THREE bets for Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) from Monday’s International Friendly games.
Turkey v Bulgaria | Monday 18:45
Now, let me start by being honest. I’m not going to claim to be hugely confident about these bets, they’re international friendlies FFS. But there’s no harm in having a go so I’ve picked out some decent prices to get involved with on Monday.
Turkey seem a side bereft of confidence at the moment. They’ve accrued just one win from their five Euro 2016 qualifiers and in that series have lost 3-0 to Iceland and failed to see off Latvia. There’s a reasonable chance they’ll finish in the bottom half of their group and fail to even make the play-offs.
Over the last year their friendly results have been pretty humbling too with a 2-1 loss to USA and a 4-0 bashing by Brazil. True they did beat Denmark but struggled to get past Luxembourg last time out.
Opponents Bulgaria have a similar profile to be fair. One win in five Euro 2016 qualifiers. But things seem a bit more progressive at their end. Two 2015 matches have seen them draw in Romania in a friendly and get so close to ending Italy’s long unbeaten qualification record in a 2-2 draw in March.
The bookmakers have Turkey at odds on here and I’ll take them on. I’d normally back Bulgaria +1 at Evens but I’m loathe to piss about with skinny prices here so I’ll back the draw at 13/5 with BetVictor.
Malta v Lithuania | Monday 19:00
Similar type of game here. I’ve got a bit of thing for bottom pot teams like the Faroes, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. I reckon if you back them blind you’ll end up in long-term profit. Malta are beginning to fall in that bracket after some decent scores of late.
The Maltese have been dealt a tough Euro qualifying group with Italy and Croatia heading the group. They’ve met those sides already and only lost by three goals over the ties. Italy could only penetrate their goal once. On top of this they managed to draw in Bulgaria, a fantastic achievement.
I can see Lithuania reaching a Euro finals at some point in the next decade or so, but it certainly won’t be 2016. They’ve been ripped apart by Switzerland and England 4-0 already in this campaign and were spanked by the same scoreline by Hungary on Friday as well. Something’s clearly not right.
Odds on Lithuania? Umm, no thanks. Malta 4/1? Urrrr, nah. Draw at 11/4? Ah go on then!
Norway v Sweden | Monday 19:00
Two fairly ordinary sides here not at their rampant best of yore. The home side haven’t qualified for a major tournament since Euro 2000 and that 15 year itch looks unlikely to be scratched next year.
To be fair Norway have won three of their five Euro 2016 qualifiers (Malta, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria) but were outclassed by the big two in their group, Italy and Croatia. The former beat them 2-0 in Norway before they were blown apart 5-1 in Croatia.
The Swedes are unbeaten in their group, but have drawn three of their five games. They failed to beat struggling Russia on home turf and drew in Montenegro. Their victims? Liechtenstein and Moldova. Hardly draws fear into you eh.
All five of Sweden’s qualifiers have gone Under 2.5 Goals and Norway aren’t renowned for scoring either so a low-scoring game looks a cert with regional pride at stake as well.
I’ll back Under 2 Goals on BetVictor‘s Asian Handicap Goal Line at 19/17. 0 or 1 goals means I get paid out, 2 goals and I’ll get my stake back. It’s a fair bet.