Belarus vs Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland to win – 13/8
This is simply must win for Northern Ireland. After getting out of jail in Tallinn, the Green and White Army sit atop of Group C with a 100% record after three games.
This is where the real work starts, however.
A tricky away game in Belarus on Tuesday signals the end of their so-called ‘easy fixtures,’ with four games against the Netherlands and Germany to follow in the autumn.
They need to go into those games with 12 points from 12, but it won’t be easy against a Belarus side who pushed them all the way in Windsor Park.
Josh Magennis, Northern Ireland’s hero in Tallinn, also popped up with an 87th-minute winner in March against a dogged Belarussian side.
It will be even more difficult on Tuesday night in a hostile away ground and this will be a huge test of Northern Ireland’s qualifying credentials, but we’re backing them to just about edge it at a very attractive price.
Hungary vs Wales: Wales to win – 6/4
Like Northern Ireland, Wales must get a victory here. Hungary’s victory over Croatia and Wales’ subsequent defeat to the Croats has left the Giggs and co with a bit of work to do – even at this early stage. An away defeat to the World Cup finalists would not have been unexpected, but Hungary’s victory against them certainly was.
On paper, the group appeared to be a race between Wales and Slovakia to occupy second spot behind Croatia, but that has now drastically changed. It now resembles a four-team battle for the top spots with Hungary making an unexpected bolt.
With Slovakia expected to take maximum points from their encounter with Azerbaijan, a Wales win would leave the four top teams in Group E level on six points as they approach the midway stage.
It won’t be easy though. Wales were uninspiring against Croatia on Saturday and struggled to retain consistent possession. However, that won’t be the case against Hungary on Tuesday. Wales should operate on the front foot and that should play into the hands of their exciting attacking players.
The game will be played in excessively high temperatures, which further emphasises the challenge ahead of Wales. It is one they are well capable of conquering though.
Belgium vs Scotland: Belgium (-2) – 5/4
What score do you want? Scotland may have won their last two games but they have been far from convincing, even under a new manager. They have played the three worst teams in the group, including San Marino, and still can only boast a neutral goal difference.
They have less than no hope of coming away from Belgium with a result, and it is just a matter of by how much they will lose.
Belgium have looked imperious so far in Group I and appear to be coasting towards next year’s Euros. A 3-1 opening day win over Russia put them in pole position to top the group and subsequent wins over Cyprus and Kazakhstan haven’t required them to get out of first gear. The game against Scotland should be similar.
The Red Devils thrashed Scotland 4-0 in Hampden Park in a post-World Cup friendly at one of the lowest ebbs of Alex McLeish’s tenure. Scotland at least have Steve Clarke in charge now, but this is still an absolute formality.
With home advantage where they are undefeated in 23 games, Belgium should cruise to victory.
* All odds correct at time of posting and may vary up to kick-off.