Who To Bet On In The FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers
As football fans everywhere already know, the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia and contested by 32 teams. Russia is hosting the 2018 event and so qualifies automatically, but the remaining spots are all still available and can be applied for by any member association.
For the first time in history, all national teams have registered for these preliminary rounds, though some are excluded by suspensions, which have already made for some incredible action for spectators and bettors in the different confederation championships.
The qualifiers run from 12 March 2015 to 14 November 2017, and the same slot allocation that was used in 2014 will be used for 2018 and 2022. Some confederations are on their last round to determine who will play in Russia, and all of them are more than halfway through. The games in March 2017 promise to be very exciting. We’ve gone over a few details here to give you a taste, and help you when you’re deciding how to bet on these games.
England - Lithuania
England is so far unbeaten, and is confident of maintaining this status when they go against the Baltic nation at Wembley Stadium on 26 March 2017. The Lithuanians are definitely the underdogs in this battle, and historically they don’t do as well away as they do on home soil. Along with the fact that the Three Lions comfortably defeated them 4-0 in their last clash during Euro 2016, this makes them the favourites and they are expected to continue their impressive record at the rebuilt Wembley arena
Republic of Ireland - Wales
Supporters of both teams are expected to watch the 24 March 2017 match at Aviva Stadium with excitement, and it could go either way. With Gareth Bale returning to form following his ankle surgery, Chris Coleman’s team must be feeling relieved.
Spain - Israel
After 4 encounters the Spaniards are unbeaten against the Israelis. Spain is unbeaten in 12 qualifiers and Israel has won the last 3 Group G games. Their match on 24 March 2017 should be nail-biting and full of top-quality performances, and Spain can’t afford to fail.
Italy - Albania
Group G really is exceptionally tight, with Italy and Albania also both undefeated for their past several games. Having won in their only previous meeting, a friendly in Genoa, odds are slightly in favour of the home team.
Belgium - Greece
Belgium needs to win or draw on 25 March 2017 to retain its top position in Group H of the Europe World Cup Qualifiers, and predictions are that they will. Many industry experts are also saying it will make or break Michael Skibbe’s career as manager of Greece.
Portugal - Hungary
With Switzerland leading Group B in the Europe World Cup Qualifiers, Portugal can’t lose or draw against Hungary.
Bulgaria - Netherlands
The Netherlands has to win this game to remove France from first position in Group A of the Europe World Cup Qualifiers. They are the favourites to do so, but with the sides starting from such even positions anything could happen.
Azerbaijan - Germany
With a 100% record in these Europe World Cup Qualifiers, Germany are tipped to win against the home team.
Scotland - Slovenia
Scotland is without a win in 3 competitive home games, while Slovenia is unbeaten in Group F. Coach Gordon Strachan has admitted that they must win against the Slovenians on 26 March 2017, and the outcome of that game will likely determine his own future too.
Uruguay - Brazil
The Brazilian team is undefeated in their past 6 matches, so most money is on the away players for this 24 March South American Qualifier clash.
Argentina - Chile
The Argentina-Chile game is quite a special case; these teams went against each other in the last final of the Copa America and many people are looking forward to a rematch. This match is especially important for Argentina, as the team needs to win to stand a chance of going further in the CONMEBOL Championship, and thus in qualifying for Russia.