There’s so much competitive football on during this international break that we’ll hardly miss the Premier League, especially as half the English top flight are set to stretch their legs at least once in World Cup 2018 qualifying.
We’ve picked out four matches from Thursday alone that look primed for profit-seeking punters, with the quad adding up to an acca that will pay out at more than 30/1 if successful:
Whatever got into Martin O’Neill’s side during the third week of June, when the Boys in Green beat a second-string Italy XI then gave France a huge fright in the first knockout round of Euro 2016, it clearly hadn’t left them when banking a point away to Serbia in their first World Cup qualifier.
Ireland’s XI will largely be comprised of current Premier League regulars, with the likes of Jeff Hendrick and Seamus Coleman showing cracking top-flight form of late, and first-choice striker Shane Long surely eager to impress after seeing his game-time restricted at Southampton.
The hosts have won all four of their home fixtures against Georgia, the first in 2003, and twice by at least two goals. They look a good bet to improve on that record.
It’s worth keeping in mind that Kosovo are the 168th-ranked international football team in the world (Croatia are 14th), although the way Albert Bunjaki’s side have started life with official status suggests they’ll climb up the ranks steadily.
This will be Kosovo’s first competitive home game, having played just two matches as a FIFA member – beating Faroe Islands in a friendly over the summer and drawing in Finland last time out.
Ante Cacic is missing key men through injury, yet retains talents such as Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic and Mario Mandzukic. They should be far too strong for this inexperienced Kosovo outfit.
It seems senseless to go off Chris Coleman and co after 11 Wales wins in their past 17 competitive fixtures.
There weren’t many worse teams than Austria at Euro 2016, and injured Arsenal dangerman Aaron Ramsey is the only significant absentee from a Dragons squad that made it all the way to the semis over the summer.
Coleman’s charges pulled off wins in Israel, Andorra and Cyprus during their last qualifying campaign, where they went unbeaten until two games from the end.
They look a big price here.
Euro 2016’s other surprise package isn’t nearly as juicy a price as Wales, yet smack of value nonetheless.
There may be some mitigation for Finland’s recent slump, with the likes of Germany and Italy faced in friendlies since the end of last season, but no wins in ten doesn’t make for good reading.
Iceland are unbeaten at home for almost two years and are back in front of the faithful for the first time since their unexpected summer. They look a banker.