Had they started their Euro 2012 qualification campaign in the same sort of form as they finished it, Wales would have been involved in the play-offs for a place in the tournament this week rather than entertaining Norway in an international friendly at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday.
However, wins against Montenegro, Bulgaria and Switzerland came too late to save Wales’ campaign, with defeats in their opening four qualifiers proving too much of a disadvantage to overcome.
The good news for Gary Speed’s men is that their renaissance means they go into the match against Norway on a good run of form.
A win against Egil Olsen’s side would be their third in a row and a fifth in five games for Wales, although they go into the match as 37/20 underdogs.
This is because Norway, priced at 7/5 to secure victory with a draw at 23/10, are also on a good run of form having won four of their last five.
However, Wales remain the best bets in bwin’s 3Way football betting market as Norway’s recent wins have all come at home.
On their travels, Norway have lost four of their last five and failed to score in three of these fixtures.
Indeed, Norway do not score many goals at all having registered just ten times in their eight qualifiers, and with Wales keeping clean sheets in their last two games the Dragons will be confident of keeping their opponents quiet.
This points to a bet on Norway failing to score or hitting the back of the net just once, with the former option available at 21/10 and the latter at 31/20.
Either way, Wales should have enough to pick up the win having scored twice in their last two home fixtures.
As such, and given the odds of 37/20, it seems the best bet can be found in the 3Way market on a Wales win, with a successful £25 free bet on this outcome worth £71.25.
The free bet is available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
One final bet to consider is on Craig Bellamy to score at any time at odds of 3/2.
The fact he lines up for Wales against Norway’s John Arne Riise adds an interesting sub-plot to the game given their history as Liverpool teammates.
They were involved in an incident on a team bonding trip to Portugal in 2007 which featured copious amounts of alcohol and a golf club.
Although the pair have since made up it will be the first time they have met as opponents since the incident, and with Bellamy looking lively during his fleeting appearances for his club this season he looks a good bet to have the last laugh.
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