WALES are in the mix for a place at next year’s European Championships, but will they win in Israel? We asked Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79).
Israel v Wales | Saturday 17:00 | Sky Sports 5
There are only 27 matches taking place during this Euro 2016 qualifying matchday but I’m finding I have different views from the bookmakers in quite a few of the games. I’m sure it will end in tears in a few of the matches, but I’m confident enough to believe I’ll uncover a bargain price somewhere.
This Wales game falls into the category of me having a different view to the layers. Israel have been backed in on Thursday and Friday and the price is now starting to look more respectable. The 11/8 on the home side has gone sadly.
Yup, it’s Israel for me here. They’ve started this campaign off with a bang with three wins out of three. In October they went to Cyprus to take on a side buzzing after winning in Bosnia and beat them 2-1. Andorra were smashed up a few days later, before the Israelis wreaked havoc in Bosnia with a 3-0 November win.
The 1970 World Cup is the only occasion Israel have qualified for a major tournament but UEFA’s expansion of this competition to 24 teams plays right into their hands. They’ve become a mid-table qualifying outfit, causing problems for the bigger nations but never quite reaching the play-offs.
If you’re comparing the sides qualifying records then Israel win hands down. Over the last five qualifying campaigns they’ve picked up more points than Wales on every occasion. They’re just a much more solid outfit.
Wales have flattered to deceive for a decade now. Have they ever recovered from their cruel Euro 2004 qualifying failure and the untimely death of Gary Speed? Whilst Israel breezed past Andorra 4-1 last year, Wales needed an 81st minute goal from Gareth Bale to get past the minnows.
In my view there are number of factors to suggest that Israel should be shorter in the betting than they are. If you got 11/8, fair play to you. I don’t mind taking 6/5.
Israel v Wales – Israel to win (6/5 William Hill)
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