Since their first attempt to qualify for a major tournament in 1998, Bosnia & Herzegovina have got ever closer and now stand just two playoff games away from reaching Euro 2012.
They were three minutes from reaching the tournament automatically before Samir Nasri’s controversial late penalty for France forced Safit Sucic’s side into a second consecutive two-legged affair against Portugal.
When the sides last faced each other in the playoffs for World Cup 2010, Portugal narrowly won both legs 1-0 and Bosnia have continued to improve since then.
The home side are 23/10 to take a first-leg advantage, with Paulo Bento’s team 6/5 and odds of 11/5 for the sides to arrive in Portugal still level.
Bosnia won six out of their ten games in Group D of qualifying and were always fast starters, scoring first in 80 per cent of those matches.
With 15 goals this season, Man City’s Edin Dzeko is Bosnia’s best bet at 11/2 to get that [first] goal.
They hit the woodwork three times without scoring in their last home game against Portugal but are 27/20 to open the scoring this time.
New customers using the free £25 bet they receive when joining bwin.com would win £72.50 if Bosnia scored the first goal of the game.
With 15 goals this season, Man City’s Edin Dzeko is Bosnia’s best bet at 11/2 to get that goal, as he did against France, but with three goals in the last three qualifiers, captain Zvjezdan Misimovic is worth considering at 11/1 in bwin’s first goalscorer market.
Bosnia’s form is also based on a strong defence which conceded under a goal a game in qualifying and they are 15/4 to win to nil, but they didn’t have to face the world’s deadliest striker in any of those games.
Cristiano Ronaldo has an unbelievable 1.18 goals per league game in 2011 and while his international form isn’t as amazing he’s still a very good bet at evens to score anytime and 5/1 to score two or more.
Portugal’s problem is their defence concedes goals at a similar rate as they averaged just under three total goals per game in qualifying, so betting on over 2.5 goals at 27/20 is also a good way to go.
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