After 18 months of World Cup qualifiers, we finally have reached crunch time in the bid to reach the 2010 World Cup. We’ve got some top tips for this weekend’s international fixture list, and if you’d like to bet along with us, the process could scarcely be more easy.
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At the foot of Group 8 on Saturday, second-bottom Montenegro host rock-bottom Georgia in the battle to avoid the wooden spoon. Incredibly neither side has managed to pick up a single win so far in qualifying, however, with Stevan Jovetic and Marco Vucinic (pictured) leading their attack the Montenegrins will be confident of picking up their first three points in their penultimate fixture of qualifying.
Backing Montenegro, we are staking three separate Â£2 bets on the score being 1-nil (9/2), 2-nil (11/2) and 2-1 (7/1) in which we will receive returns of Â£11, Â£13 or Â£16 respectively for any winning ticket.
Next, we are backing two away wins.
Much like the match between Montenegro and Georgia, Group 4 sees no-hopers Liechtenstein take on Azerbaijan as both sides aim top chalk up their first win of qualifying. Under the guidance of Hans-Peter Zaugg, Liechtenstein are proving harder and harder to beat with each campaign, although they still struggle to score at the other end. It’s a similar story for Azerbaijan, who have only managed one measly goal during qualifying so far, although their future looks slightly rosier since the appointment of Berti Vogts as the national team coach.
Already qualified for South Africa, Holland take their Oranje army to Australia to battle the Socceroos in a friendly. While the host nation will be looking to make a good showing against one of the favourites for the World Cup, there is no question that the Aussie’s crucial midweek qualifier with Oman is the priority for Pim Verbeekâ€™s Socceroos. With that in mind, from Australia’s perspective the upcoming clash against the Dutch could be said to be an unnecessary distraction.
Last up, we dip into domestic English action to (hopefully) pick up some easy pickings with two home bankers.
Second in League One, Charlton are going great guns in the early part of the season, although with just one win in their last five league games the Addicks have hit a bit of a lull. Arriving at the Valley this weekend are Oldham, who have also begun the season on a positive footing currently sitting eighth in the division.
In League Two, Crewe are in crisis. Five straight losses have seen The Railwaymen plummet down the table where they currently occupy lowly 17th place, and this weekend there appears to be little in the way of respite as the ancient Dario Gradi takes his charges to Bradford. The Bantams, currently ninth in the league, have made Valley Parade a bit of a fortress of late with three wins and a draw in their last four home games.