IT'S the fourth day of the Euro 2016 qualifiers and Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) has highlighted a couple of bets he'll be backing.
Austria v Montenegro | Sunday 17:00 | Sky Sports Interactive
When betting on international football, I like siding with teams who look progressive. Austria fit that bill. It's now 24 years since Marcel Koller's side played in a major tournament they'd qualified for, but they should be in the mix for Euro 2016 with the tournament expansion.
Let's take a look at how they've fared in recent years. In their quest to qualify for Euro 2012 they finished down in fourth in a six team group. A 0-0 draw in Kazakhstan and a 6-2 thrashing at the hands of Germany were the low points. Progression was noticeable in the 2014 qualifiers though, with a third place finish in a group involving Germany, Sweden and the Republic Of Ireland. Their home form was magnificent with a narrow defeat against the world champions the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record. Ireland were beaten. Sweden were beaten. They've been matched with Sweden again this time round and picked up a point last month on home turf, and on Thursday they got past an awkward Moldova side on their travels. It bodes well for a strong campaign.
Montenegro have been a real thorn in the side of big nations over the last few campaigns but they are prone to very poor results. Examples? How about Montenegro 2 v 5 Moldova? Or even Montenegro 0 v 4 Ukraine. Horrid eh?
It's enough for me to side with Austria at Evens with Skybet. Their encouraging home form has sold me.
Sweden v Liechtenstein | Sunday 17:00 | Sky Sports Interactive
Another of my international football betting rules is to find a way of getting on side with minnows. Liechtenstein will do for me here. They look a side who seem to be relishing the challenge of the international game and are gradually improving. Did you know they took 4 points out of 6 v Lithuania in their Euro 2012 qualifying group? Did you know they drew with Spain's conquerors Slovakia last summer? And they're already off the mark in this campaign with a fantastic draw against Montenegro. Liechtenstein are no mugs.
On Sunday they face a Sweden side who should qualify for Euro 2016. But it's worth pointing out that this side don't hammer opposition. They averaged less than two goals a game when unsuccessfully trying to qualify for Brazil, and when up against the Faroe Islands (the group minnows) they only scored four goals over the two games, and conceded one.
I'm happy to take Liechtenstein with a three goal start in this game with Coral. They're going 8/5 and that's good enough for me. It's over three years since Sweden won by three or more goals in a competitive match and that 0-0 draw with Montenegro proves to me that Liechtenstein are no mugs.
Austria v Montenegro – Austria to win (Evens Skybet)
Sweden v Liechtenstein – Liechtenstein +3 (8/5 Coral)