It’s that time of the week again where we run through a selection of the most exciting matches taking place this weekend and offer our best bets and value picks.
Belgium v Netherlands (Friday)
Arguably the most eye-catching tie in the opening round of Nations League fixtures sees Belgium and Netherlands face off in Brussels on Friday night as both nations continue their build-up to this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar. It’s usually tight whenever these sides square off with four of the last six meetings, including the last two, ending in draws.
Nepal v Oman (Friday)
Oman will play Nepal in an international friendly at the Qatar SC Stadium in Doha on Friday. Oman have won the last five meetings against Nepal convincingly with a combined scoreline of 26-2 and this should be another comfortable victory for them.
France v Denmark (Friday)
France host Denmark in the Nations League on Friday night, as both countries continue their World Cup preparations. Les Bleus are one of the favourites to win the global showpiece, boasting a star-studded team. The reigning world champions have won their last seven matches, including wins over Belgium and Spain. Denmark, meanwhile, beat Serbia 3-0 last time out but suffered back-to-back defeats against Scotland and Netherlands prior.
Hungary v England (Saturday)
England will face Hungary in the Nations League in Budapest on Saturday as Gareth Southgate’s side steps up their preparations for Qatar. The Three Lions are the heavy favourites to win the match, having won four in a row with a combined scoreline of 20-1, putting Albania, San Marino, Switzerland, and Ivory Coast to the sword. Hungary, meanwhile, lost 1-0 to Serbia in their last home game back in March.
Italy v Germany (Saturday)
Italy takes on Germany in their Nations League opener on Saturday. The hosts are still reeling from the shock of failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup as they were beaten 3-0 by Argentina in the Finalissima on Wednesday. The visitors, on the other hand, have won eight of their last nine games, with a 1-1 draw away to Netherlands preventing a ninth straight win for Hansi Flick’s side.
Peru v New Zealand (Sunday)
Peru and New Zealand face off in a friendly fixture ahead of their World Cup intercontinental playoffs later this month. It’s no surprise that the odds heavily favour Peru as the South Americans are ranked 27 in the FIFA rankings, while New Zealand are currently ranked 122.
Saudi Arabia v Colombia (Sunday)
Saudi Arabia kick-off their World Cup preparations with a friendly against a Colombia side still reeling from disappointment after failing to qualify for Qatar. The Saudis, now coached by Herve Renard, are on an upward trajectory, having won seven of their 10 matches to top their qualification group ahead of Japan and Australia.
Czech Republic v Spain (Sunday)
Spain continues their World Cup preparations when they travel to face Czech Republic in the Nations League on Sunday. Despite the game being played in Prague, La Roja are firm favourites heading into the game, having won each of the last four meetings against the Czechs.
Japan v Brazil (Monday)
Brazil will face Japan in Tokyo on Monday in a preparatory friendly for this year’s FIFA World Cup. The five-time world champions are favourites for Qatar on the back of an impressive qualifying campaign. The Selecao have won each of their last five meetings against the Japanese and are expected to win comfortably.
Korea Republic v Chile (Monday)
Korea Republic will continue their preparations for this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar with a friendly against Chile in Daejeon on Monday. The Koreans won seven of their last eight matches before facing Brazil on Thursday. Chile, on the other hand, have lost three of their four games played this year.