World Cup qualifying latest odds, news and free bets: Fri 12 October

There are a stack of World Cup 2014 qualifiers taking place on Friday, with England in action against San Marino, while there’s also a home international in the form of Wales v Scotland

The loser of the match in Cardiff can effectively wave goodbye to any hopes of making the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil although both teams are already up against it after disappointing results a month ago.

The Republic of Ireland face the toughest possible opponents in Germany, while there are also quality matches taking place such as Russia’s early match against Portugal.

England v San Marino 20:00
Quite a handy fixture for England to have ahead of Tuesday’s far trickier match away to Poland, with Roy Hodgson able to effectively treat this match as a friendly, such is the poor quality of the opposition.

It’s not a question of whether the Three Lions will beat these European minnows but more how many goals they will manage over the ninety minutes and previous San Marino results suggest we could see anywhere between four and nine goals scored by the home side.

England are no bigger than 1/100 to win the match although Paddy Power offer 1/6 about them winning to nil and that might make some appeal to those with a decent-size bankroll. A sell-out crowd of 90,000 people will be at Wembley and Hodgson will expect his team to avoid conceding.

It’s likely that Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole will be left out of the starting line-up for different reasons, with the former duo carrying knocks while the Chelsea defender has been charged by the FA for making an offensive tweet.

This means Wayne Rooney will lead his team into battle and there is a best price 9/4 (Coral bookmaker) about the Manchester United forward opening the scoring. The First Goalscorer market is likely to be settled fairly quickly, although some will feel it might be worth punting on the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (8/1) or even Leighton Baines (14/1) to break the deadlock.

The correct score market will also be popular and the fact that San Marino were trounced 6-0 at home to Montenegro in September suggests that a rugby score could be on the cards at Wembley. The England team selected will want to put on a show and a 6-0 triumph is available at 13/2 (BetVictor bookmaker), with a 7-0 winning scoreline an 8/1 chance.

Wales v Scotland 19:45
Wales sit at the bottom of Group A after defeats against Belgium and Serbia in September, with Chris Coleman needing to turn things round quickly if his team are to challenge for a place in the 2014 World Cup finals.

It’s a task that could well prove beyond the Welsh although there’s an ideal chance to pick up their first group victory in a home international against a Scotland side that could only muster home draws against Serbia and Macedonia.

Wales are available at 15/8 (Blue Square free bets) and they actually played quite well against the Belgians at the Cardiff City Stadium before Vincent Kompany found a way through and that was after James Collins had been sent off for a reckless challenge.

Where there’s a Gareth Bale, there’s always a chance of winning the match and Craig Levein’s side will be giving the Tottenham midfielder some special attention. Bale will be playing in a typically advanced position and bet365 offer 17/2 about the player scoring first.

The bookies seem to regard Scotland as a stronger team and they are now a best price 17/10 to claim a maximum haul and get themselves back into contention after a slow start. Craig Levein was criticised after underwhelming and negative performances at Hampden Park, although a win can change everyone’s view.

Steven Fletcher has returned to the international fold and the Sunderland forward might provide the ideal fillip for his team, especially as they struggled to break down the Serbian and Macedonian defences. Stan James go 13/2 about the front man sending Scotland on their way.

Republic of Ireland v Germany 19:45
Both of these teams made it to the Euro 2012 finals, although one of them bombed out at the group stage while the other made it to the semis of the competition before being beaten by Italy.

The Republic of Ireland were roundly criticised for their performances in Poland, although Giovanni Trapattoni hasn’t exactly made wholesale changes to the squad and many of the same old faces remain to challenge for another qualification berth.

BetVictor offer odds of 8/1 about the boys in green winning at the Aviva Stadium, which is a remarkable price considering they are at home, although a recent 2-1 win in Kazakhstan was only achieved thanks to two late goals, otherwise humiliation would have been the case.

Robbie Keane is facing a struggle to be fit for this crunch encounter and that could mean the in-form Shane Long comes into the team unless Trap prefers Kevin Doyle in a forward position.

As for Germany, they failed to achieve their ultimate aim of winning Euro 2012 although this is a talented team packed with world-class players such as Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Phillip Lahm.

It is the reason why the visitors are a 4/9 chance and Joachim Low’s team tend to excel in qualification for major tournaments, with Arsenal supporters able to watch Lukas Podolski in action after his decent start for the Gunners this season.


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