UEFA Nations League Reaches Crucial Final Stages
It’s an international week this week which means a break from the day to day grind of domestic league football as players from all over the world get together to represent their country in a series of international friendlies and tournament matches.
For European teams like England, this means the next round of matches in the inaugural Nations League tournament. The much-maligned tournament may not have been universally popular initially, but there is no doubt that the better quality of matches and competitive games, rather than friendly games and one-sided qualifiers, have helped raise the profile of international football over the last few months.
This tournament now reaches the final part of the group stage with the last two Matchdays completing all the fixtures at this stage of the tournament, Matchday Five taking place from Thursday to Saturday, followed immediately by Matchday Six from Sunday to Tuesday.
For this article, we are going to focus on the games that are taking place on Matchday Five, as the odds for games on Matchday Six are not likely to be available until the games in Matchday Five have already taken place.
As always, if you fancy a flutter on these games, then bet365 Sport is the place to head. Join today, if you are not already a member, with the latest bet365 Sport New Player Promotion, which offers you up to £100 in bet credits when you sign up.
Let’s now take a look at the fixtures for Matchday Five and the latest prices on these games at bet365 Sport.
*Odds Correct as of 12pm on Tuesday 13th November 2018.
Our Tips – Accumulator Bets
With a number of matches in this tournament each day, this is a perfect opportunity to enjoy some accumulator betting at bet365 Sport and I have put together the following three accumulator bets for each of the three days of action on Matchday Five.
Thursday 15th November
- Kazakhstan v Latvia – Home Win
- Austria v Bosnia-Herzegovina – Home Win
- Croatia v Spain – Draw
- Greece v Finland – Home Win
Place this bet with bet365 Sport and if the fourfold comes in, then your £10 stake would return you £181.80 in winnings, plus your stake money back if your bet is a winner.
Friday 16th November
- Cyprus v Bulgaria – Draw
- Holland v France – Draw
- Slovakia v Ukraine – Draw
- Wales v Denmark – Home Win
This longer-odds fourfold accumulator would offer you a massive return of £820 in winnings should you bet £10 on it and the accumulator be a winner. You would also receive back your £10 stake too.
Saturday 17th November
- Serbia v Montenegro – Home Win
- Turkey v Sweden – Home Win
- Albania v Scotland – Draw
- Italy v Portugal – Home Win
Place a £10 bet on this fourfold accumulator for Friday’s games and you would see a return of £197.60 in winnings, plus you would also get your £10 stake money returned.
Other Nations League Top Tips
Thursday 15th November
Croatia v Spain – Draw and both teams to score – 7/2
Spain thrashed Croatia 6-0 when the sides first met in this competition on Matchday two, a victory which put Spain top of the table and left Croatia languishing at the bottom. Since then though Croatia have drawn 0-0 at home with England and the Spanish then lost at home for the first time in many years, when England defeated them 3-2 last month.
The Spanish defence did look especially vulnerable in that game and that is something that Croatia on home soil, will want to try and exploit. The Croatian’s World Cup Finalists in the summer, have a point to prove after that damaging defeat to Spain, so I am expecting a much stronger performance from them here.
Two wins for Croatia would be enough to put them into the Semifinals of the Nations League but I can’t see them quite getting the win here against Spain, although having said that, I am not confident that the Spanish defence will do enough to secure a win here. As such, I think a draw, with both teams finding the net, should be about the right outcome.
Friday 16th November
Holland v France – Draw and both teams to score – 10/3
France just need a single point from this game to ensure they reach the semifinals of the Nations League, just a few months after their World Cup success in Russia. For the Netherlands, a win here would mean that they would need a victory over Germany in their final game (or a draw, if they beat France more decisively than the 2-1 victory France achieved over them in September) to see themselves progress at the expense of the French team.
However, it is hard to see France throwing this away now. They may have just one game left to play, but they do have a four-point lead over the Netherlands and with. Germany falling away in the group and in danger of relegation, I am sure that this France team have the ability to earn something from this game in Holland.
The Dutch are improving a lot after their disastrous European Championship and World Cup qualifying campaigns in 2016 and 2018, and the seeds for a much brighter future are there, it is just a tough ask to do this against the current World Champions.
As such, I think this game has all the hallmarks of an entertaining draw, with goals scored on both sides.
Wales v Denmark – Wales to win – 31/20
After their win over Ireland last time out, Wales now top a tough group in League B ahead of Denmark and with Ireland at the foot of the table and almost certain to be relegated. A win for Wales here though, would ensure they get promoted to League A for the next Nations League Tournament.
It is a big ask against a Denmark team that beat them 2-0 when the teams met in September, but this Wales team should have Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey back in the team and that makes a huge difference. Also, playing at the Cardiff City Stadium will also help the home fans create a raucous, partisan atmosphere.
As such, I really fancy the Welsh to get the job done here against a well organised Denmark side but one that is too reliant on Christian Eriksen to be their source of inspiration. With Eriksen still on his way back to full fitness after injury, I am not sure he is quite in the form to do that for the Danes.
This will be close, but I do fancy a Wales victory here, probably by a 2-1 scoreline.
Saturday 17th November
Italy v Portugal. – Italy to win 23/20
Portugal top this group and a win or a point here would be enough for them to qualify for the semifinals of the tournament, however they are not the best on the road and this new Italian side under Roberto Mancini is starting to look a more polished outfit.
It has taken Mancini a while to change a number of key personnel over with a number of new faces coming in to replace older established stars. There’s been a few sticky results too in that time, but I think the former Manchester City boss is close to getting it right.
Portugal with Ronaldo would stand a much better chance here, but the Juventus ace is omitted from the squad once again and I think that is a huge plus to Italy who with home advantage behind them should grab a win here to keep things alive heading into the final game of the group.