All the Home Nations are in there for you!
Normally, I’m not an advocate for international breaks. That’s probably due to past trauma relating to Martin O’Neill’s tenure as the Republic of Ireland boss.
But there’s something about this one that just feels right. Never, ever have I look forward to the Scotland national team playing a game so much in my life for some reason.
Here’s the three best bets from the Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish games in the UEFA Euro qualifiers.
Netherlands v Northern Ireland: Under 2.5 goals – 7/5
I normally look to set pieces to see if one of the Home Nations can grab a goal away to a European superpower, but it’s very difficult to negotiate the pairing of Matthijs de Ligt and Virgil van Dijk from corner kicks.
We know full well that Northern Ireland will try and occasionally fire a long ball into a channel and wait four to five minutes for late-coming support from midfield to the switch of play. But in reality, this game will be played in Northern Ireland’s half – something both teams will settle for.
If we establish that Michael O’Neill’s charges won’t be scoring, it becomes a case of ‘how many?’ for the Dutch, and I’m not sure they’ll be going full pelt in this.
They’ll likely use some fringe players here, and, because of that, build-up will be slower than usual.
We’re backing defensive resolve here.
Russia v Scotland: Russia (-1) – 6/4
Imagine a country that’s so bleak, in which the majority of its land mass can’t be populated due to harsh cold and misty, cutting winds; where the people are grumpy all the time, refuse to align themselves with western values, where the government is corrupt and there’s more public violence per capita than anywhere else in Europe.
Luckily for Scotland, they get a trip away from all that and travel to Russia for this crunch tie in Moscow.
Now, while the weather won’t be a problem, Artem Dzyuba surely will be. As much as Charlie Mulgrew and Grant Hanley have lovely haircuts, their physical presence is minimal and the boy Artem looks like a television mast.
Not only will Scotland be beaten in possession, but they’ll also be beaten in the air too.
Slovakia v Wales: Wales Draw No Bet – 11/10
I don’t see Slovakia scoring twice in this game, and if Wales do score, which they absolutely should with the quality they have at their disposal, then we’re quids-in.
Don’t forget Wales have Gareth Bale!
But, backing them to just score once could be the play. Either way, ensuring a DNB clause can stand to you here if a dodgy decision disrupts our logic.
* All odds correct at time of posting.