World Cup qualifying preview – Thursday 31 Aug


There are nine UEFA World Cup qualifiers taking place on Thursday evening and the biggest clash takes place between France and the Netherlands.

France are the favourites to emerge from Group A although Les Bleus currently sit behind Sweden in the standings and will want to make sure of victory against the Dutch to get into pole position.

Didier Deschamps’ team are 1.75 (3/4) with bet365 to beat a Netherlands side who sit three points behind in the table, with Dick Advocaat’s side looking to draw level and get themselves into qualifying contention.

The Dutch are a 5.00 (4/1) chance with Sky Bet to win the game and they would settle for the draw which can be backed at 3.60 (13/5 Stan James). 

Sweden will look to build on that famous 2-1 win over France and they are strong favourites at 9/10 (1.91) with Unibet to get another win on the board against a Bulgaria side who will still harbour qualifying hopes of their own.

The Bulgarians are 4.33 (10/3) chances with bet365 to land a win which would really open up Group A as we approach the business end of qualification.

In Group B, Switzerland have registered six consecutive wins and they are a 1.02 (1/50) shot with Unibet to beat Andorra, while Portugal sit a further three points behind and they look to have an equally easy task against the Faroe Islands.

Over in Group H, Belgium have barely put a foot wrong after five wins and a draw to storm clear at the top of the standings, with the Red Devils likely to score a hatful of goals against Gibraltar and that is why they are 1.01 (1/100) with the bookies.

Second spot is more competitive and Greece currently sit in second place, with bet365 making them a 1.36 (4/11) chance to beat Estonia, having previously triumphed 2-0 in Talinn.

The Estonians are a 11.00 (10/1) chance with Ladbrokes to win the game and that would be good news for Bosnia-Herzegovina who travel to Cyprus in search of three points and they can be backed at 1.50 (1/2) to achieve their goal with Ladbrokes .

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