After last week’s clean sweep on the blog, the Premier League disappointingly takes an International Break this weekend as the World Cup Qualifiers are taking place. However, after a look at the formbook, we’re recommending 5 bets in the matches between Croatia and Greece, Ivory Coast vs Morocco, and Ghana vs Egypt.
Croatia vs Greece (Thursday 7.45)
Croatia arguably achieved more in finishing runner-up behind Iceland, with The Ukraine and Turkey losing out behind them, than Greece did in finishing a distant second to Belgium in what looked one of the weakest qualifying groups. However, despite being favourites, Croatia aren’t usually the kind of team to throw caution to the wind – and I expect this first-leg to be cagey. Therefore, under 2.5 goals looks the play, a result which would have been a winning one in Croatia’s last 6 matches, and the last two matches played between the teams in 2010 and 2011.
Less Than 2.5 Goals @ 4/7 Marathon
Ivory Coast vs Morocco (Saturday 5.30)
Both teams were scoring freely at the end of their World Cup Qualifying Campaigns, especially Morocco who managed to score 15 goals in their last 5 games. However, past games between the two teams have been seriously low-scoring affairs in which there have been less than 2.5 goals in 7 of their 8 matches. The bookies haven’t missed this though, so it might be worth taking a punt on another value-statistic which is that the score has been 0-0 at half-time in 5 of their last 6 matches.
Half-Time Score 0-0 @ 11/8 WilliamHill
Ghana vs Egypt (Sunday 3.30)
Ghana and Egypt have met 7 times before, with the first match being a draw, and Ghana winning the next 3. However, it is Egypt who have very much had the upper-hand in recent matches, winning the last three, including the two matches played in the last 12 months. If there’s a negative it’s that Egypt haven’t been great away from home recently, but Ghana’s home form has hardly been electric either. Therefore, as Egypt are the outsiders, an Egypt win looks a value-bet. For those seeking bigger odds, it could also be worth backing Egypt to win to nil for the third time in a row, and also to be leading 1-0 at half-time for the fourth time in a row.
Egypt To Win @ 14/5 Bet365
Egypt To Win To Nil @ 21/5 Marathon
Half-Time Score: Egypt 1-0 @ 19/4 Ladbrokes or Betway