Austria v Republic of Ireland Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Saturday 12th November by @tashason21

Austria v Republic of Ireland – Ernst-Happel-Stadion at 17:00 live on Sky Sports 1

My latest Asian Handicap betting preview focuses on Saturday’s World Cup qualifier between Austria and the Republic of Ireland.

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Austria

Austria came into Group D as one of the favourites to qualify, although their campaign isn’t going as expected.

The home side are already 3 points behind Ireland in the group table and although there is still a while to go, failure to beat Martin O’Neill’s men would put them at significant risk of not qualifying for the tournament.

Austria have only managed to obtain 4 points from their opening 3 games, with their only win coming against Georgia (2-1) back in September.

In their most recent World Cup qualifier, Austria suffered a disappointing 3-2 defeat against Serbia and as a result, dropped to 4th in the Group D table. Failure to get anything out of the game against Ireland could see Marcel Koller’s side drop even further down the table.

Austria’s other World Cup qualifier ended in a 2-2 draw against Wales.

There is no doubt that the home side shouldn’t be in the position they are in, in light of the quality of their squad. Koller has the likes of David Alaba, Dragovic, Mark Janko and Arnautovic at his disposal and so surely it’s only a matter of time before results start going their way.

 

Asian Handicap Betting Preview

Marcel Koller

Republic of Ireland

Compared to Austria, the Republic of Ireland will be very happy with how they’ve started their qualification campaign. Martin O’Neill’s side are joint top of Group D with Serbia.

In their most recent World Cup qualifier, Ireland beat Moldova 3-1 as a result of James McClean’s brace and Shane Long’s effort.

However, Shane Long will miss the match against Austria, along with James McCarthy and Stephen Ward, who all miss out through injury.

The Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in 4 games, although Austria are tougher opposition compared to most others they’ve faced of late.

In their other World Cup qualifying matches, Ireland have managed to pull off a 2-2 draw against Serbia and a 1-0 win over Georgia.

Ireland also have some decent players in their squad, such as Harry Arter, Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady and therefore Austria should have a tough game on their hands.

A win for the away side could extend the gap at the top of Group D to 6 points and put them in a great position to qualify for the tournament.

Conclusion

To conclude, this game should be one of the most entertaining qualifiers we’ll see this weekend and I am expecting both teams to fight for the win. I think this will be a tight affair which could well end in a draw and therefore I recommended backing the Republic of Ireland +0.5 at 1.92 which looks value, considering the form they’ve been in of late.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Republic of Ireland +0.5 at 1.92 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @tashason21

 

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Belgium v Bosnia Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Friday 7th October By @J_RKeith

Belgium v Bosnia – Stade Roi Baudouin at 19:45 live on Sky Sports 5

We’re entering the World Cup qualifiers this week and to be honest, it is not a welcoming site for all football fans. It’s a time when the week drags on, yet in this Asian Handicap betting preview I will still be aiming to provide profit as Belgium host Bosnia at the Stade Roi Baudouin.

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Belgium

Belgium took a completely different direction after their Euro 2016 woes, hiring Roberto Martinez as manager and Thierry Henry as his assistant. No really, you couldn’t write it. Things haven’t exactly kicked off yet with the Belgians losing a friendly against Spain before winning their opening qualifier 3-0 away to Cyprus; Romelu Lukaku grabbing a brace.

From the current squad, you would be looking for the familiar faces in Lukaku, Alex Witsel and Radja Nainggolan to turn up. However, there is still doubt about captain Eden Hazard in my books. Yes he plays better for his country than for Chelsea, but this season he has been below average and still gets a call-up. We can say he is their best player, but is he not in the same boat as a certain Wayne Rooney?

Furthermore, I don’t really see Belgium getting a proper test until November when they face the Netherlands. Even that isn’t a test because it is a friendly, as their next couple of games consist of Bosnia and Gibraltar.

What I do expect from this match though is a Belgium side hungry to set the critics wrong, as they will want to keep up their unbeaten six game run at home in World Cup qualifiers. It will be intriguing to see how Martinez and Henry set-up their game plan with all this talent at their disposal. However, I’d say the biggest miss for them is the injured Kevin De Bruyne.

 

Asian Handicap Betting

Romelu Lukaku

Bosnia

With Bosnia I cannot say much about them. For me, they have always been that nation I expect good things from with the players they have. However, they never seem to get out of the starting blocks, especially when I watched them in the 2012 World Cup.

On the other hand, they got their qualifying campaign off to a solid start by beating Estonia 5-0; Emir Spahic grabbing a brace at the Stadion Bilino Polje.

The reason I keep thinking Bosnia will qualify for something is due to the players they have, this includes Asmir Begovic, Miralem Pjanic and striker Edin Dzeko. All these footballers are playing for prestigious clubs and there has to be a way they can pass that onto international football.

However, considering they have only won three of their last five matches in all competitions on the road, Mehmed Bazdarevic’s side remain unbeaten in their last five away games in World Cup qualifying. Furthermore, looking at their group, you would have to back them grabbing second place unless Greece have something to say about it.

One concern I have is the formation the visitors have been using – a classic 4-4-2. Now with Belgium, they start with a 4-2-3-1 and straight away there will be gaps in the middle of the park, especially if they have Pjanic in the middle considering he is a more attacking minded midfielder. Something they may need to think about.

 

Conclusion

These two nations have met on six previous occasions and it has been a bit of a hit and miss in recent years. The last time this fixture was played in Belgium, the hosts won 3-1 in 2015; De Bruyne playing his part with a goal and an assist. Yet, it is Bosnia holding three wins to Belgium’s two having only lost once to Martinez’s team since 2005.

I’m going to have to back Belgium for this one. I wasn’t too sure with Belgium missing De Bruyne, but then one look at their attacking line-up and there is no doubt I can see them scoring over two goals against this Bosnia team.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Belgium -1.25 @ 2.02 @ Bet365

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @J_RKeith.

 

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Malta v Scotland Asian Handicap Betting Preview – Sunday 4th September by @tashason21

Malta v Scotland – Ta’Qali National Stadium at 19:45 live on Sky Sports 1

On Sunday evening Malta take on Scotland as both teams kick-off their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

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Malta have never qualified for a World Cup or European Championship and tend to struggle in competitive fixtures.

June 2013 was the last time Malta won a competitive game, beating Armenia 1-0 away from home, with the single goal being scored by Mifsud.

You have to go back even further when searching for Malta’s last home competitive victory and that came against Hungary in 2006, as Schembri scored a brace in a 2-1 victory for the home side.

It seems that Malta aren’t the best at finding the net either and only managed to score 3 goals in their 10 qualifying games in the build up to Euro 2016.

With only 2 wins in their last 20 games across all competitions (3-2 friendly victory against Faroe Islands and a 2-0 friendly win over Lithuania), it is likely that the home side are going to struggle against Scotland, who only narrowly missed out on qualification for Euro 2016.

Gordon Strachan’s side just missed out on qualification for Euro 2016 and were the only home nation not to take part in the competition.

 

Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan

 

Scotland would have been kicking themselves after their 1-0 defeat to Georgia ultimately sealed their fate, a game which they needed to and were expected to win in order to grab a spot in the tournament.

Strachan’s men tend to struggle away from home and only won 1 of their 5 away matches in Euro 2016 qualifying and that was against Gibraltar in what became a 6-0 thrashing.

The Scots have found it difficult to qualify for the big tournaments in recent years, with their last World Cup being back in 1998 when they were eliminated at the group stages.

On this occasion however, despite being away from home I think Scotland will comfortably get the win over Malta, whose squad hasn’t strengthened much in recent years and they’ve suffered as a result. Malta seem to find it difficult to get a victory in competitive fixtures and taking into account that Scotland were unlucky to miss out on the Euros, I think the away side pose a greater threat.

My prediction is that Scotland will win this match 2-0, with my recommendation being to back the Scots -1.25 on the Asian Handicap betting market at 2.02 which looks value.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Scotland -1.25 @ 2.02 with Unibet 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @tashason21.

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