World Cup qualifiers betting preview and tips


Italy were inspirational under Antonio Conte at Euro 2016 and the now-Chelsea manager engineered a fantastic victory against Spain on the way to a quarter final penalty kick defeat against Germany.

Giampiero Ventura is now in charge of the Azzurri after a long and illustrious managerial career which most recently saw him in charge of Torino. His Italian team are 3.10 (21/10) with William Hill to beat the Spanish at the Juventus Stadium.

Spain also have a new manager in Julen Lopetegui and the shoes of Vicente del Bosque are big ones to fill. Lopetegui has been involved with the Spanish national side for several years and more recently had a stint with FC Porto.

He also inherits a pretty talented group of players and La Roja are 2.50 (6/4) with Ladbrokes to win in Turin, with Diego Costa looking interested for Chelsea again and he’ll be expected to lead the line in this game.

This match could go a long way in determining which side finish top of Group G, with another highlight game being the clash between Austria and Wales on Thursday evening.

The Austrians were tipped as dark horses at Euro 2016 after a formidable qualifying campaign although they were massively disappointing and now set about trying to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Unibet offer 2.25 (5/4) about Marcel Koller’s side beating a Welsh side who were outstanding in the summer, with Chris Coleman’s team available at 3.40 (12/5) to continue their excellent form which saw them thrash Moldova 4-0 last month.

The Republic of Ireland are also in Group D, with Martin O’Neill’s side available at 1.50 (1/2) with William Hill to beat a Georgia side who were narrowly beaten by the Austrians in their opener.

Arguably the most fascinating World Cup qualifying group is Group I where Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine and Turkey compete to land a spot in the Russia finals. The latter two meet in Konya on Thursday evening, with BetVictor now 2.25 (5/4) about the Turks landing a precious victory after a morale-boosting 1-1 draw at Croatia.

Ukraine are 3.40 (Unibet ) and began with a 1-1 draw against an Icelandic side who are warm favourites to beat Finland on Thursday night. Croatia should also have too much for Kosovo.

England have Gareth Southgate in caretaker charge, with a Wembley clash against Malta likely to result in a massive victory, while Germany meet Czech Republic on Saturday night and Die Mannschaft are 1.25 (1/4) with Unibet to claim three qualifying points.

The other intriguing game takes place on Friday night where Belgium entertain Bosnia, with Roberto Martinez looking to make an impression with the Red Devils. The Belgians are a 1.44 chance (4/9) with bet365 to win in Brussels although they will be without the outstanding Kevin de Bruyne for this game.

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