It may be early in the World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign but the likely contenders have already risen to the top of their respective groups ahead of this week’s matches.
Perennial challengers Germany were always going to be in the mix and now have a chance to see off nearest challengers Sweden on Tuesday evening. Belgium, whose recent emergence as a European force has been impressive, should continue their fine form against a limited Scotland, while Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine will look to kick-start a play-off push in their first home game, where Montenegro are the opposition.
After Neil Sargent gave you an international Home Heroes winner on Friday, I’m confident about my chances of replicating that achievement this evening with my selected trio.
Each of the visitors offer enough of a threat to make the odds look more attractive than a visit from San Marino and new customers using the free £20 bet they receive when registering with bwin stand to win £53.55 for three home triumphs.
Belgium to beat Scotland @ 33/100
Having failed to reach an international tournament since 2002, the Red Devils have re-emerged as major players following the arrival of a new ‘Golden Generation’ featuring Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Spurs duo Moussa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen, to mention just a few.
Unfortunately for Craig Levein, Scotland’s talent pool appears to be going the other way (no offence to any Alan Hutton fans) and they’re unlikely to recover in time from Friday’s late defeat to Wales to threaten Belgium’s three-year unbeaten record in Brussels.
Germany to beat Sweden @ 11/50
The multiple World Cup winners continue to find new ways to impress as they inflicted a worst-ever home loss on the Republic of Ireland last Friday.
That 6-1 win will have put the frighteners on even a championship-hardened side like Sweden, who were much less convincing in a 2-1 triumph over the Faroe Islands and don’t look best placed to pick up a first win over Die Mannschaft since 1978.
Ukraine to beat Montenegro @ 13/20
Having co-hosted Euro 2012 this summer, Ukraine have had to wait to play their first home qualifier but will look to continue their excellent record in Kiev when Montenegro come to town.
This will be the first-ever match between the two sides so there is no direct form book but the Yellow-Blues recent record does suggest Anatoliy Tymoshchuk’s team can see off a team which didn’t even exist last time they lost a home qualifier.
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