Germany v Finland Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Wed 31st August By @J_RKeith

Germany v Finland – Stadion im Borussia-Park at 19:45 live on BT Sport 2

We’re taking a break from the club season to go into a few international friendlies and before the nations kick-off for their road to the 2018 World Cup, reigning champions Germany will host Finland at the Stadion im Borussia-Park on Wednesday night.

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Germany head into their latest competitive match following their defeat in Euro 2016 after crashing out 2-0 to hosts France in Marseille in the semi-finals, a match where they didn’t look their best and failed to make it two consecutive finals in major competitions.

On a positive note, Joachim Low has stated he will be staying on as Germany manager to help lead the nation to Russia and hopefully retain their World Cup.

After Euro 2016, we learned that Low didn’t have much trust in strikers, bringing one in Mario Gomez, and playing mostly Mario Gotze up top in a flexible formation with a lot of playmakers within the starting eleven. Yet again, he has repeated this method in the current squad, bringing in Kevin Volland as the only striker included to face Finland and Norway alongside Gotze. Furthermore uncapped Niklas Sule of 1899 Hoffenheim has been selected too.

Related news to the game is that Bastian Schweinsteiger will be playing his last match for Germany before he retires, a special night indeed as Low goes looking for a new German captain.

However, when it comes to friendlies, Germany have only won two of their last five and four of their last ten, while at home they have only won three of their last ten. On top of this, in their last five matches at Stadion im Borussia-Park they have only lost one.

 

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Bastian Schweinsteiger

Finland missed out on qualifying for the European Championships after finishing fourth in Group F, winning three of their 12 matches and finishing nine points off the pace. Manager Mixu Paatelainen will want a response from his team, having not won a match from their last eight.

It’s not a bright history for the Huuhkajat considering they have never qualified for a major tournament in their history, and you could say the only time they have been in a summer tournament was in the Olympics 30 years ago.

Not many familiar names among the squad either; Roman Eremenko being the most capped player in the 23-man team with 72 caps and Werder Bremen defender Niklas Moisander sitting as the nation’s captain.

Albin Granlund is the only player to be called up who remains uncapped, while they will be looking for goals from striker Teemu Pukki and midfielder Kasper Hamalainen who have scored a combined 16 goals in 101 matches.

This is only a warm-up for the Finns considering they will be playing Kosovo in their opening game of the qualifiers for a spot at the 2018 World Cup, being thrown into the same group as Croatia, Turkey, Ukraine and Iceland.
Meanwhile, form shows us that Paatelainen’s side have only won one match from their previous ten friendlies, but away from home it shows a better record having only lost four of their previous ten.

Finland have never beaten Germany in their history, but the last time these nations met was in 2009 and the match ended 1-1. In fact, the last four meetings have ended in draws.

Germany for the win in this game I think. They will want to make sure Schweinsteiger gets a good send-off and being at home I cannot see Finland really keeping out the World Champions out for long.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 3.25 goals @ 1.84 with 188Bet 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @J_RKeith.

 

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Sweden v Wales Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Sun 5th June By @J_RKeith

Sweden v Wales – Friends Arena at 15:00 live on Premier Sports

It’s the last International friendly before these two sides head to France for Euro 2016, as Sweden host Wales at the Friends Arena on Sunday.

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Sweden head into this friendly having only won one of their previous five, and four of their last ten in all competitions.
Erik Hamren’s last match ended in 0-0 at home to Slovenia on Monday. Sweden dominating possession, but missing a number of key players.

At home and the Scandinavian nation remain unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions, losing five of their last 20 in Sweden.

Hamren has chosen his 23-man squad for the European Championships and it includes captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic, midfielder Kim Kallstrom and goalkeeper Andreas Iskasson.

In terms of friendlies and Sweden have only won three of their last ten, while at home they remain unbeaten in their last four. On top of this, in their last five at home they have scored five and conceded four. They have gone on to beat the likes of Iran, Ivory Coast and Norway, but their last defeat came against Finland.

Sweden

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Wales, meanwhile, head into this fixture with a similar record having only won one match from their previous five in all competitions, having previously gone on a eight-game unbeaten run.

Chris Coleman’s last match ended in a 1-0 defeat away to Ukraine; Wales fielding a few familiar names in a friendly where the players got their chance to impress the manager.

Away from home and The Dragons have only won two of their last five, and four of their last ten. But considering they have lost two games in a row on the road, they have scored four and conceded three.

Coleman has named this 23-man squad already for the European Championships and it includes Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, as well as midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen.

When it comes to friendlies, Wales have only won two of their previous ten and six of their last 20. In fact, away from home and Coleman’s side have lost four friendlies on the bounce having only scored two and conceded seven in their last five.

These two nations have only met previously on two occasions, as the most recent encounter was in 2010 where Sweden won 1-0 with Johan Elmander scoring the winner. Furthermore, since 2000, Wales have travelled to Scandinavian countries five times in all competitions and have won three and lost two.

Much like many of the other friendlies which have taken place this week, don’t expect many goals. Both nations will want to see how their players do in the lead up to Euro 2016 so it’s best to go an unders, or back a draw.

Asian Handicap Recommendation: Under 2.25 goals @ 1.87 with 188Bet 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @J_RKeith

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Slovakia v Northern Ireland Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Sat 4th June By @J_RKeith

Slovakia v Northern Ireland – Štadión Antona Malatinského at 19:45 live on BBC Two NI

Northern Ireland head into their final warm-up game before they make the trip to France for the European Championships visiting England’s group rivals Slovakia at the Štadión Antona Malatinského on Saturday night.

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Slovakia go into this friendly unbeaten in their last seven matches, winning five and drawing two. While their last friendly ended in a 3-1 victory away to one of the tournament favourites Germany, Marek Hamsik getting on the score-sheet for the visitors at the WWK Arena.

Jan Kozak’s side at home are unbeaten in their last four matches, and have only lost four of their previous 20 at home in all competitions.
Repre’s last home fixture finished in a 3-1 victory against Georgia, Adam Nemec scoring a brace at the ASKO-Stadion Wels.

Kozak has chosen his 23 players to take to France in the summer, including Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, Napoli midfielder Hamsik and Jan Durica of Lokomotiv Moscow.

In terms of friendlies, Slovakia sit unbeaten in their last nine encounters and have only lost one of their previous 15 matches. On top of this they have only lost six of their previous 20 at home, and in their last five have scored ten and conceded four.

 

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Marek Hamsik

Northern Ireland, on the other hand, are in high spirits entering their first European Championship tournament, and head into this match unbeaten in their last 11 matches in all competitions.
Michael O’Neill’s last match finishing in a 3-0 victory at home against Belarus, Kyle Lafferty scoring his 17th goal for his country.

Away from home and the Green and White Army have only won one of their last five and three of their previous ten in all competitions.
O’Neill’s last trip on the road ending in a 1-1 draw against Wales, Craig Cathcart scoring the opener.

The Northern Ireland manager has already chosen his squad for the Euros, yet has to leave out Chris Brunt who is nursing an injury, while captain Steven Davis, Niall Quinn and Jonny Evans are all fit.

When it comes to friendlies, the away side are unbeaten in their last five and have only lost four of their previous ten. While on the road, Northern Ireland have not won in their last 14 matches, and in their last five have scored one and conceded five.

These two sides have only met twice before, yet Slovakia won both encounters, winning at home 2-1 in 2008, and away from home a year later 2-0.

Slovakia win all day for me, mainly because the Championships are around the corner and no one wants to get injured. But looking at the records of both nations, you would have to back Slovakia for the win in a tight match, or Northern Ireland at +0.5!

Asian Handicap Recommendation: Slovakia -0.5 @ 1.86 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @J_RKeith

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