With Euro 2016 officially behind us and domestic seasons started or about to start, national teams are also beginning their campaigns for a place for the 2018 World Cup, which will take place in Russia. This is for the first time in history when almost all countries participate, except for a select few which were banned for various reasons.
As always, one of the most interesting areas to follow will be the UEFA group qualifications. This time around, we have 9 groups of 6 teams each.
The first game we will analyze here is one counting for group C, between two teams we’ve also seen in Euro 2016 : the Czech Republic and Northern Ireland.
World Cup 2018 Qualifying: Betting Prediction, Odds & Tips
Czech Republic vs Northern Ireland – 4th September
Betting Odds: Czech Rep. 1.72 or 8/11 Draw 3.60 or 13/5 N. Ireland 4.75 or 15/4
The two teams will battle for the 2nd spot in the group alongside Norway and ahead of minnows Azerbaijan and San Marino, but are expected to finish behind current World Cup holders Germany.
The Czechs lack great individual talent in their team, as shown in Euro 2016. Rosicky also retired from the national team, leaving them with only one world-class player in the squad – goalkeeper Petr Cech.
They will rely on tradition, the force of their team and the strength of their debutants in order to finish second in this rather tough group.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland has one of their best generations so far, managing a surprising group exit at Euro 2016 and currently aiming high – for their first World Cup qualification in history.
They know this objective will be very hard to fulfill, but they want to take in one game at a time – starting with the clash against the Czech in Prague.
Czech Rep. vs Northern Ireland: Betting Prediction & Tips
We don’t necessarily back them to do very well, but we’re not very fond of the Czechs either. Since we don’t see any individuals capable of winnings games on their own and the fact that the teams don’t have a lot of chemistry, we can only predict two things: under 2,5 goals and higher possession from the home team. Good luck!
Total Goals – Under 2.5: 1.53 or 8/15