Euro 2016 seems like a distant memory as we head into the second round of 2018 World Cup Qualifying fixtures. Wales and Republic of Ireland are in action tonight, and Chris Coleman and Martin O’Neill’s sides both feature in tonight’s Acca, which pays just short of 32/1.
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Republic of Ireland to beat Georgia
O’Neill’s men fought hard last month to grab a point in Serbia, and tonight they face a side that lost 2-1 to Austria in their opening game.
And this is a group in which ROI will feel confident of escaping from, though it may be via the play-offs given that Wales also feature in it.
Three points tonight will go a long way to achieving that goal, with Shane Long and co boasting a psychological advantage over their opponents, having won all seven previous meeting with Georgia.
Wales to beat Austria
The fairytale continues for Welsh fans, or so it seems, after Coleman’s men carried their fine form of Euro 2016 into their opening World Cup qualifier against Moldova.
You’d only have to go back three years to find the last time these two sides met. Wales came out on top on that occasion, and there’s nothing to suggest why they can’t do the same again this evening.
Austria only managed to pick up one point in their Euro 2016 group, a massive shock considering many expected them to make the knockout stages. It’s difficult to see past Wales based on both sides’ form, even at 23/10 outsiders.
Spain to beat Italy
Arguably the fixture of the night, Spain have the chance to inflict almost instant revenge on an Italian side that knocked them out of Euro 2016.
Prior to that defeat in July, Spain had enjoyed a five-game unbeaten run against the Italians, and they’ll be looking to get back to winning ways against one of the giants of international football at the earliest opportunity.
Both teams head into this game with new managers, but it’s the Spaniards who look like they mean business in this qualifying campaign, after an 8-0 hammering of Liechtenstein in their opener.
Iceland to beat Finland
There’s a hero’s welcome in store for the Icelandic team, who’ll be playing in front of their own fans for the first time since their remarkable run at the Euros.
And they’ll want to prove that their success was no fluke with victory over a Finland side who offer very little in the way of attacking threat. – stat to back that up?
There’s every chance the home side can progress to their second consecutive major tournament, and their fans will expect nothing less than a win tonight. They’ve set their own benchmark.
Croatia to beat Kosovo
Prior to their Euro 2016 exit to eventual champions Portugal, Croatia were on a 10-game unbeaten run, and had been fancied by many as underdogs to go all the way in the European Championships.
That makes the 11/20 on them simply too hard to ignore, given that they’re facing a side who are preparing to play just their second competitive game in their country’s history.
Though Kosovo will want to impress in front of their own fans, there’s simply too much quality in this Croatian side to expect anything other than an away win.
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