Give the Swiss a miss, and find something to rhyme with Portugal

Share Share

Give the Swiss a miss, and find something to rhyme with Portugal

James Capps

So, did anybody back my international tips over the weekend?

If you did, you would’ve been quids in. Austria were a decent even money shout to win over in Georgia, and Serbia v Republic of Ireland was destined to be a draw ever since Daryl Murphy equalized with ten minutes to go…

We could’ve also been looking at a 2/1 away winner, when Barnet were leading Newport County at half time, only for the b****** ref to call the game off at half-time because of a few puddles on the pitch.

Notice that I only ever do a review of my previous tips when I win. I’m like you that way.

So let’s see what we can come up with in tonight’s batch of World Cup qualifiers…

The first fixture that caught my eye features the European champions, as Portugal travel to Basel to face the non-descript Switzerland.

As you can probably guess, there’s not a huge deal to say about Switzerland. They have a great recent record of qualifying for major tournaments, without really causing any of the competitions big-hitters any real problems. They also boast a pretty sloppy home record, having won only one of their last seven games.

Can Portugal claim victory without their talisman once more?

Portugal, on the other hand, still have their tails up following their rather strange triumph at Euro 2016. They also boast a decent away record in qualifiers, with a 100% record in the preliminaries for this summer’s tournament. Cristiano Ronaldo is out through injury, but we all remember what happened the last time CR7 was unavailable in a competitive game for his country…

The Portuguese are a tempting 9/5 for the win, but a more conservative 5/6 for Portugal in the “Draw no bet” market still represents decent value.

Elsewhere in the European qualifiers you’re really struggling. The only other decent-looking match is between Sweden and the Netherlands in (probably) Stockholm (yeah, let’s go with Stockholm).

It’s a tie featuring two sides that aren’t going through the best of spells. The Dutch failed to qualify for Euro 2016, while Sweden probably wish they hadn’t. And now that talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has retired from international football in order to spend more time with Jose Mourinho his family, it leaves the Swedes with a big hole up front.

It’s a game that neither side can afford to lose, considering France are in the group too, and will probably top it; so this is really a battle for second place and a spot in the play-offs. The fear of losing ground on each other ahead of a tough qualifying campaign means that the draw at 2/1 is the best bet.

El Capitano’s Tip of the Day: Sweden v The Netherlands to draw at 21/10

Cappa’s Acca: £10 on Portugal, Uruguay, Argentina and Ecuador returns more than £190.