.
Should things go wrong for Scotland against Moldova in one of the games kicking off earlier in the evening, Israel could well be still in with a shout for qualification. Austria haven’t a chance though, and this has been a qualification campaign to forget for the home side. The Austrians were soundly beaten by Denmark at home earlier in the campaign and surprisingly by Scotland in September, which all but ended their slim hopes for qualification.
The Austrians have won two, drawn one and lost two over their last five at home, winning two and losing three of their last five overall matches. Israel have won three and lost two of their last five. away from home though, they’ve won two and lost three of their five most recent fixtures.
There have been a fair amount of goals over recent away Israel matches, all five of those games saw Over 2.5 goals, three of Austria’s last five at home also saw Overs occurring. Israel will have to go for it here, but the Austrians will be looking to restore some pride in the shirt on home turf.
Italy have been a bit inconsistent since beating England on penalties in the European Championships final. Over their five games since they’ve won two, drawn two and lost one. Their home record (not including European Championship games) has seen them winning three, drawing one and losing one.
Switzerland are unbeaten over their last five games, winning three and drawing two. Should they come away with a draw, they will be favourites to take top spot as they face Bulgaria at home in their final game Meanwhile, Roberto Mancini’s Italy will have a tricky test in Belfast awaiting them.
The market is definitely siding with Italy, but Switzerland cannot be easily dismissed. Just look at what happened to the French during the summer when they didn’t take their neighbours seriously. Both Teams to Score appeals and with both teams scoring nine and eight over their last five respective games, we’ll be having a nibble of that thank you very much.
19:45 England v Albania: England To Win And Both Teams To Score
19:45 Andorra v Poland: Robert Lewandowski To Score First
19:45 Austria v Israel: Both Teams to Score
19:45 Italy v Switzerland: Both Teams to Score
* An accumulator on these four best bets pays at approximately 30/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.
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