UEFA Nations League Betting Preview
It’s the new international tournament that many are still trying to get their head around, but one thing’s for sure – the start of the UEFA Nations League offers some nations the chance to build on impressive World Cup 2018 campaigns, whilst others will look on it as the chance for a fresh start.
Here we look at a fascinating set of opening games, and where the betting value could be if you’re looking to make the most of our extraordinary UEFA Nations League odds…
England vs Spain
Saturday 8th September, 7.45pm
Gareth Southgate’s young Three Lions side can expect a particularly warm welcome on arrival at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night, but it’ll be strictly down to business once the game kicks off.
England face a tough start to their Nations League campaign against a Spain side still reeling from their shock early departure from the World Cup 2018 against the hosts, and could face an early backlash as the Spanish camp look to impress new manager Luis Enrique.
The former Barca boss faces a dilemma in defence in filling a Pique-shaped hole in his backline as he looks for a new candidate to partner Sergio Ramos. With England’s starting XI unlikely to shift dramatically from Russia, can Southgate’s young charges take advantage of any uncertainty at the back?
UEFA Nations League Betting – Other selected games
Italy vs Poland
Friday 7th September, 7.45pm
One of the more intriguing games of the international break, with both sides desperately in need of some success after disappointment in the World Cup 2018 – the Italians missing out completely and the Poles meekly limping out in the group stages despite being tipped as a surprise package by many. Roberto Mancini will be keen to draw a line under the last two years with a victory in his first competitive game.
Northern Ireland vs Bosnia
Saturday 8th September, 2.00pm
Michael O’Neill’s hardworking Northern Ireland open their Nations League campaign against Bosnia looking to bounce back from the disappointment of narrowly being edged out of a World Cup 2018 spot by Switzerland back in November. Their form in friendlies since has been mixed, but the Green & White Army remains a formidable force at Windsor Park with four wins from their last six on home soil. They should have enough to squeeze out a Bosnia side who can blow hot and cold against higher-ranked opposition.
Denmark vs Wales
Sunday 9th September, 5.00pm
It was an eye-catching performance on Thursday night from the Welsh as Ryan Giggs’ competitive debut as Manager got off to the best possible start. Can they repeat the trick against a Denmark side still recovering from a chaotic week?
Wales showed plenty of attacking promise against a badly out-of-sorts Irish side, and with Gareth Bale firing on all cylinders, Welsh fans will be hoping the early part of Giggs’ reign mirrors Chris Coleman’s first few years in the role.
With the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Christian Eriksen and Lasse Schöne back in the Danish ranks instead of YouTubers, students and salesmen this game suddenly takes on a whole new complexion – but the unusual build-up should give Wales the confidence to return from Aarhus with at least a point.
Scotland vs Albania
Monday 10th September, 7.45pm
A look at the history books for this fixture doesn’t offer any clues as to how this one might go, as this is the first time the Tartan Army will take on Albania in either a friendly or competitive match. Alex McCleish has had a rocky start to his second stint in charge of Scotland, but there are some green shoots emerging that suggest better times ahead – particularly the eye-catching form of Oli McBurnie at Swansea, and a new captain with Champions League Final experience in Liverpool’s Andy Robertson. The Scots should in theory make light work of Albania, who have suffered heavy 3-0 and 4-1 defeats in their last two friendlies against Kosovo and Ukraine. Could we see a similar heavy scoreline at Hampden Park?
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