2018 UEFA World Cup Qualifiers Betting Preview

Updated Monday 10th October 2016, 07:46 AM

England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will all play their next qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup this Saturday 8th October, and the bookmakers have all three of those teams down as the favourites to win their matches. Wales will play this Thursday 6th October, but the odds-makers aren’t as confident about their chances, so it will be interesting to see whether or not all four of our national teams will manage to emerge victorious.

How the Bookies See It

  • Austria v Wales: Austria 5/4, Draw 21/10, Wales 12/5 – SkyBet
  • England v Malta: England 1/50, Draw 35/1, Malta 125/1 – Paddy Power
  • Northern Ireland v San Marino: Northern Ireland 1/40, Draw 16/1, San Marino 40/1 – Bet365
  • Scotland v Lithuania: Scotland 4/9, Draw 16/5, Lithuania 13/2 – BetFred  


  • Austria won their first qualifying match, which was against Georgia, by two goals to one. The team is currently second in Group D, and is one of just two teams in the group that won their previous World Cup fixture. Wales was the other team to achieve that feat, and the Welsh side beat Moldova 4-0, giving them the best goal difference in the group and putting them, for now at least, at the top of the table. Austria have qualified for seven World Cups, whilst Wales have only qualified for one, and that was in 1958.
  • England beat Slovakia by one goal to nil and are placed second in the table for Group F, with a goal difference of +1. Malta are at the bottom of that table, having lost their previous match to Scotland by five goals to one, for a goal difference of -4. England have qualified for the World Cup an impressive 14 times, but Malta hasn’t qualified once, despite having made the attempt 11 times.
  • Northern Ireland drew their first qualifying match against the Czech Republic 1-1, which puts them in fourth place in the table for Group C. San Marino lost their first match of the campaign 1-0 to Azerbaijan, and that continues an unfortunate pattern for the team, because they have never won a match in any World Cup qualifier since they got involved in the competition in 1994.
  • Scotland won their first match against Malta by five goals to one, and that puts them at the top of Group F. Lithuania is fourth in the table, having had to settle for a 2-2 draw in their match against Slovenia. Scotland have qualified for the World Cup eight times, whilst Lithuania have never qualified.

Sports.net’s view

The match between Austria and Wales is tough to call, but Austria’s greater experience in this competition could well see them emerge as the winners. As for the other national teams, it is extremely difficult to see England, Scotland or Northern Ireland losing any of their matches this Saturday. The paltry odds available with bookmakers about England or Northern Ireland make them fairly useless for betting purposes, so we will side with Scotland to beat Lithuania at a more backable price. 

  • Sports.net’s Top Tip: Scotland to beat Lithuania at 4/9 – BetFred

*Please note that odds may fluctuate.

Last Updated: Monday, 10 October 2016 07:46:54+00:00
Published By Sports.net

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