Thu, Oct 6, 4:09pm by Jake Equid
Date and Time: Friday, October 7, 5:45am
Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
Spain will be looking for revenge for their 2-0 loss to Italy in the Round of 16 of Euro 2016 when they head to Turin on Friday morning AEDT.
In that match, Italy’s attacking options of Graziano Pellè and Éder formed the attack and they could be paired again here. But they face stiff competition from Lazio’s Ciro Immobile and Torino’s Andrea Belotti, scorers of four and five goals respectively in Serie A this term.
“In one of the two games they will play together up front,” confirms Italy boss Gian Piero Ventura, who coached both strikers at Torino. Will that come against Spain or three days later away to FYR Macedonia?
Diego Costa will lead the line for Spain and the Chelsea man is in good form, having scored six goals for the Blues already this season.
Spain are the masters of getting points away from home and amazingly are unbeaten in their last 54 World Cup qualifiers. I’m going to take that form to continue.
BEST BET: Draw $3
Date and Time: Friday October 7 5:45am
Venue: Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria
These two nations had vastly different Euro 2016 campaigns, not much was expected of Wales which lead to a wild celebration when they made it all the way to the semi-finals. Conversely, expectation was high in Austria after an almost flawless qualifying campaign but they failed to make it out of their group.
Only England bettered their haul of 28 points from a possible 30 in qualifying and, with the likes of Marko Arnautovi? and David Alaba, progress from a group containing Portugal, Iceland and Hungary looked very attainable – who knew?
Without their star midfielder, Aaron Ramsey whose hamstring injury continues to keep him out of the side, I can’t see Wales getting anything from this match against a talented Austrian outfit.
BEST BET: Austria to win: $2.25
Date and Time: Saturday October 8 5:45am
Venue: Groupama Arena, Budapest, Hungary
The surprise packet of Euro 2016, Hungary would have disappointed after being held to a goal-less draw by one of the weakest side in Europe, the Faroe Islands in their opening match of the World Cup qualifiers.
Switzerland will rightly go into this contest as favourites ($2.25) after successfully negotiating the European Champions Portugal as they struck twice in the first half to earn a 2-0 win in the group opener.
That win was vital for the Swiss side as Portugal are one of their main rivals for the top position in the group. However, they head to Budapest without their midfield talisman Granit Xhaka who was sent-off in the closing stages of the victory against Portugal.
Group B is one of the toughest in the qualifiers and dropping points against sides like Faroe Islands could cost Hungary dearly in the long run. I’m backing Hungary to return to some of the form they showed at Euro 2016 but they won’t get the maximum points.
BEST BET: Draw $3.10
Here’s the odds for the rest of match day two’s World Cup qualifying fixtures:
Moldova v Serbia
Ireland v Georgia
Macedonia v Israel
Liechtenstein v Albania
Iceland v Finland
Kosovo v Croatia
Turkey v Ukraine
France v Bulgaria
Luxembourg v Sweden
Netherlands v Belarus
Latvia v Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands $6
Portugal v Andorra
Belgium v Bosnia-Herzegovina
Greece v Cyprus
Estonia v Gibraltar
Odds sourced by Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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