Welsh look underrated

Our Ben Coley runs the rule over Friday's World Cup qualifiers, including San Marino v England, with Wales rated a good bet.

Last Updated: 21/03/13 at 10:20 Post Comment

Wales won the reverse fixture back in the autumn

Wales won the reverse fixture back in the autumn

England's bid to secure World Cup qualification continues on Friday with a trip to San Marino.

You don't need me to tell you that England will win, nor that they should lead at half-time and full-time, keep a clean sheet, ad nauseum.

The value, if there is any, is surely in the side markets. You could head to Sky Bet for 4/7 Danny Welbeck even though he's generally 1/4, just one of many examples of standout prices across various platforms that will look generous if the relevant player starts.

The problems we have at this stage are that we can't back them all, nor is it easy to pick out which men will get the nod given that the crucial game for England is Tuesday's trip to Montenegro.

Clearly, we don't have the luxury of waiting until the line-ups are announced, poised to snap up value about those given the nod - but you do. My advice has to be to wait for team news and see if you can get on any of those fancy prices.

Elsewhere, there is some temptation to take odds-against about the second half producing the most goals.

That's been the case in eight of San Marino's last 10 competitive internationals, including the reverse at Wembley, and it's easily explained, too.

Quite simply, not only do San Marino lack the class of just about every opponent faced, but they suffer massively in terms of fitness. While they can raise an effort early - granted a little fortune and profligacy from the opposition - they tire massively after the break and offer chances by the bucket-load.

However, England clearly have the ability to put this game to bed early should they take their chances, and if they do so there will be obvious temptation to take the foot off the gas at this stage of the season.

Finally, I would suggest that the only way to obtain correct-score value is to go against the grain. Most punters will be looking for seven-, eight- or nine-goal victories but the reality is that it's two years since San Marino last conceded more than six at home in a competitive international.

With that in mind, while 4-0 is rightly priced as favourite, 2-0 and 3-0 are probably more likely than 5-0 and 6-0.

Anyway, there's no outstanding value at the time of writing so we move on to Wales, who must be decent value to beat Scotland at 4/1.

Gareth Bale's fitness will be key, but as things stand he remains part of the squad and everything points to him being ready for Friday's clash - the Welsh FA tweeted as much on Wednesday afternoon.

It was Bale who, perhaps unsurprisingly, proved the difference when last these sides met. Scotland had taken an early lead but two goals in the last 10 minutes from the Spurs' star handed Wales the points.

Since then, it must be noted that Scotland have done well to win a couple of friendlies and they certainly deserve to be favourites, I just don't see them as 5/6 chances.

Wales have plenty of individual quality away from Bale in Aaron Ramsey, Craig Bellamy and Joe Ledley, and even without their talisman it's hard to view them as inferior to Scotland.

With that in mind, 4/1 about an away win makes plenty of sense from a value perspective and on a night where prudence is key, a small-stakes bet is the advice.

  • The England game is being televised live in the UK on ITV with the Wales match on Sky Sports.


Price boost for Gareth Bale to score first at 5/1 with Sky Bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy step up Arsenal comebacks

Jack Wilshere scored as he stepped up his comeback from injury against a Brentford XI at Arsenal's training ground on Tuesday.

Wayne Rooney cannot wait to link up with Harry Kane for England

Wayne Rooney has been gripped by the excitement surrounding Harry Kane and can't wait to link up with him against Italy.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane to make first England start in Italy

Harry Kane will make his first start for England in Tuesday night's friendly in Italy, Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

Mail Box

Why Do Arsenal Have So Many 'Internet Warriors'?

The Mailbox has an open letter from Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, questions Phil Jones' bulldog spirit and asks: "Why do Arsenal have so many "internet warriors?"

It's All Just A Ruse By The 'Southern Press'...

A varied Tuesday morning Mailbox, with thoughts on the England U21s, a Sterling ruse, Kane realism, Wenger coaching youth and enjoying the charity match...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company