October 10, 2018

UEFA Nations League Match Previews – 12th October

Croatia v England

England will be facing Croatia for the first time since their World Cup semi-final showdown in their first away cup tie for the UEFA Nations League. Goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic ruined England’s dream of attaining their first World Cup final since winning the competition in 1966. Life after World Cup transpired into a misfortune for England. In their first fixture in the Nations League, they took a 6-0 beating from Spain. Croatia and England have eight previous meetings prior to their face-off on Friday. In those eight meetings, England won half of those fixtures, while Croatia has three victories and one draw.

Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic are two of the most important players in the Croatian team. Both their skills and technical abilities will play a big part in determining the result of this fixture. On the other hand, Lewis Dunk was recently called up into England’s team to replace Burnley’s James Tarkowski.  A victory is necessary for both teams to advance into the final round of the competition. This match may turn out to be a thrilling one if these two teams decide to retaliate against each other.

The match between these two countries will surely be something you won’t want to miss, especially with the controversy surrounding Croatia. Their fixture will be played behind closed doors since a prohibition on fans attending is a part of a penalty given to Croatia after a swastika was manifested on the pitch before a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Italy back in June 2015. Croatia has not featured in any UEFA-approved home matches since then, aside from England being the first team to visit the World Cup runners-up in a UEFA fixture since the match against Bulgaria.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.50 goals at 1.650

Belgium v Switzerland

Belgium has been in a tremendous form lately. The World Cup semi-finalists will host Switzerland at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels. Switzerland also put up an impressive performance during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Belgium bagged a 2-1 victory when these two teams met in a scrimmage in 2016. It was their first head-to-head meeting after a long 27 years. Historic records show that these two share three victories and one draw from a total of seven previous meetings since the 1960s.

The recently transferred Xherdan Shaqiri is definitely one to watch out for Belgium’s Vincent Kompany and Marouane Fellaini. Apart from these two, Eden Hazard has also been on fire this season ever since his impressive performance during the 2018 World Cup. He has been making a name in the Premier League this season, scoring goals and securing victories for Chelsea FC. It will be worth noting that the Belgians won 10 of their previous 11 competitions and lost just one in their last 28 matches.

With ten wins and one loss in their last 11 and 28 matches, respectively, Belgium is sure to be unrelenting for this home match. Switzerland is definitely going to have a tormenting time at the King Baudouin Stadium. Eden Hazard, the prominent and newly elected captain of the Belgian national team is sure to carry on his outstanding performances, while Romeolu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois will be ravenous to prove themselves after recent stumbles for their clubs.

Don’t miss out on the heated duel between the two on Friday, October 12, at the King Baudouin Stadium, 19:45 (UTC/GMT).

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.660

Austria v Northern Ireland

The UEFA Nations League was a difficult journey for these two teams until now. The two underwent losses against Bosnia in their individual group stage openers. Austria was not able to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which has greatly affected the team’s confidence. Apart from this, Austria suffered a 1-0 defeat against Bosnia Herzegovina due to the 78th minute goal from Edin Dzeko. Austria has revelled in a sufficient control of the ball but was unsuccessful in utilizing the openings they made. Northern Ireland is ranked second in the group table but the Bosnians is still well ahead.

Northern Ireland was overthrown in a 1-2 home match against Bosnia during the opening fixture in the Nations League. A late goal from Will Grigg prevented the former from making a comeback. The last face-off between these two was way back in 2005 during a World Cup qualifying matches. Austria bagged a 2-0 home victory after an adrenaline-pumping 3-3 draw in an away match. On the other hand, Northern Ireland led the head-to-head meeting since 1982 with 4 victories as opposed to 2 defeats and 3 draws from nine overall matches. However, both teams were able to net four in their last five head-to-head meetings throughout the competitions, with only one of previous meetings in Austrian territory.

While Northern Ireland currently sits in the 28th place in the FIFA rankings, Austria has the advantage of playing in their home turf. The poor notching performance of Northern Ireland might make things worse especially while playing away from home. Goals might be hard to achieve for the Irish this Friday.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.50 at 1.720

*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

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