Top Home Nations tips: Tartan Army to conquer Malta while Welsh Dragons continue flying form
Robbie Purves | September 2, 2016
Top Home Nations tips
Ahead of the first wave of 2018 World Cup qualifiers, Coral football writers have picked out some top Home Nations tips punters should keep an eye on.
Wales will look to continue their fine form after an impressive Euro 2016, with Northern and the Republic of Ireland hoping the reach their second consecutive major competition while Scotland endeavour to qualify for their first major international tournament since 1998.
Malta v Scotland odds: Tartan Army to enjoy travels
Scotland are unbeaten in the history of this fixture and have emerged victorious in each of their last four match-ups against Malta.
The previous four encounters the two nations had ended in an average of 3.25 goals and, as a result, Gordon Strachan’s side are 27/20 with Coral to triumph with a total of over 2.5 goals scored.
Unlike many previous Scotland squads, this instalment boasts genuine scoring prowess in the form of Steven Fletcher, Chris Martin and most expensive Scot ever Oliver Burke.
The latter just completed a shock switch to Bundesliga side Red Bull Leipzig, amid reported interest from Tottenham and Bayern Munch. Burke may be worth a first scorer punt at 9/2 and had four goals in five outings in the Championship this term before his transfer.
O’Neill’s outfit to share spoils
Northern Ireland have never beaten Czech Republic in the history of the fixture and have shared the spoils in their last two encounters with the Czechs.
Michael O’Neill’s nation have recorded four draws in their last 10 World Cup qualifiers, all of which have been 1-1 stalemates. Combine this with the fact that neither side are particularly blessed when it comes to scoring, and you have a makings of a 1-1 draw at 11/2.
Boys in Green feel Keane loss
The Green Army have never beaten Serbia and were defeated in their last game against the Eagles. Ireland recently lost their leader and all-time top scorer Robbie Keane – and will be sorely missed.
Serbia are undefeated in their last five competitive games at home and boast the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Tadic. The Balkan nation should have no problem finding the net as Ireland have conceded five in their last three competitive games while only netting twice.
Slavoljub Muslin’s men are 31/20 to beat Martin O’Neill and his offensively blunt visiting outfit to nil.
Dragons to continue high-flying form as Bale bets appeal
Wales had a truly amazing Euro 2016 and reached the semi-finals – losing to eventual winners Portugal. Their historic campaign was lead by Gareth Bale and has now scored 10 goals in 16 competitive caps for the Dragons.
The Madridsta was pivotal to Chris Coleman’s side earning Euro qualification, scoring seven vital goals that propelled his nation to the tournament – three of which were game winners.
Bale scored two in a game twice during European Championship qualification, and has already done it for Real Madrid this term. The Welshman is 2/1 to score two or more against Moldova in the nation’s first World Cup qualifier.
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