European Qualifying Group Two

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

GROUP TWO

Like Group One, this has been a fun group to watch unfold, with no-one really sure just how it is all going to play out. After the last round of matches, Switzerland did themselves a huge favour, with a 2-0 win over second placed Greece. Latvia and Israel may not be recognised as powerhouses in European football, but both of them have played their way into World Cup contention. This is one of the groups that will literally go down to the wire.

Remaining Matches
October 10th
Luxembourg v Switzerland
Israel v Moldova
Greece v Latvia

October 14th
Switzerland v Israel
Greece v Luxembourg
Latvia v Moldova

Current Standings P W D L Pts
Switzerland 8 5 2 1 17
Greece 8 4 2 2 14
Latvia 8 4 2 2 14
Israel 8 3 3 2 12
Luxembourg 8 1 2 5 5
Moldova 8 0 3 5 3

 

SWITZERLAND
Topping the group and with a reasonably comfortable next game, the Swiss should win the group. On paper that all sounds easy, but the Swiss have the ignominy of being the only team to lose against the minnows of Luxembourg during qualifying. To make it worse, it was at home. The win against Greece was the crucial game at the top of this group, but the Swiss victory has left second place in some jeopardy, not that they’ll care about that. One win from their two final games should be enough to see the Swiss book a runner’s-up spot at least, because second and third have to play each other, and whatever happens there, Switzerland could play a big part in the outcome of the second place.
Luxembourg to win: 26/1 at Expekt
Draw: 15/2 at WIlliam Hill
Switzerland to win: 1/10 at Paddy Power

GREECE

The loss against the Swiss was a major setback for their automatic qualifcation hopes. The Greeks are now left with the tough task of taking on Latvia, who have the same stats in the group standings. Greece should be heartened by two things about this match. One is that they have home advantage this time, and the other is that they comfortably beat the Latvians 2-0 away, earlier in the campaign. The only reason Greece find themselves in a pickle, is because of the two defeats they have suffered against the Swiss (the 1-1 draw in the last game against Moldova will not have helped). It will be time to bring their A game on Saturday, for a win should book them a runner’s-up spot, but nothing will be guaranteed until the final round of matches. The final qualifying game for the Greeks however, is against Luxembourg, so that should be maximum points.
Greece to win: 1/3 at Paddy Power
Draw: 4/1 at Bet365
Latvia to win: 9/1 at Stan James

LATVIA
Doing well in qualifying without being spectacular. They held the Swiss to a 2-2 draw in their last game, and kept their hopes of visiting South Africa next year alive. The game against Greece will be the equivalent of their FA Cup final. They cannot afford to lose. Well, mathematically they can, but it will leave them needing Luxembourg to beat Greece and have themselves hammer Moldova to gain runners up spot. All that is possible of course, just unlikely. However, if the Latvians can overturn the Greeks, or even steal a point off them, it will make for a fantastic last day in the group on Wednesday.

ISRAEL

Battling hard and making some progress. Their best result was probably the 2-2 draw against Switzerland, or the 1-1 draw against Latvia. They did however, embarrass Luxembourg by hitting seven past them, something which no-one else has come close to doing (apart from Latvia who scored four). That came after a 1-0 home defeat against Latvia, which probably sealed their fate in the group. Like Latvia, they have a mathematical chance on paper, as they will likely pick up 3 points on Saturday against Moldova. Maybe if the Swiss have qualified and are relaxed in their final game against Israel, then Israel may have a hope. All that though will still depend on what Greece and Latvia above them do.
Israel to win: 1/5 at Bet 365
Draw: 11/2 at Stan James
Moldova: 14/1 at SkyBet

LUXEMBOURG

Tiny little Luxembourg, really haven’t had all that much to shout about. Their hopes will have probably been sky high after their first game 2-1 win over Switzerland, but only having scored one more qualifying goal since then hasn’t helped them at all. They have come back down to earth with a crash, and could only manage two no-score draws against Moldova.

MOLDOVA

Bottom of the group and outclassed, although they have a tighter defence than Luxembourg. Their highlights have only been three draws, the best coming in a 1-1 tie against the Greeks.

WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN
Switzerland will beat Luxembourg on Saturday, while the Greeks get the job done against the Latvians. Israel meanwhile pick up maximum points which keeps them in the hunt for second place. Switzerland will then round off the group with a draw against Israel, while Greece go out in a blaze of glory against Luxembourg. All this leaves the Swiss with 21 points, the Greeks with 20 to claim the top two spots. With all that happening, Latvia and Israel will be very gallant failures in an entertaining group.

TO WIN GROUP
Switzerland: 1/7 at Bet365
Greece: 11/2 at SkyBet
Latvia: 50/1 at Totesport
Israel: 100/1 at SkyBet
 



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