THERE are nine Euro 2016 qualifiers taking place on Monday night. We got Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) to pick out his best bets.
Andorra v Israel | Monday 19:45 | Sky Sports Interactive
One of the most contemptible ideas kicking around football is the concept of minnows having to pre-qualify to rub shoulders with the elite in UEFA competitions. In truth, it’s probably only Andorra, San Marino and Gibraltar that we can rely on to lose every match. But even accounting for that, the first of those sides can still put up a fight. As Wales found out last month.
Andorra’s next assignment is a home match against Israel and it’s another opportunity for the minnows to frustrate their opponents. Gareth Bale said the Andorran’s 3G pitch was the worst he’d ever played on and that has to be factored into your betting thoughts here. Andorra’s form at home, while not yielding any points, is admirable in the sense that they tend to keep the scoreline tight. In eight of their last 11 competitive home matches they avoided by losing by more than two goals. The eight matches in question included duels with Holland, Turkey, Ireland and Russia. Decent, eh?
Their opponents Israel are a fairly mid-ranking international side who won just three of their 10 World Cup 2014 qualifiers. They’ve scored more than two goals in just three of their last 21 qualifiers and I think they’ll struggle to rack the goals up. Let’s rely on the stubborn Andorran defence and poor pitch to keep the scoreline quiet. Bet365 are offering 8/11 on Under 3.5 Goals and that appeals to me.
Bosnia v Belgium | Monday 19:45 | Sky Sports Interactive
This looks the tastiest tie out of all the games on Monday night and it’s goals that interest me.
Bosnia have made an awful start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a defeat to Cyprus followed by a 0-0 draw in Wales. It’s very possible that their World Cup hangover is still swarming around in their heads.
It’s got to the point now where they really have to buck up their ideas and start producing better performances. This match provides the perfect opportunity. Surely they’ll be motivated by the Belgian’s arrival in their territory?
Bosnia love scoring goals. They were top scorers in their Euro 2012 qualifying group despite finishing below France. In their successful attempt to qualify for Brazil they scored a phenomonal 30 goals, the fourth largest tally on the continent. Their opponents Belgium have got off to a relative flyer in this campaign with a 6-0 win over Andorra on home soil and Marc Wilmots’ side have now notched in their last 20 qualifiers.
Put all this in the pot and it reeks of goals. The Both Teams To Score bet (19/20 with Coral) looks a good thing, but I’ll be more bold and back Over 2.5 Goals at 6/5 with William Hill. It was a winner four times out of five when Bosnia played at home during their World Cup qualifiers and I think it’ll occur again here.
Andorra v Israel – Under 3.5 Goals (8/11 Bet 365)
Bosnia v Belgium – Over 2.5 Goals (6/5 William Hill)