EIGHT Euro qualifying matches taking place on Friday, but where does Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) see the value.
Denmark v Albania | Friday 19:45 | Sky Interactive
It’s been a sensational summer for Albania in their quest to qualify for Euro 2016. No, they haven’t won any games. In fact they haven’t even been on the pitch. Where they have scored victory though is in the courts as their abandoned match against Serbia last October has now been awarded in their favour and three points duly gifted to the nation.
That boost has seen them climb to 10 points and level with Denmark in second place in Group I. The possibility of them qualifying for next summer’s tournament is now a real one and this match will be vital to the outcome of that.
The Danes arrive here after two consecutive wins over Serbia that has put a real gloss over their standing. A draw in Albania and a home defeat to Portugal damaged them in the early part of the campaign but the Serbia wins have restored faith.
This looks a real nervy encounter for both sides. Denmark suffered their worst ever result in the previous qualifying campaign when they lost 4-0 at home to Armenia. I wonder if that will be on the player’s minds here? A slip up could have dire consequences and that’s something they’ll be aware of.
Albania have conceded less than two goals in their last 13 games and are an incredibly hard side to break down. In that run they’ve won in Portugal, beat France 1-0, drew in France and only lost 1-0 in Italy. You take this side lightly at your peril.
Don’t expect fireworks here (or drones) as both sides joust it out with the stakes so high. I’m backing Under 1.5 Goals at 2/1 with William Hill. The Albanians have leaked just two goals in qualifying – better than any other side in the group.
Serbia v Armenia | Thursday 19:45 | Sky Interactive
While Denmark and Albania are very much in the qualifying picture, Serbia are finished. They sit on -2 points after they were deducted three due to the problems in Albania last year. In all, it’s been a disastrous campaign.
They were fortunate to draw in Armenia in their opening match and have lost both home and away to Denmark on top of the shambles against Albania. Dick Advocaat was shown the door at the end of last year.
With all this in mind I don’t see how anyone can back them at 4/9 at home to Armenia here. Their opponents are always vastly underrated at the odds and this is another example.
Things could have been different for Armenia. All four defeats they’ve suffered in this group have come by the odd goal and for me they’re still a huge danger in these qualifying tournaments.
In their attempt to qualify for Brazil they beat Denmark 4-0 away, drew with Italy away and won in Prague. When it clicks for them they’re lethal.
Rather than back them on the handicap, or to score a goal I’ll just back them outright at 8/1. Their away record in the last campaign was incredible at times and Serbia clearly just want to move onto 2018 World Cup qualifying.
Denmark v Albania – Under 1.5 Goals (2/1 William Hill)
Serbia v Armenia – Armenia to win (8/1 BetVictor)
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