European Qualifying Group One

5th October 2009 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Qualification Previews & Predictions
World Cup Qualification Previews & Predictions

GROUP ONE

In a surprisingly tight Group, Denmark have done their chances of qualifying for the World Cup no harm at all, leading the way by three points going into the final two matches. That simply does not guarantee anything though with the remaining fixtures and points standings in the group. The biggest surprise has been Portugal’s lack of form, managing to only win three of their eight matches so far. They have been contained by the other three main contenders well, and are now under severe pressure against what many will see as their less illustrious combatants.

Remaining Matches
October 10th
Denmark v Sweden
Portugal v Hungary

October 14th
Portugal v Malta
Denmark v Hungary
Sweden v Albania

Current Standings P W D L Pts
Denmark 8 5 3 0 18
Sweden 8 4 3 1 15
Portugal 8 3 4 1 13
Hungary 8 4 1 3 13
Albania 9 1 4 4 7
Malta 9 0 1 8 1

 

DENMARK
In pole position at the moment, but they do have two tough matches to close out the group though, firstly against Sweden, who they managed to beat 1-0 away, and then at Hungary, with whom they ran out a goal-less draw in their first qualifying game. They realistically only need one point to book at least a runner’s up spot, but one win will secure the top spot for definite. A win for Denmark against Sweden will mean that Cristiano Ronaldo can only hope for a runner’s up spot, providing Portugal can win their last two games of course. Sweden and Denmark have quite tight defences, but Denmark should have the end in scoring. It will be a close one.
Denmark to win: 16/11 at Expekt
Draw: 9/4 at Coral
Sweden to win: 2/1 at Paddy Power

SWEDEN
The figure of ex Inter Milan, and now Barcelona’s Zlatan Imbrahimovic may have been striking some fear in to Italian teams and now Spanish clubs, but he hasn’t contributed anything of note for his country for a long time now. They will need him to step up to the plate in order to help get them a place in the World Cup. A win in their next match against Denmark would put them on equal points with the Danes, but the Swedes have a much easier final game. That would effectively put Sweden favourites to top the group. A draw would kind of suit both teams, but if Sweden can turn over Denmark, then that keeps Portugal’s slim dreams alive.

PORTUGAL

Have surprisingly struggled throughout the qualification process, not something you would expect from a team full of attacking quality. Perhaps they have simply been outworked rather than outclassed, but a 0-0 home draw against Albania, isn’t the way to get through a qualification group. They managed to beat Albania away, Hungary and Malta, but if you take away the four goals they hit in their opening game against the Maltese, then the Portuguese have only found the back of the net six times. That simply isn’t good enough. The game against Hungary is the crucial one for Portugal, as their final game should be a guaranteed maximum points against Malta. Their only defeat has come against Denmark, and due to the fact that they have already beaten Hungary, they will still be dreaming. Their qualification hopes though do not rest in their own hands. Positive results for Denmark and Sweden will see the nation without much to cheer come next summer.
Portugal to win: 2/11 at Victor Chandler
Draw: 6/1 at Stan James
Hungary to win: 17/1 at Expekt

HUNGARY

Hungary have made a good resurgence into European football, and were sitting comfortably in second place before the last round of matches, where they fell 1-0 at home to Portugal. While that could have very well been Portugal’s lifeline, it was a kick in the teeth for the Hungarians who are looking to return to the world stage. They do have a big chance for revenge as they travel to Portugal in what should be an entertaining, if not edgy game. Both teams need a win, and cannot afford to lose. A defeat for either would effectively, but not mathematically, put them out of the qualification race. This is the crucial game for the Hungarians, and have a tough finish to the group.

ALBANIA
Possibly a bit more understated than their position states, as they have proved to be a pain against the top teams. They have gained stubborn draws against Sweden, Portugal and Denmark. The two losses suffered against Hungary did them in though.

MALTA
Poor Malta, the only team in Europe not to have scored a qualifying goal. They could take some pride in the fact that they are certainly not the leakiest defence though (calling San Marino!)

WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN
Sweden desperately need the points more than their neighbours. Denmark and Sweden play out a draw, despite Sweden desperately needing the points more than their neighbours. The draw will suit the Danes more than the Swedes, but the Swedes cannot afford to lose. The Swedish do have the cushion of playing Albania at home in their final game, so that should get them the four points which leaves them on 19pts. Portugal with their two wins will also end up on 19 points and that will lead to confusion in the standings, and will likely come down to goal difference to see who clinches the runner’s up spot. Both games between Sweden and Portugal have ended in 0-0 draws. Hungary are left wanting with the defeat to Portugal, and have nothing to play for when they face Denmark, giving the Danes a comfortable position to get the point they need to win the group.



The tip is based on the personal opinion of the author. No success is guaranteed. Please gamble responsibly. 18+




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