Good news and bad news from me today…
The bad news is we’ve got another set of international fixtures to endure before we get back to the bread and butter of the Premier League.
The good news is there are no more international breaks until March! So let’s end the 2016 international calendar with a bang.
Gareth Southgate takes his last game in charge of England as interim manager before he (probably) gets the job on a full-time basis. The Three Lions face Spain, and my blind optimism tells me that 2/1 for an England win is a price well worth taking a look at. I’m expecting a “weakened” Spanish line-up without the likes of Sergio Ramos, Andres Iniesta and Diego Costa. A defence featuring the likes of Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal, Marc Bartra (Dortmund) and Real Madrid’s Nacho can definitely be breached. If an England win doesn’t take your fancy, then an even money shout for them to win either half has got to be worth a tenner.
History tells us that both teams scoring is an unlikely event at Wembley. Only one side has scored in the last EIGHT meetings between the two sides, a run that goes all the way back to 1987, a full five years before a handsome football blogger by the name of James Capps was even born. “No” to both teams scoring is more than tempting at 17/20, while under 2.5 goals at 8/13 should be a sure-fire leg on your accas.
Elsewhere, there’s a replay of one of Euro 2016’s quarter finals as Italy host Germany at the San Siro. The game is probably most-remembered for Italy’s Simone Zaza skying his shootout penalty high, wide and not so handsomely into my back garden. Zaza is in the squad tonight, and is 5/2 to score anytime, if you’re feeling bonkers. More sane bets are available, including both teams to score, at 4/5, and a Thomas Muller goal, at 2/1. The Bayern Munich striker has a goal-rate of nearly 1 in 2 for Germany, and he didn’t score in their 8-0 thrashing of San Marino at the weekend. You do the maths.
Another home nation in action tonight is Northern Ireland, as they host Croatia at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland enjoyed a 4-0 victory over Azerbaijan at the weekend, but the Croats provide a challenge that I think may be a touch too far for Michael O’Neil’s men. Croatia are a huge 23/20 for the away win, and a punt on that alongside both teams scoring looks a cracker at 4/1.
I’m finishing off with a tidy European double that could leave your pre-Black Friday bank account purring. Czech Republic host a pretty poor Denmark side, while Ukraine are at home to Serbia. Serbia and Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic broke his nose in their 1-1 draw at Wales on Saturday, so even if he does play in Kiev he won’t be 100% fit. Couple that with the fact that Ukraine are unbeaten and have only conceded two goals in their last nine home friendlies. A tenner on the double returns £57.50 with Ladbrokes.
El Capitano’s Tip of the Day: England (Yes, England) to beat Spain at 2/1 with BoyleSports.
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