Iceland vs France: Antoine Griezmann to score anytime – Evens
Correctly predicting a goalscorer in a French match these days is about as difficult as it gets.
Not only do the world champions have one of the most stacked forward lines in international football right now, but Didier Deschamps has also shown a tendency to chop and change his starting XI.
It makes predicting a France starting team an unenviable task, even before goalscorers are even brought into the conversation.
Therefore, it’s best to be safe and back Deschamps’ most trusted lieutenant – Antoine Griezmann.
The Barcelona forward has started each of France’s six qualifying games so far and it’s clear that Deschamps values him above all other forwards. Despite failing to find the back of the net in each of his last four competitive games, Griezmann is still picked because of his tireless energy and his ability to link play.
He is almost guaranteed to start in a crucial game for the French. If they can emerge with three points on Friday, they will almost certainly be playing at the European Championships next summer and Deschamps isn’t likely to take any chances in Iceland.
Griezmann needs a goal after a difficult start to life at Barcelona and Iceland are ideal opponents for him to do so.
He has scored in his last two competitive appearances against them as France eased to comfortable wins. It’s not outrageous to think that he’ll do it again.
Portugal vs Luxembourg: Bernardo Silva to score anytime – 5/6
While it might be hard to predict French goalscorers, it is decidedly easier to pick a Portuguese one.
The only problem with backing Cristiano Ronaldo against a side like Luxembourg is that his odds are so short he is almost unbackable. While Portuguese forwards will no doubt be looking forward to the prospect of taking on Luxembourg at home, it may not be as easy as past encounters with the European minnows.
Luxembourg have been greatly improved of late, taking four points off Lithuania in qualifying this year and losing by just a goal to group leaders Ukraine home and away. They also held France scoreless at the Stade de France in a World Cup qualifier two years ago.
They will no doubt sit in and make life difficult for Portugal, but the European champions should break them down eventually. One player accustomed to playing against deep defences is Bernardo Silva, who has had more than enough practice doing so with Manchester City.
Ukraine vs Lithuania: Roman Yaremchuk to score anytime – 8/11
Group B leaders Ukraine be licking their lips at the thought of playing Lithuania at home. The Lithuanians have shipped 12 goals in their last three games in Group B, with three of those goals coming against Ukraine.
The home side will fancy their chances of adding heavily to that tally on Friday night.
The Ukrainians have scored 11 times so far in qualifying from seven different sources, so it is quite difficult to nail down their main goalscoring threat.
However, it isn’t outrageous to suggest that a number of players will get themselves on the scoresheet on Friday, which makes life far easier. Gent striker Roman Yaremchuk has two goals in qualifying this year, he should he start on Friday and is a good bet to find the back of the net at some stage.
* All odds correct at time of posting.