Several of Europe’s top teams are in action on Friday, March 25, as they bid to further their chances of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, while the USA are also in action against Honduras in a must-win game. There is plenty of value to be had, and here we preview the most intriguing games.
Switzerland is top of a tough group that also features European champions Portugal after winning their first four games to leave them on a perfect 12 points out of 12. They beat Portugal 2-0 in the opening game, which sent the Euro 2016 winners crashing back down to Earth. Schalke's Breel Embolo and Bayern Leverkusen's Admir Mehmedi struck for the Swiss inside the opening half-hour and Portugal had no response, and Switzerland even survived Granit Xhaka’s red card to win the game. They have since beaten Hungary, Andorra and the Faroe Islands and are really flying in this group. They should have little trouble beating a very limited Latvia side, which has lost is last three games by at least two goals. The odds on Switzerland are understandably low – 1.15 – but you can get plenty more value by going Switzerland -2 Asian handicap, which is 1.85 with Winner.Belgium v Greece
Belgium, one of the world’s highest-ranked teams, face a dogged Greece side in Brussels as they bid to maintain their 100% start to World Cup qualifying. They have won four of four, including an 8-1 drubbing of Estonia last time out, but Greece has emerged as the closest contender, and are just two points behind after winning three and drawing with Bosnia & Herzegovina, an excellent result. Greece has won their last four games on the road, but they have not come up against such a talented team. Belgium’s starting lineup boasts the league’s most in-form striker, attacking midfielder, goalkeeper and defensive partnership in Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Toby Alderweireld-Jan Vertonghen, and the rest of the side is brimming with outrageous talent. Belgium should win this one to move five points clear of their Greek rivals, but Greece may well score as they have scored in six of their last seven and they are dangerous. Belgium to win and both teams to score looks interesting at 3.60 with Bwin and around the +240 mark with most other sportsbooks.
Luxembourg v France
Euro 2016 runners-up France also have a tricky group, with the Netherlands and Sweden breathing down their necks, but they top it with three wins and a draw. The tiny landlocked city-state should not provide too many problems for them. Luxembourg has taken just one point from four games. They are ranked 135th in the world. France is sixth. Luxembourg does not boast a single player of recognition. France can call on the likes of Paul Pogba, the world’s most expensive footballer, and Antoine Griezmann, the Atletico Madrid forward tipped to command a transfer fee this summer that surpasses Pogba’s record breaking one. France, therefore, are understandably as low as -1400 to win this one. Luxembourg has scored just two goals in their last six games and France is strong defensively, so you would fancy them to win to nil. That is only 1.44, so if you want a bit more value you could divide your stake in three and back France 2-0 at 6.50, France 3-0 at 5.75 and France 4-0 at 7.00, all with Bet Victor. Griezmann to score at any time also looks interesting at 1.53 with SkyBook.
USA v Honduras
This is a really important game for the USA as they are the bottom of the World Cup qualifying group, having lost both their opening games. The 4-0 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica cost Jurgen Klinsmann his job, to be replaced by the USA’s most successful manager of all time. Bruce Arena’s return should galvanize the team and they are highly likely to beat Honduras. These teams have met 12 times since 2001, with the USA winning 10 of them. The USA should prove too strong in the middle of the park and they can get their qualification bid back on track with a win here. USA -1 Asian handicap looks good at 1.80 with William Hill.