Another set of World Cup qualifiers turns what is normally a quiet Monday, into quite a busy one. But please remember that there are many dead rubbers. I have not researched these matches at all. Nothing to play for. That did not stop the favourites yesterday winning their dead rubbers. The must win matches are really competitive. Look at Wales v Ireland, and Ukraine v Croatia. A tough set of fixtures. If I am up and about at 19:45 I will tweet.
19:45 - Wales v Rep of Ireland - 2.42 Wales
- 2 consecutive 0-0s in head to heads albeit from 2013 and 2017. We saw with Scotland yesterday though that a forecast 0-0 can change when a result is needed and there is only one match in which to get said result.
- A draw will secure 2nd spot for Wales today. A win could potentially catapult the winner here into top spot, depending on what Serbia do.
- 4 clean sheets in 5 for Wales including a clean sheet in Ireland.
- The last 4 Wales matches have seen 2nd half goals in stark contrast to the first half goals of earlier qualifiers.
- 1-1, 1-1, 1-0 at home latest for Wales and remember a draw does just fine for 2nd.
- Ireland have been on a poor run of late. 3 draws (2 1-1 draws), a 0-1 loss to Serbia and a win v Moldova.
- Ireland require the win, as we know a draw suits Wales. Ireland have scored in all away matches so have that going for them.
- No Gareth Bale for Wales is a huge miss. Both sides are going for the win today so says the interviews at the BBC website, so I think we can dispense with the 0-0. We saw with Scotland yesterday that form is thrown out of the window when you have just one game to go for it.
- 2-1/1-2 are potential scorelines. We see 1-1 a lot with these 2 teams. I tend to back 2-1/1-2 scorelines and hope we see a 1-1 so we can trade out of both scorelines.
19:45 - Israel v Spain - 1.34 Spain
- Spain qualify first in their group with Italy in 2nd. This is a dead rubber. With such strength in depth we may see a second strong Spanish side.
19:45 - Albania v Italy - 1.64 Italy
- Italy are guaranteed 2nd spot so this is another dead rubber. Italy cannot reach top spot with a win.
19:45 - Finland v Turkey - 2.52 Turkey
- 2nd/3rd spot in Group I has 17 points. Turkey have 14 points but a vastly inferior goal difference which I suspect is used to select a clear cut 2nd spot if 2nd/3rd even 4th are tied on points.
- The market cannot split the teams, probably because this is effectively another dead rubber.
- 2 wins and a 1-1 for Finland now. 2-0 to Turkey the last time these 2 met in Turkey.
- 1-0-1-1 scored by Finland at home. Drawing 1-1 to Kosovo tells you everything about the poor ranking the Finns have.
- No draw in 7 for Turkey. 2 losses in 3 v Ukraine and Iceland ended their World Cup dream.
- Not a match which appeals at all. Strictly on form, Turkey should not lose but they have nothing to play for.
19:45 - Ukraine v Croatia - 2.56 Croatia
- The market cannot split these 2 teams. Winner takes all here. If Iceland lose or draw, a win for either of these 2 could clinch top spot on goal difference. An Icelandic loss and a win for any of these 2 seals automatic qualification.
- No draw in 7 for Ukraine saw them only lose to Croatia 1-0 and Iceland 2-0. So they are vulnerable to fellow top 3 teams.
- 1-0-1-0-1 scored by Croatia lately. They cannot find that 2nd goal and have paid the price with 1-0 away defeats to Turkey and Iceland and a dire 1-1 draw at home to Croatia which has them in this position now. That was a 90th minute Finnish goal and 3 points thrown away.
- Form thrown out of the window now for these 2 who must win. Too tough to call but on strict form, if Croatia cannot score a 2nd goal lately, they they are vulnerable if scoring first.
19:45 - Moldova v Austria - 1.47 Austria
- Group D is to be decided between Serbia, Ireland and Wales. This is another dead rubber.
19:45 - Iceland v Kosovo - 1.13 Iceland
- A win guarantees top spot for Iceland and if they could pick just one opponent to play from Group I, in this situation, it would be Kosovo.
- A 1-2 the last time these 2 met was not too impressive. Iceland required a penalty for the 2nd goal. But they were 0-2 up.
- Iceland are great at home. 4 consecutive wins scoring 3-2-1-2 goals. 3 consecutive clean sheets v teams far better than Kosovo.
- Kosovo have failed to score in their 3 aways and conceded Ted Rodgers (3-2-1-) in those 3 matches.
- 2-0 and 3-0 appeals to me today from the Icelanders.