World Cup Qualifiers Promise Crunch Games Across Three Matchdays

We may have only just started the new football season, but the first international break of the season is already upon us and it is an important one too. A number of teams across Europe will play at least two, in some cases three, vital World Cup Qualifiers this week as we play through Matchdays 4, 5 and 6 of the qualifying campaign.

What is interesting to note is that a number of teams have some of their toughest games coming up over this period, where a win or draw can radically enhance their prospects of qualification, or at least a chance to land a playoff spot as a best runner up.

In contrast, two poor results could throw their participation in the World Cup Finals in Qatar in December 2022 into doubt.

With so many crunch games coming up for the top teams across Europe, it is certainly one of the more intriguing international breaks and of course, there is going to be lots of people interested in a bet.

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Let’s now take a look at some of the crucial games coming up over the next couple of weeks across Europe, with a focus on the big teams in action and of course, the four home nations. As always, we have given you our top tips for the biggest games taking place one each day of action.

World Cup Qualifiers – Home Nations & Big Games

Matchday 4

The first games for Matchday four take place on Wednesday 1st September, with the remaining matches on Thursday 2nd September.

Wednesday 1st September

  • Portugal v Ireland (Group A)
  • Denmark v Scotland (Group F)
  • France v Bosnia & Herzegovina (Group D)
  • Russia v Croatia (Group H)
  • Slovenia v Slovakia (Group H)

With two defeats in two games, the Republic of Ireland have not started their World Cup Qualifying campaign well, and they face a very tough test away to Portugal and defeat here will likely leave them with virtually no chance of qualifying.

Scottish hopes though are good after they remain unbeaten after three games in Group F, but they face their most difficult test so far away to Denmark in Copenhagen, the Danes are hot favourites for this one, but if Scotland can get a point, they will be thrilled.

Other big games on the opening night of action see France take on Bosnia Herzegovina in Group D, with the French seeking to extend their lead over the Ukraine and Finland in the group.

There are also a couple of intriguing games in Group H, the top two, Russia and Croatia meet in Moscow while at the same time Slovenia and Slovakia will meet in Bratislava in what should be a closely fought couple of contests.

Our Correct Score Tips

  • Denmark 2-0 Scotland (5/1)
  • Portugal 3-0 Republic of Ireland (11/2)
  • Russia 1-1 Croatia (5/1)
  • Slovenia 0-0 Slovakia (11/2)
  • France 4-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina (18/1)

Thursday 2nd September

  • Lithuania v Northern Ireland (Group C)
  • Hungary v England (Group I)
  • Italy v Bulgaria (Group C)
  • Sweden v Spain (Group B)
  • Iceland v Romania (Group J)

The second set of Matchday 4 games sees Northern Ireland making a trip to Lithuania with a definite aim of picking up three points. England are also on the road and they head off to face a difficult game away to a Hungary side who gave Portugal,  Germany and France real trouble in the Euros last summer.

Italy, the winners of that tournament, should despatch Bulgaria pretty easily while Sweden face Spain in what looks like being one of the games that will define who wins Group B. Lastly, Iceland face Romania in Group J with both teams badly needing a win to keep in touch with the teams above them in the group, which also includes Germany.

Our Correct Score Tips

  • Lithuana 0-1 Northern Ireland (9/2)
  • Hungary 1-2 England (15/2)
  • Italy 4-0 Bulgaria (13/2)
  • Sweden 2-2 Spain (18/1)
  • Iceland 1-0 Romania (6/1)

Matchday 5

Matchday 5 kicks off across Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September. Please note bet365 do not have odds for these next two sets of games as yet, so no odds for the predictions are included.

Saturday 4th September

  • Ireland v Azerbaijan (Group A)
  • Scotland v Moldova (Group F)
  • Ukraine v France (Group D)
  • Slovakia v Croatia (Group H)

Ireland will have a great chance to get some points on the board with a home game against Azerbaijan to look forward to, while Scotland will equally feel that their home game with Moldova is one they should win by a comfortable margin.

There is a big game in Kiev where Ukraine take on France, with the French looking to get a firm grip on Group D with a win here.

There is also a key game in Group H where Croatia face a tricky trip to Slovakia between two sides that look pretty well-matched on paper.

Our Correct Score Tips

  • Ireland 2-1 Azerbaijan
  • Scotland 3-0 Moldova
  • Ukraine 1-2 France
  • Slovakia 1-1 Croatia

Sunday 5th September

  • Belarus v Wales (Group E)
  • England v Andorra (Group I)
  • Switzerland v Italy (Group C)
  • Belgium v Czech Republic (Group E)

There are two of the home nations in action on Sunday and both have very winnable games, and ones that they need to win in order to remain in contention in their group. England should have little trouble disposing of Andorra at Wembley in Group I and they should score a few goals in that game too.

Wales’ task is more difficult with a tricky trip to Belarus, especially without a couple of key stars, but I do feel the Welsh still have enough quality to scrape what would be a vital win for them in this group.

The biggest games come in Groups C and E with Switzerland facing Italy in Basel, with the Italians having a 3-0 defeat over the Swiss to their name in the Euros this summer. However, on home soil, the Swiss will be much more difficult.

We also then have a crucial game in Group E with Belgium and the Czech Republic meeting, with Wales keeping a very close eye on this one and probably hoping that the game either ends in a draw, or a win for the Czech’s if they believe they can win the group, or a win for Belgium if they are aiming for the runner’s up spot.

Our Correct Score Tips

  • Belarus 0-1 Wales
  • England 4-0 Andorra
  • Switzerland 1-2 Italy
  • Belgium 3-1 Czech Republic

Matchday 6

Matchday 6 takes place on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th September.

Tuesday 7th September

  • Austria v Scotland (Group F)
  • Ireland v Serbia (Group A)
  • France v Finland (Group D)
  • Croatia v Slovenia (Group H)
  • Netherlands v Turkey (Group G)

There’s plenty of crucial games on Tuesday night, including Scotland’s trip to Austria which could well be one of the defining games in how Group F eventually shapes up. Ireland will be hoping to do well at home to Serbia, but again this looks like a very difficult game for the Irish team.

After travelling to the Ukraine in their opener, France now face Finland in Paris in a game that they should feel confident of winning, while in Split, Croatia will take on Slovenia hoping to keep in touch at the top of Group H.

There’s a huge game too in Group G where the Netherlands will seek revenge over Turkey, after the Turks beat the Dutch 4-2 in their opening game in Group G on matchday one. A defeat for the Dutch here could be calamitous for their hopes of winning the group.

Our Correct Score Tips

  • Austria 1-1 Scotland
  • Ireland 1-2 Serbia
  • France 3-0 Finland
  • Croatia 2-0 Slovenia
  • Netherlands 3-1 Turkey

Wednesday 8th September

  • Poland v England (Group I)
  • Northern Ireland v Switzerland (Group C)
  • Wales v Estonia (Group E)
  • Iceland v Germany (Group J)
  • Greece v Sweden (Group B)

This is a big game for England in Group I, Poland along with Hungary are likely to be Gareth Southgate’s most fierce rivals for top spot in the group and while the Poles have dropped five points already in qualifying, they will know a win here will put them right back in amongst the thick of it, regardless of how England got in in their previous two games.

Northern Ireland face a stern test against a talented Swiss team, while Wales should be confident of picking up a home win over a poor Estonia team.

The other two games to watch here include Iceland facing Germany in what looks a tricky clash for Hansi Muller’s team, while in Greece, Sweden will be hoping to land the win to keep them right in contention along with Spain in Group B.

Our Correct Score Tips

  • Poland 1-1 England
  • Northern Ireland 0-2 Switzerland
  • Wales 3-1 Estonia
  • Iceland 0-2 Germany
  • Greece 1-2 Sweden

*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of Tuesday 31st August 2021.