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Ireland's Callum Robinson and David Brooks of Wales when the sides met in 2018.
Ireland's Callum Robinson and David Brooks of Wales when the sides met in 2018.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Will Ireland and Wales both find the net? 5 tips for this weekend's international football

Johnny Ward brings you his Uefa Nations League picks, plus the latest odds from William Hill.
Oct 8th 2020, 4:01 PM 2,706 0

IT’S A WEEKEND of international football, as the Uefa Nations League takes centre stage. 

Soccer journalist Johnny Ward has brought his tips, along with the latest odds from William Hill…

A total of 26 Nations League games take place over the weekend, with the traders at William Hill having a difficult job in pricing up matches.

I’ve had a fair few debates with mates, who bet, about the relevance of home advantage with no crowds in attendance. Why should it matter where you play as long as the pitch is of a high standard and neither the temperature nor altitude is of extremes?

It is still up for debate as to how much it matters with no home crowd and, at least, there is statistical evidence to suggest referees are less inclined to give the home team a decision behind closed doors, which tallies with human nature I suppose.

Ireland v Wales, 2pm Sunday

Johnny’s tip: Both teams to score at 21/20 with William Hill

Ireland face Wales behind closed doors at Lansdowne Road in yet another game between two nations probably not too energised by facing the other much these days. That said, Wales will realise that they face a different animal in Ireland now, or at least one that will want to pass the ball.

Back both teams to score at 21/20. A feature of Ireland’s other Nations League games under Stephen Kenny has been how they’ve been pretty open at the back and he will continue to find his way with a team that should score more goals under his tenure.

Liechtenstein v Gibraltar, 5pm Saturday 

Johnny’s tip: Liechtenstein to claim a home win at 7/10 with William Hill

Home advantage certainly matters for Gibraltar – who could forget Ireland’s struggles there in the Euro qualifiers? – but they must travel to Liechtenstein Saturday.

This is a fairly obscure game for a wager but a winner is a winner and the home nation should collect at 7/10. They come here on the back of an away win in Luxembourg and will be intent on revenge, having already been surprised by the plucky side from the Rock.

England v Belgium, 5pm Sunday 

Johnny’s tip: Belgium to win at 6/4 with William Hill

England’s clash with Belgium at Wembley, behind closed doors, kicks off Sunday at 5pm. Quite a few of the Belgians play or played in England and I see no reason why playing in Wembley is any disadvantage to the visitors.

Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku are all in the Belgian squad and if they are on their game they should beat England. Take the 6/4.

belgium-v-england-fifa-world-cup-2018-third-place-play-off-st-petersburg-stadium Belgium captain Eden Hazard and England's Raheem Sterling. Source: PA

Finland v Bulgaria, 5pm Sunday

Johnny’s tip: Finland to win at 3/4 with William Hill

Finland were excellent in Dublin, certainly a lot better than Bulgaria had been against the Irish, and they should continue their fine Nations League form with victory in Helsinki on Sunday evening. The Finns have developed into a side capable of troubling some very good opposition and it was telling how over-run Ireland were in midfield at times against them, having dominated the ball against Bulgaria.

The Finns, despite their defeat to Poland, are appealing at 3/4, and, given that all of the selections in this piece are quite short in the betting, it should pay to consider some multiple options with Hills.

Greece v Moldova, 7.45pm Sunday

Johnny’s tip: Greece -1.5 (Asian Handicap) at 89/100 with William Hill

Finally, Greece should have it easy against Moldova and 1.89 (almost 90/100) about them winning by at least two makes ample appeal on Sunday evening.

William Hill odds above correct at the time of writing. New online customers get €30 in free bets when they bet €10 with William Hill. Just use the promo code P30. For all the latest prices, visit williamhill.com. 18+, always gamble responsibly. For more information, see BeGambleAware.org

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