ANOTHER busy day of Euro 2016 qualifiers on Saturday. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) has lined up two well-researched picks.
Armenia v Portugal | Saturday 17:00 | Sky Sports Interactive
From a betting point of view this game intrigues more than any other this weekend. I simply have to take on Portugal. Why? Well, let’s get one thing straight – the most important thing in gambling is the price, and I think Portugal’s price is far too short at 1/2.
This is a side losing touch with the top tier of European outfits. They were chucked out the World Cup at the group stages after Germany undressed them in a 4-0 mauling and have thrown in the odd awful blip since then.
Let’s praise them first though. They sit top of Group I after three wins out of four. Those wins came against Denmark, Serbia and indeed Armenia, all by one goal though and the latter two were on home turf. Very good but hardly outstanding form.
The other game they’ve played in Group I was a deeply embarrassing defeat at the hands of Albania in Aveiro. On top of that they also lost 2-0 to the Cape Verde Islands in a friendly in March. They’re more than capable of throwing in an absolute shocker of a result.
Opponents Armenia are a brutal side to come up against. Underestimate them at your peril. They just haven’t had the rub of the green in this campaign so far with just one point accrued. But it’s fine margins I reckon, a 2-1 loss in Denmark, a 1-0 defeat in Portugal, a 2-1 reverse in Albania. On Saturday they’re at home.
Is there anything in their back catalogue worth getting excited about? Oh yeah! In World Cup qualifying they dropped a few bombs all over the shop. They beat Bulgaria, they won in the Czech Republic and utterly destroyed Denmark 4-0 in Copenhagen. It was a result that plunged the Danes as a nation into deep crisis and events that night will be remembered for decades.
This is a side with no respect for authority or the establishment and 15/2 is a disgrace of a price. Try cutting that in half! I’ll back Armenia to win and I’ll leave it there. I’ve no real desire to back them on the handicap at diluted prices because I actually believe they can win on Saturday.
Denmark v Serbia | Saturday 19:45 | Sky Sports Interactive
Let’s go back to Denmark eh. They’ve bounced back fairly well from that awful harrowing night against Armenia and find themselves deep in the race to qualify for Euro 2016 after smart wins against Armenia (yeah them again) and Serbia away. Indeed it’s Serbia who they face again on Saturday night at home and what a pleasant surprise it is to see them chalked up at odds against.
As well as their decent form in Euro 2016 qualifying they’ve also beat the USA and Montenegro in friendlies at home this year. After seeing what the States have done to the world champions this week, that result shouldn’t be underestimated.
Another reason I’m happy to back Denmark is the decline in Serbia. The Serbs haven’t won a game in this group so far and their only three points came from UEFA after their clash with Albania turned ugly and they got the nod.
Despite being tipped by some to reach Brazil, Serbia struggled in their World Cup qualification group. They lost four of their last eight matches including a 1-0 loss in Macedonia.
I like the Danes here at 5/4 with William Hill. This is a brilliant opportunity for them to kick on in this group and with the home crowd behind them I think they can see off struggling Serbia.
Armenia v Portugal – Armenia to win (15/2 Bet365)
Denmark v Serbia – Denmark to win (5/4 William Hill)
All four of these sides are odds on and well fancied to win their match this weekend.
New customers to Paddy Power can back the acca at a massive 20/1. The real price should be 7/2!