Nations League – Betting Preview
After an intriguing opening set of games, the Nations League is back with some crucial ties for the Home Nations.
Here’s our betting preview ahead of another busy round of international football…
Croatia vs England, Friday, 19:45
Will memories of World Cup 2018 still be too fresh for Gareth Southgate’s side?
The atmosphere this time around won’t be quite as intense for the Three Lions as they face the unusual situation of playing behind closed doors in Rijeka.
Southgate has named an experimental squad for this set of games, and England fans will be hoping to get a first glance of Jadon Sancho following his impressive start to the season in the Bundesliga. James Maddison, Mason Mount and Lewis Dunk could also receive their first caps.
Croatia are boosted by the return of Ante Rebic and Dejan Lovren, but have lost various players to injury as they play a game on home soil for the first time since their exploits in Russia.
Austria vs Northern Ireland, Friday, 19:45
Perhaps understandably, Northern Ireland have been noticeably flat since missing out on a place at World Cup 2018 at the expense of Switzerland, but there were encouraging signs that Michael O’Neill has finally managed to lift his team after a comfortable 3-0 friendly win at Windsor Park over Israel last month.
Austria lost their opening Nations League game away in Bosnia but are made of stronger stuff at home – will O’Neill settle for a stalemate?
Netherlands vs Germany, Saturday, 19:45
One of the ties of the international break takes place on Saturday night as two of the oldest rivals in international football go head-to-head.
After a torrid few years, the Netherlands need a stand out result to suggest they can turn the corner, and they have shown flashes of improvement under Ronald Koeman. Joachim Löw is still refining his side as he works out what went wrong in Russia, while Leroy Sané will be desperate to prove a point after missing the cut this summer.
Republic of Ireland vs Denmark, Saturday, 19:45
Martin O’Neill must be sick of the sight of the Danes, with memories of the 5-1 mauling of his Irish side back in November 2017 still lingering, but Saturday’s home game at the Aviva Stadium at least gives him the chance for some relatively swift revenge.
He desperately needs a win in a competitive fixture and the absence of Christian Eriksen for the Danes has opened the door for a morale-boosting victory.
Odds may vary.