At home in the Nations League, Iceland were no strangers to goal-filled games, as each of their two games in front of a home crowd produced three goals. There was also an average of 3.57 expected goals in Iceland’s home games in that competition.
When we put all the pieces together, the chances of goals arriving at Laugardalsvöllur appear to be slightly greater than the current odds suggest, so a bet on ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ represents a smidgen of value.
If there is anywhere that is a concern for Roberto Martinez, it’s the defence. Belgium have a high scoring home record, but their defence isn’t unbreakable. With Scotland in good form going forward we see them faring better than their 4-0 home loss to Belgium in the Autumn. We’re going with both teams to score as our tip for this clash.
Given that they’re likely to adopt a defensive approach, Russia may have to work hard to get the job done on Tuesday. Punters can profit by backing ‘Russia to Win & Under 3.5 Goals’. The Russians have the forward quality to overpower the Cypriots, but Tuesday’s hosts have shown that they can avoid a battering by frustrating Belgium for long periods, so they ought to be capable of doing something similar on this occasion.
One bet that does stand out as slightly overpriced is ‘Both Teams to Score’. Andorra are yet to score in qualifying, though they did show signs of life on the break against Albania, which bodes well ahead of a game where France will leave lots of space in behind.
What’s more, as good as the world champions can be, they do tend to be slightly sloppy against very weak opposition. Deschamps’ men recently conceded against Moldova, who they presented with more than one solid counter-attacking chance, while they also conceded against the likes of both Luxembourg and Belarus in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
Germany scored 23 goals across their five home qualifiers last time out, while Estonia conceded eight at Belgium and five at Bosnia. We expect Germany to rack up plenty of goals here, while they should keep a clean sheet. That has us backing over 2.5 goals and both teams to score – no in this clash. We’re backing Germany to score at least three goals and keep a clean sheet, which seems like value given the gulf between the two sides.
Italy have kept four clean sheets at home, while Bosnia have failed to score in four straight away games. We doubt that Roma forward Edin Dzeko will come as too much of a surprise to the Italian defence, neither will Juventus play-maker Miralem Pjanic. We expect the Italians to shut down the visitors and claim another positive result. We’re backing Italy to win to nil in this clash, as the Mancini bounce continues.
In the betting, ‘Albania to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ looks somewhat overpriced. The Albanians haven’t quite got going in this campaign yet, but they did score three goals against Andorra, while some of their attacking efforts in front of their own fans in the Nations League suggest that they can really hurt the Moldovan’s, who’ve looked very poor at the back against any side with the slightest bit about them going forward.
At the end of the day, this is a huge opportunity for Albania to boost their confidence levels and they’re back to take that opportunity to by scoring at least twice against a visiting side that conceded four goals and 3.64 expected goals last time out on the road.
Northern Ireland were effective on the road in the last two qualifying campaigns, while they’ve just won their first away game this time around. We expect them to step up and secure a result in this clash. They’ve made a brilliant start following their Nations League struggles, so we are siding with NI to keep up this winning start. We’re going with the visitors Draw No Bet here, which seems like great value.
In terms of overall quality, Serbia had enough to ease to victory when the pair last met and that will probably be what happens this time around, though they weren’t without scares, so it’s not terribly difficult to make a case for ‘Both Teams to Score’.
The visitors lack the defensive quality to keep the Serbians out, though they showed when visiting this country not that long ago that they can compete offensively, so much so that the chances of both registering on score-sheet seem slightly greater than the current odds suggest.