World Cup Qualifiers Betting Preview: Which Teams Will Reach Russia?

Updated Tuesday 5th December 2017, 03:10 PM

The final two rounds of World Cup qualifiers will take place across Europe over the next few days, and so far only Belgium have booked their place in next summer’s tournament. England are on the brink of booking their place in Russia and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could all join them, but how do you think they will get on in their next matches?



Northern Ireland v Germany

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
Northern Ireland
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Germany have registered eight victories from eight matches in Group C and only need to avoid defeat at Windsor Park to clinch their spot at the World Cup. Northern Ireland must win their last two games to stand any chance of overhauling Germany, but are already assured of at least second place and their main focus will be on building confidence ahead of a likely play-off next month.

Michael O’Neill’s men have an excellent home record, having won their other four qualifying matches at Windsor Park without conceding a goal and not lost a competitive fixture in Belfast since a defeat by Portugal in September 2013. However, they were beaten 2-0 in Germany and lost 1-0 to the same opponents at Euro 2016, and are likely to see so little of the ball that even scoring a goal will be difficult. Northern Ireland may feel under pressure to try and get on the front foot at home and that will play into Germany’s hands, opening up the prospect of a comfortable away win.

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
Top Tip
Germany to win by 2 goals
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England v Slovenia

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now

England are almost through to the World Cup after another solid qualifying campaign, and even if they slip up against Slovenia they will get another chance to make sure in their final group game in Lithuania. Gareth Southgate will be keen to avoid any last-minute jitters, though, and there is no danger of complacency against a side which held the Three Lions to a goalless draw in Ljubljana 12 months ago.

Slovenia can still finish second in Group F, but a draw at Wembley might not be good enough and they will be keeping a close eye on the score from Scotland’s clash with Slovakia. It is likely they will try and keep it tight at the start before maybe opening up as the match progresses, and England should be good enough to capitalise even without the suspended Dele Alli. Alli’s Tottenham team-mate Harry Kane is in red-hot form and can be backed at roughly evens in the Score/Win market.

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
Top Tip
Half Time/Full Time - Draw/England
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Scotland v Slovakia

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
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The bookies are finding it difficult to call this one and it is easy to see why. Scotland were swept aside 3-0 in the reverse fixture last October but have come back strongly in their last few games. They are now just a point behind Slovakia following wins over Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta and a draw with England, and are sure to be roared on by a partisan crowd at Hampden Park.

Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong and Matt Ritchie are all missing for the Scots but boss Gordon Strachan feels there is enough strength in depth in his squad to come up with a good result. Scotland have certainly shown enough attacking potential in their last few matches to justify his confidence, although there will be concerns over whether the defence can stand up to a skilful Slovakian side. It could be a thrilling encounter with so much on the line, and there is some great value to be had in the market for the match result with both teams to score.

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
Top Tip
Scotland to win and both teams to score
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Georgia v Wales

Wales currently occupy second place in Group D, but have a lot of work still to do to keep their hopes of World Cup qualification alive. A potentially decisive final-day clash with Republic of Ireland looms large, but first Wales must try to win in Tbilisi against a Georgia team which managed to claim a 1-1 draw at the Cardiff City Stadium last October.

However, Georgia are already out of World Cup contention and will find it hard to contain Wales, even in the absence of Gareth Bale. Bale has produced some fine performances for Real Madrid this season but has had to withdraw due to injury. Wales have conceded just five times in eight qualifiers, though, and may only need to score once to seal all three points if they can keep things tight at the back.

*Please note, odds may fluctuate.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2017 03:10:12+00:00
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