International football latest odds, news and free bets: Wed 14 November

There are stacks of international friendly matches being played on Wednesday, with England travelling to Scandinavia to help open the new national stadium, while Scotland begin life without Craig Levein in charge

We have covered the Sweden v England match in greater detail here, although there are also matches involving Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Wales to enjoy, while Northern Ireland are involved in a World Cup 2014 qualifier.

Luxembourg v Scotland 19.15
Farewell to Craig Levein who was given his P45 by the SFA after Scotland lost their double header against Wales and Belgium, although no permanent replacement has been made and Billy Stark will take temporary charge of the team for this game at the Stade Josy Barthel.

The Scots are strong favourites at 4/6 (Blue Square free bets) to receive a confidence boost by claiming victory and you might think the players will be out to show they’re not a bad team despite being rooted to the foot of their World Cup qualifying group.

Stark has seen five midfielders – Stoke City’s Charlie Adam, West Brom’s James Morrison, Aston Villa’s Barry Bannan, Blackpool’s Matt Phillips and Wigan Athletic’s Shaun Maloney – all withdraw from the original squad although that means a chance for several fringe players to make their mark.

Luxembourg are also bottom of their qualifying group after taking just a point from their four games to date, although they recently led at home to Portugal before losing 2-1 and are probably overpriced at 5/1 (Sky Bet bookmaker) to claim victory against what is essentially a Scotland reserve team.

Kenny Miller and Jordan Rhodes might be paired together, with Stark getting a chance to see Leigh Griffiths of Hibernian in action, while Liam Kelly of Kilmarnock is another player who will hope to have a positive impact.

Republic of Ireland v Greece 19.45
The Republic went into Euro 2012 with optimism but were sent packing with their tails between their legs after three defeats at the group stage and a great deal of criticism was levelled at Giovanni Trapattoni.

The Italian veteran remains in charge of the Irish team until the FA can work out how to dislodge their handsomely-paid manager and perhaps the team are due to give the home supporters something to enjoy after a recent 6-1 humbling at the Aviva Stadium at the hands of Germany.

The Republic are 8/5 (William Hill free bets) to claim victory against the Greeks and they did recently win 4-1 at the Faroe Islands to demonstrate there is life in the old players yet, with Shane Long having been a late addition into the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Robbie Keane continues to be absent from the set-up although there aren’t too many other absentees apart from central defensive pairing Sean St Ledger and Richard Dunne, with Long available at 6/1 (bet365) to break the deadlock and he probably carries more of a threat than former Reading team-mate Kevin Doyle.

Greece were able to reach the quarter finals of Euro 2012 before losing an entertaining match against Germany and this is a team that are notoriously difficult to beat, with the team having started their World Cup campaign with three wins and a draw.

On the road, the Greeks have picked up wins at Slovakia and Latvia, with odds of 19/10 available that they win at the Aviva Stadium against an Ireland team that will look to make themselves difficult to beat. It points to a low-scoring affair and it is no surprise to see Under 2.5 Goals on offer at 8/13.

Netherland v Germany 19.30
Robin van Persie has withdrawn from the Dutch squad for the highlight friendly of Wednesday night and that means that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has further chance to stake his claim on the central striking role for a Netherlands team that disappointed at Euro 2012.

One of the team’s group opponents in the summer was Germany and they were roundly outplayed by Joachim Low’s team en route to a 2-1 defeat, although a new manager has since been installed with new ideas.

Louis van Gaal is an obvious choice to take charge of the Netherlands and his team are 6/4 (bet365) to win this match despite not having RVP and Wesley Sneijder available. The Dutch have started their World Cup qualifying campaign with four straight wins and the latest of these was a 4-1 triumph in Romania.

Germany are missing a number of notable players including Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Jerome Boateng, Miroslav Klose and Mesut Ozil. It will give Low a chance to play some fringe players although he will be keen to avoid defeat in what is always a hard-fought game and the visitors are a 15/8 chance to win the game.


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