European World Cup Qualifiers: Round 1 Best Bets

22 March 2021
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Artem Dzyuba

Malta vs. Russia

Wednesday 24th March, 02:30 PM Kick-Off at Ta Qali National Stadium

Light Work on Russia's European Travels

Group H joint-favourite to advance Russia is expected to make light work of the opposition this Wednesday, as they face a weaker opposition on the world stage – Malta.

Although Russia is suffering from a terrible streak in form, the opposition for them has been considerably lower than that of Malta. Their previous eight matches played away from home have produced five wins.

Keep an eye on Russian forward, Artem Dzyuba; he's now scored thirteen goals, including six of those scored during his previous nine appearances.

Form, Mentality, World Cup Odds & Trends

  • Malta remains undefeated in their previous seven games but has not faced a high-quality team.
  • Russia has failed to win in their previous seven games, but Malta is a considerable drop in competition level.

Final Thoughts| World Cup Qualifying Betting Tips

The hosts won't expect a positive result with their own turmoil in place, but I believe the least they'll expect is a respectable result. With that said, Andorra, Gibraltar, and Liechtenstein aren't teams to run home about, and their positive results against these sides are not worth taking into account.

It's near impossible to expect a win for Malta here, which leaves us with a Russia squad who, on their day, can provide some high-level football.

Score Prediction: Mata 0 – Russia 3

Betting Prediction: Russia -2 Handicap 2.10 [+110] at Paddy Power (visit our Paddy Power Review)

1u wager returns 2.10u

Belgium vs. Wales

Wednesday 24th March, 07:45 PM Kick-Off at King Power at Den Dreef Stadion

Tough Test for the Visitors

Wales is faced with an extremely difficult opening fixture for their World Cup campaign, but can the former Manchester United ace Ryan Giggs compile a team strong enough to hold back the favourites to win Group E?

Wales's confidence may be affected by their opponent's recent form. Belgium has now won their previous four games in all competitions, including Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland & England - these teams are no push-over, so for Belgium, a Wales squad is not a dangerous threat to their qualifying hopes.

Form, Mentality, Qatar World Cup Odds & Trends

  • Belgium has scored two goals in three of their previous four fixtures.
  • Wales have scored in eleven of their previous fourteen fixtures.
  • Belgium has failed to keep a clean sheet in their previous six games.
  • Belgium has not lost a competitive fixture on home turf since 2010, winning their previous twelve.

Final Thoughts| World Cup Qualifying Betting Tips

We believe that Belgium claims victory in Wednesday's clash, but Wales has regularly found at least one goal during most of their fixtures. Taking Belgium to win and both teams to score would not be the worst idea, but we will keep it safe with a simple 'both teams to score' & over 2.5 goals, just in case Giggs's men are up for shocker.

Score Prediction: Belgium 3 – Wales 1

Betting Prediction: Both teams to score & over 2.5 2.30 [+130] at William Hill

1u wager returns 1.30u

Cyprus vs. Slovakia

Wednesday 24th March, 07:45 PM Kick-Off at GSP Stadium

Expected Loss for the Cypriots

The past few years for Cyprus have not been pretty; with nine losses suffered from their last eleven fixtures, it's been a complete struggle to find a decent run in form.

I would not call Slovakia world beaters by any means, but their ability to score and claim victories against both sides of Ireland (Northern & Republic) is proof that this team can pull it together when needed.

Form, Mentality, Qatar World Cup Odds & Trends

  • These two teams last played in 2007, with Slovakia claiming a 3-1 victory.
  • Slovakia has won three of their previous six games.
  • Cyprus has only managed to claim one victory in their previous eleven fixtures.

Final Thoughts| World Cup Qualifying Betting Tips

Even with a questionable streak, we anticipate the Slovakians begin their World Cup qualifiers with a positive win. The bookmakers are offering a reasonable price to make our opinion more tempting.

Score Prediction: Cyprus 0 – Slovakia 1

Betting Prediction: Slovakia to win 1.85 [-118] at Bet365 (visit our Bet365 Review)

1.05u wager returns 1u