With our beloved club football taking the backseat this weekend, we turn our attention to international football where nations across the globe will be looking to book their ticket into some of the biggest sporting events, notably the FIFA World Cup. Despite the switch to international matches this week, our focus is still finding 10 games worthy of adding to your bet slip!
We cater for everybody here at BET Central, so let’s see what’s cooking on the menu this week:
Serbia v Portugal (Saturday)
European heavyweights and of the favourites for just about every tournament they participate in, Portugal will be hoping to go one step closer to qualification to the FIFA World Cup when they travel to take on Serbia. The last time these two sides met in Belgrade, Portugal came out 4-2 victors. Now, they’ve gotten even stronger with plenty of their star players now in peak form, most notably Bruno Fernandes, Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias – as well as Cristiano Ronaldo who just never has an off day.
Czech Republic v Belgium (Saturday)
Belgium will have the opportunity to prove once more why they’re the number one ranked team in the world when they face Czech Republic this weekend. The Red Devils are firm favourites in this tie and managed to beat Czech Republic in their last meeting, winning 2-1 back in 2017. Now, with Romelu Lukaku in the form of his life and Kevin De Bruyne excelling at club level, Belgium will be difficult to peg back here.
Republic of Ireland v Luxembourg (Saturday)
The Republic of Ireland will be fancying their chances of getting three points in the group stages when they host Luxembourg. The Irish are not often strongly fancied against the opposition they come out against, but considering the visitors’ dismal form and their poor FIFA ranking, the Republic of Ireland should be confident of gaining maximum points. Ireland have also won all four previous meetings between the two sides.
Norway v Turkey (Saturday)
Norway and Turkey lock horns in what looks to be one of the most fascinating ties of the weekend. Turkey will be coming off the back of their emphatic 4-2 victory the Netherlands while Norway have Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard in their ranks. The Dortmund striker has been in sublime form, while Burak Yilmaz comes off the back of netting a hat-trick against Holland. Looking at both attacks on offer this Saturday, goals are surely a certainty.
Russia v Slovenia (Saturday)
It’s not very often that we see Russia get to face Slovenia in international football, but the European nations will battle it out for bragging rights once more this weekend. Russia have met Slovenia five times before with their most recent meeting coming way back in 2009. Whenever these two nations have met, the home side has never lost, which looks to be a good omen for Russia this Saturday. Considering the host’s form during the Covid-19 pandemic, it might not be the wisest decision to back them with confidence.
Albania v England (Sunday)
England’s record in the qualifying stages to any tournament have been well-documented with Gareth Southgate’s men usually one of the first nations to progress into the actual competition. There’s a slight possibility that Albania could have fans in the stadium after the Albania FA requested to the Prime Minister to allow supporters into the ground. Still, with Harry Kane, Mason Mount and even Jesse Lingard excelling at the moment, England should find enough to get past the hosts.
Kosovo v Sweden (Sunday)
The self-proclaimed king of Sweden makes his return to the national team when Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co step foot out on the pitch in Kosovo to face a stern test against their European rivals. Before Ibrahimovic, Sweden lacked consistency, but now, the 39-year-old captain has already shown at club level that he has what it takes to transform a team and get them playing like a top-level side again. Sweden have a fairly easy group to try make it out of, so getting past Kosovo shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
Romania v Germany (Sunday)
Romania should prove to be tricky opposition for Germany as they enter the international break in a run of three games without defeat, winning two of those ties, scoring nine goals in the process. Germany, despite some key players missing from their squad, always offer entertainment. Whether they’re giving you no room to breathe with their attacks, or leaving open spaces in behind their defence, goals are always guaranteed when they step foot onto the pitch.
Bulgaria v Italy (Sunday)
Italy seem to be re-establishing themselves as a football juggernaut since the arrival of Roberto Mancini. The 2006 FIFA World Cup winners have not lost a game of football since way back in 2018 and look nailed on to qualify for next year’s World Cup. Since the end of 2018, Bulgaria have only won twice, which is contrasting to Italy’s sublime form.
Georgia v Spain (Sunday)
Georgia have the unwanted task of facing Luis Enrique’s Spain side. The visitors have named a strong squad for their crunch ties in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and knowing how serious Enrique tends to take these qualifiers, Spain could be their ruthless selves again. In the last international break, Spain destroyed Germany 6-0, highlighting their quality against one of the toughest teams around. Now, they face a Georgia outfit looking for their first win in six attempts.