World Cup Qualifiers – England and Europe in Action

3rd September 2009 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News, World Cup Betting & Odds, World Cup Previews & Predictions
Football World Cup News

Qualification for the World Cup 2010 in South Africa hits the headlines on Saturday and Wednesday, as 46 games across Europe take place. Some groups can finally be decided in the melee of matches, such as England’s quest to secure a World Cup place when they take on Croatia on Wednesday. Going into the round of matches, England have a 7 point lead over Croatia and can win the group by beating the Croats at Wembley. Fabio Capello will be looking to lead his side to a victory which will wrap up an excellent qualifying campaign and a victory will mean that they will have secured 8 victories from 8 games, with two remaining. The remaining games could be a good chance to draft in players who are challenging for places, if qualification is already assured. Priority will rest on Wednesday and Wednesday alone for the time being, and making sure that they come through it unscathed.

After the next round of matches, the whole qualification process across Europe will become much clearer. Only the Netherlands have booked themselves a place so far, cruising to an easy group victory, without appearing to have broken into much of a sweat. While they are in the top five at the moment with the bookies to win the tournament outright, it will be hard to judge them because of not having more sterner tests in the qualifying process. The eight other group winners will join Holland in the World Cup, and the 8 best placed runners up will enter into a draw for play-off contests in a fight for the remaining four European places.

Northern Ireland are in important action, as their group is probably one of the most unclear with regards to a winner. Five of the six teams in Group 3 can still mathematically win it, and Northern Ireland are in a great position to do just that. They will need some reserve to catch Slovakia, but with the remaining fixtures, it is possible that things can go their way and they can leap frog to the top. The Republic of Ireland are also in the hunt for a top spot, but have a slightly more arduous task of closing down Italy who have a game in hand over the home nation. For the other home nations, Wales and Scotland would both need the equivalent of miracles to clinch their respective places in the runners-up positions.

France, tipped to win their group, have found things not having quite gone to plan. They are 5 points back of Serbia in Group 7, but still have a major chance to top the group, as they have a game in hand over the leaders. They also have to play them in Belgrade on Wednesday. France aren’t in much danger of being caught for second place, but they will want to avoid having to go through a play-off. Another tight group is Group 4, where leaders Germany are trying to stave off the challenge of Russia who are just four points back with a game in hand over the leaders. Greece and Switzerland are tied at the top of Group 2, with Latvia and Israel in close proximity waiting to pounce on any slip up.

Portugal are probably the biggest name who have found qualification a tougher than expected process. They are resting four points adrift of a resurgent second-placed Hungary in Group 1. They can afford no more mistakes with Sweden on the same points as them as well. Denmark lead the group with a 3 point margin over Hungary. Spain, who are being tipped by the bookies as joint favourites with Brazil to win the World Cup, have no such troubles. They lead Bosnia by 6 points in Group 5, having played the same amount of games as the second placed team, and have the chance to wrap everything up with this round of matches when they face off against their closest rivals.

Once the dust settles from this round of European qualifiers, some teams will be celebrating the progress of having secured a winners place, others will be clinging onto hope of a runners up spot going into the final round of matches, and for some nations, their dreams of a World Cup place for 2010 will finally come to an end.

GROUP ONE outright
Denmark – 2/5 at BlueSquare
Portugal – 5/1 at Bet365
Sweden – 14/1 at Coral
Hungary – 20/1 at Ladbrokes

GROUP TWO outright
Greece – 5/6 at Coral
Switzerland – 6/4 at StanJames
Israel – 9/1 at Ladbrokes
Lativa – 50/1 at 888Sport

GROUP THREE outright
Slovakia – 5/4 at SkyBet
Czech Republic – 7/2 at Totesport
Poland – 9/2 at William Hill
N. Ireland – 10/1 at Coral
Slovenia – 18/1 at BlueSquare

GROUP FOUR outright
Germany – 2/7 at PaddyPower
Russia – 5/2 at Victory Chandler
Finland – 100/1 at Totesport
Wales – 100/1 at BetFred

GROUP FIVE outright
Spain – 1/66 at BlueSquare
Bosnia – 20/1 at BoyleSports
Turkey – 80/1 at BoyleSports
Belgium – 100/1 at SportingBet

GROUP SIX outright
England – 1/50 at PaddyPower
Croatia – 20/1 at SkyBet
Ukraine – 50/1 at Bet365
Belarus – 250/1 at BetFred

GROUP SEVEN outright
France – 4/5 at PaddyPower
Sebria - 6/5 at BetFred
Austria – 100/1 at SkyBet
Romania – 100/1 at Totesport
Lithuania – 150/1 at BlueSquare

GROUP EIGHT outright
Itlay – 1/7 at Stan James
Rep. of Ireland – 5/1 at PaddyPower
Bulgaria – 20/1 at Coral
 




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