4 tips for Monday's World Cup qualifiers
Get your week off to a winning start with these four tips - and 13/1 four-fold - from Monday's internationals.
Italy to beat Albania –
Italy manager Gian Piero Ventura is under fire after his side’s 1-1 draw with Macedonia on Friday.
But the Azzurri’s poor form means that they are a better price to win on Monday night than they otherwise might have been.
Albania have lost three of their last four home matches – a win over Liechtenstein being the exception – and were easily beaten in the reverse fixture in March, so the Italians should still cruise to victory.
Iceland (-2) to beat Kosovo –
Croatia’s dramatic draw against Finland on Friday means that Iceland only require a straightforward home victory over Kosovo to qualify for their second successive major tournament.
And all evidence points to Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side doing the necessary in emphatic style.
They have beaten the significantly-superior Croatia and Ukraine 1-0 and 2-0 respectively in their last two home games - overcoming the latter 3-0 away from home on Friday - while Kosovo have managed just two goals in losing their last eight qualifiers.
Austria to beat Moldova –
Austria’s disappointing qualifying campaign should end in a consolation victory.
Marcel Koller’s side have at least beaten the group’s whipping boys, winning 2-1 in Georgia last September and claiming three points from the reverse fixture against Moldova in March.
But it is Moldova’s dismal home record that really informs this tip.
The hosts have lost 14 of their last 17 home matches, drawing the other three against Canada, Kazakhstan and Georgia, with San Marino the last side to leave with nothing.
Republic of Ireland to beat Wales –
Republic of Ireland have proved themselves consistently able to produce big results just when they’re needed.
Martin O’Neill’s side beat Germany in the home straight of Euro 2016 qualification, before overcoming Bosnia in the second leg of their play-off tie a few months later.
And when nothing else would have been enough, they famously beat Italy to qualify from the group stages of the tournament itself.
Backing them to beat a Wales side lacking talisman Gareth Bale makes plenty of sense, then, considering their healthy price.