Scotland v Belgium: Anytime Goalscorer Romelu Lukaku – Evens
It’s hard not to feel sorry for the Scots.
They finished level on points with Slovakia in World Cup qualification, missing out on a playoff spot thanks to an inferior goal difference, and since the end of that campaign they’ve scored just once in five games.
Now they have to play a fearsome Belgian side – though at least this isn’t in the Nations League, so it won’t hit their Euro 2020 chances.
Man United’s Romelu Lukaku found the net twice against Burnley last weekend, and has a prolific record for the national side. He bagged four goals in Russia 2018 and should trouble the Tartan Army’s goal tonight, so we’d take the evens available on him to take his record to 41 goals in 76 caps.
Italy v Poland: Both Teams to Score – 11/10
This is Roberto Mancini’s first competitive game as Italian national team boss, and the former City head honcho has seen his side score and concede in his three previous friendly fixtures.
Poland were – what else? – a big disappointment on the stage of Russia 2018. Their relatively easy group wasn’t easy enough and they crashed out before the knock-out stage despite the attacking talent at their disposal.
Robert Lewandowski should play here, and Arkadiusz Milik is also available, so there are goals in this squad.
Though Italian football has a reputation for defensive solidity, Mancini is not known for setting his sides up cautiously. Both teams to score looks a reasonable shout at 11/10.
Turkey v Russia: Draw – 15/8
Can Russia cope with the comedown of a World Cup run that dared to even defy Vladimir Putin’s expectations in its success?
The surprise quarter-finalists took out Spain in the last sixteen and saw a maligned mob of players turn into national heroes with defiant and spirited – some might say suspicious – performances on home soil.
Now they have to build on their promise, and they can start with this Nations League meeting with Turkey.
These sides met pre-World Cup and played out a 1-1 draw, and look evenly matched on paper. Given the qualification incentives in this new competition, it’s reasonable to expect both teams to look for a draw here, so 15/8 looks a good shot to us.