Criticise the qualification format for Euro 2016 all you like, but the first round of games offered plenty in the way of shocks that could keep punters on their toes ahead of this week’s set of fixtures.
Scotland gave Germany a run for their money, while Wales left it late to beat Andorra and Holland suffered a horror show against the Czech Republic.
Iceland upset the odds to beat Turkey while Portugal were defeated 1-0 on their own patch by Albania. With that in mind, we at News.Ladbrokes have put our heads together to pick out five games that could produce yet more upsets.
La Roja may have raised their game to see off Macedonia 5-1 in Valencia but Slovakia also showed they were no slouches with a fine 1-0 victory away at Ukraine last time out.
Now back on home soil, the Slovakians will hope to imitate the likes of Holland, Chile and France by beating Spain and with the likes of Martin Skrtel and Marek Hamsik to call on, don’t rule out a narrow victory for the outsiders.
The Bulgarians dug deep to beat an underrated Azerbaijan side on the road last time out but could benefit from the backing of the Sofia support when Croatia come calling this week.
Robert Kovac oversaw a 2-0 win over Malta but should be concerned by some dodgy away form that has seen the Croats win one of their last five games played on the road – not including the World Cup.
While Chris Coleman’s charges struggled to break down Andorra in their 2-1 win , far worse things were happening in Bosnia, where the hosts slipped up to a 2-1 defeat against Cyprus.
That result, coupled with the presence of Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, should give Wales some confidence going into this Cardiff meeting.
The Danes endured something of a scare last time out at home against Armenia, coming from behind to win late on but the Scandinavians may not be so lucky when they travel to Albania.
Fresh from arguably the greatest result in their nation’s history – a 1-0 win away in Portugal – Albania will be brimming with confidence and look among the best bets to deliver a win for the outsiders on Saturday.
Joachim Loew’s team were given the fright of their lives at home to Scotland in the first round of fixtures and the World Cup hangover could continue when they visit local rivals Poland.
The Poles looked good in their 7-0 away win over Gibraltar and will be fired up for the visit of a Die Mannschaft outfit that snatched a last-gasp draw on their previous visit to the region.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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