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

F

ergie, aren't you supposed to make a beep beep noise when backing up like that?

simonthfc
Ferguson: Club made Moyes decision

S

ome of these are quality! Why you no like him F365?? :(

left right out
The, Erm, 'Best' Of Henry James Redknapp

W

e're our own worst enemy. We're suicidal in defence, and we may just get slaughtered on Sunday. Other than that, I am very pleased with my team.

bob the manc
Van Gaal: We can catch Chelsea

Footer 365

Liverpool v Real Madrid: Steven Gerrard says Reds must raise their game

Steven Gerrard says Liverpool respect Real Madrid – but won’t let them have things their own way at Anfield.

Fabio Cannavaro under investigation over taxes

World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro is under investigation over a suspected major tax fraud, Italian police have confirmed.

Ron Gourlay stands down as Chelsea chief executive

Chelsea have announced that chief executive Ron Gourlay is stepping down after 10 years on the club's board.

Mail Box

Do Man City Have A 'Small Mentality'?

That's one claim in the mailbox after Vincent Kompany focused on a few hundred CSKA fans sneaking into the ground instead of City blowing a two-goal lead...

City: Like A Deer Caught In The Headlights

...while Chelsea just live for Champions League nights. That's one view in a mailbox that also includes several happy football fans and looks forward to Michael Carrick's return...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property