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Nations League Football Tips: 12th & 13th October
by the Cheeky Punter
Our club football tips have done great over the last couple of weeks so I find myself very frustrated by, yet another, pretty uninteresting international break.
As you will know, I am not overly keen on these breaks…
I think they massively disrupt the start of the season, however it is what it is and seeing as I am in form, I am hoping that a bit of the good luck that came my way last week in domestic and international club games, could also run off on the international fixtures list too.
Here’s my selection of tips for four games, two from Friday evening and a further two from Saturday.
Football Betting Tips: Friday 12th October
October 12, 2018
King Baudouin Stadium
October 12, 2018
King Baudouin Stadium
Both these teams thumped Iceland in their opening games, Belgium with a 3-0 away win in Reykjavik, while Switzerland thumped six past the Vikings on home soil.
That means Switzerland top the group on goal difference heading into this fixture, with Belgium second and Iceland a distant third having played a game more.
Switzerland have a poor recent record over Belgium, winning just one of their last seven games, stretching back to 1964. Their last win coming in November 1983.
The teams have met 27 times in total, Switzerland have eight wins and there have been 6 draws, but Belgium hold the advantage with 13 wins from those games.
Both of these teams will be delighted with the starts they made in the Nations League against tricky Icelandic opponents, both securing excellent victories without conceding a goal, although Switzerland’s stunning 6-0 win on home soil was a real standout victory in that round of games.
In truth, Iceland’s predicament means that the two games between Switzerland and Belgium will likely decide the group and as such, this game on Friday night should be a cracker, however there is no denying that on home soil and with Eden Hazard in sensational form, the bookmakers clearly favour the home team.
Add to that the strength of the Belgian squad and the flair it has, even with a couple of key players injured, I do feel that they will be too strong for the Swiss here, although I can see the Swiss team finding the net with key man Jan Vertonghen to miss out due to injury.
Switzerland are strong and well organised but Belgium are a class above and finished third at the World Cup and in truth, they are the class act here and should take the win.
Belgium to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £30.00
Both these teams trail Spain after losing their games against the Spanish, England losing 1-2 while Croatia were thumped 6-0 in Spain in their opener.
These two teams met in the World Cup Semi Finals in the summer, with Croatia winning 2-1 after extra time thanks to goals from Perisic and Mandzukic.
England have several key players missing through injury for this game and their squad is somewhat inexperienced with several uncapped players in the squad.
The teams have met eight times previously with just one draw between the teams, England winning four of the games and Croatia winning three.
With Spain seemingly running away with League A Group D, this game is effectively a battle between the two World Cup semi-finalists to see which of them will remain in the elite League for the next Nations League tournament, and who will drop into League B.
Croatia have beaten England just once on home soil, a 2-0 win back in October 2006, but they do have the memory of their World Cup Semifinal victory last summer to fall back on, although they followed that up with a shocking display in a 6-0 humiliation against Spain back in September.
England led against Spain but the Spaniards came back to claim a win thanks to goals from Saul and Rodrigo and that means Gareth Southgate’s somewhat inexperienced squad head into this away double header needing at least a draw from both games.
I’d like to think England could gain some revenge here for that defeat in the summer, but I cannot see it with this inexperienced squad. That said, Croatia are not the most confident either, so I feel the draw is the most sensible option here.
These teams sit behind France after the opening games in League A Group 1, Germany have a point after a 0-0 draw with France, while the Netherlands are pointless.
The Dutch last tasted victory over Germany back in 2002, but their last win in a competition rather than a friendly was way back in the 1992 European Championships.
Germany are unbeaten in their last five games against the Dutch winning two, drawing three, scoring 7 goals and conceding five in the process.
In total the teams have met 40 times, Germany with 15 wins, the Netherlands with 10 and 15 matches between the teams have ended in draws.
This is a crucial game in League A Group 1; a win for the German’s would leave the Dutch looking as the likely bottom team in the Group and the prospect of dropping into League B, whereas if the Dutch win, it would open up the group hugely and mean all three teams could still have a real chance of progressing.
The Germans have the better of this fixture in recent times, but their issues last summer seem to have hung over a little into this season and their performance against France on home soil wasn’t the most convincing. Indeed, Joachim Low’s team look very much like a team still in transition.
The same can be said of the Dutch who after missing out on the last two big tournaments, Euro 2016 and the World Cup 2018, need a big showing here against two powerhouses in order to reassert themselves in European football, but in truth this squad looks a little lacking in experience and talent to challenge the very best.
That said, I do feel the Dutch have enough firepower and combined with home advantage, I think they’ll do enough to grab a share of the spoils on Saturday.
Denmark are top of League B Group 4 with three points, with a better goal difference than Wales who also have three points and who beat Ireland 4-1 in their opener.
The teams famously met in a 2017 World Cup Qualifying Playoff Game, which saw the teams draw 0-0 in Copenhagen before Denmark won the second leg 5-1 in Dublin.
The teams have met 15 times previously, with Ireland winning five times, Denmark four and a total of six games have been drawn between the teams.
Harry Arter should return to the Irish squad following talks with Roy Keane after a spat between the pair. James McClean is also fit enough to earn a place in the squad.
Both these teams opening match in League B Group 4 came against Wales with Ireland succumbing to a 4-1 defeat in Cardiff, while a few days later in Copenhagen, the Danes produced a fine display to beat the Welsh 2-0 and take top spot in the group.
A win for the Republic here would really open up the group for the last few games, but in truth it looks a big ask. With so many top experienced players out injured for the Irish, plus a serious lack of goals in attack, this is a huge ask against a Denmark side that pushed World Cup Finalists Croatia all the way to penalties in the summer.
After resolving their rights issues with the Danish FA, the Danish squad was at full strength for the game v Wales and produced a good display, Christian Eriksen is their key man and he tormented Ireland the last time the teams met, netting four goals in a stunning individual display to put the Danes into the World Cup Finals.
Given the relative strength of both squads and the fact I think the Republic of Ireland are viewing these games as development matches for the future, I fancy the Danes to grab the win here.
The Cheeky Punter is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.