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

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hy don't you call in Becks as well...and we will all have a lovely tea party!

kimosabi
United: Scholes helping out

M

ourinho is just a good-looking version of Allardyce (Fit Sam?). Clearly 19th century football isn't such a big deal after all?

Ezy_Rider
Chelsea Killed The Game Instead Of Playing It

S

tay put, Pep. Timothy Sherwood has this under control.

slowgraffiti
Guardiola plans Bayern stay

Footer 365

Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj chooses Belgium over England and Kosovo

Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj has chosen to represent Belgium at international level

World Cup: Copacabana riots cast further shadow over Brazil 2014 preparations

With 50 days to go until the World Cup, riots have broken out around Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach.

Liverpool loan star Victor Moses determined to help Reds win Premier League title

Liverpool loan star Victor Moses is determined to end his spell with the Reds on a high by winning the title.

Mail Box

Of Course People Remember How You Won

Some have said that it doesn't matter how Chelsea played as long as they won, but is that true? Plus, we've found the one chap who enjoyed Tuesday's game...

Chelsea Got A Result, What's The Problem?

There is plenty of 'that's 90 minutes I'll never get back' sentiment about Chelsea's 'performance' in Madrid, but at least one person thinks they did what was required...

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