Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 2nd February 2021
Wales v Croatia and Scotland v San Marino Previews
Wales v Croatia
Wales are back in Euro 2020 action on Sunday evening when taking on Croatia in what promises to be a thrilling contest from Group E. The home crowd are expected to be out in force as they attempt to sell out the venue and drive their team on to a famous and important win. There will be thousands more watching the live action on Sky Sports.
This game will top most viewing lists on Sunday and major online bookmakers give an added incentive to pay extra attention. You can spice up your viewing with a bet on one of the top football markets – such as the winner of this match, or you could play one of the many specials. There’s first goalscorer, total goals, handicap, half time/full time, winning margin and plenty more besides.
Many of the best pre-match markets remain live throughout the course of the 90 minutes on the in-play betting page. An interest is as exciting in the final few minutes as it was before kick-off. The odds and handicap lines updated to follow the flow of the match.
Wales Record Back to Back Wins
Wales recorded a useful win over Azerbaijan at home last month, the points achieved thanks to a 2-1 full-time score. Pashayev knocked the ball into his own net for an OG with 26 minutes on the clock to give Wales a hard-fought lead but Emreli threatened to spoil the party when scoring an equaliser with 58 on the clock. With the game heading towards an equal share of the points, we saw Gareth Bale step up to make the difference. The Real Madrid and former Tottenham man got the decider in the dying minutes, much to the delight of the home support.
That win kept Wales qualifying hopes alive and the team kept sharp with an educating and confidence-boosting friendly win over Belarus on 9 September. James broke the deadlock on 17 minutes and the majority of those in attendance expected that to be the beginning of a free-scoring outing. The game didn’t go to plan, but one goal was enough to see Wales pick up back-to-back wins. Manager Ryan Giggs declared himself delighted with the performance and he had every right to be.
It was always going to take Giggs a little time to get his Wales team firing but they finally appear to be heading in the right direction again. Despite their improved form, bookmakers have the locals written off to win this match. Punters checking out the pre-match betting at Betfair will find Wales available at 2/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook. That places them behind the 7/5 at the same firm about Croatia and 2/1 for the draw.
Scotland v San Marino
This match is expected to end in a comfortable win for the home side, but Scotland’s recent form had led to a large section of the Tartan Army deserting them as they stare down the barrel of missing out on yet another major tournament. Scotland hasn’t qualified for a World Cup or European Championship since France 1998 and that’s more than many can handle.
Scotland host San Marino at Hampden on Sunday evening from 7.45pm with the game played out live in front of the Sky Sports cameras. Bookmakers aim to make things a little more interesting by pricing up over 100 markets. These include match winner, both teams to score, total goals, first goalscorer and total cards. The in-play betting means there’s a reason to get involved at any stage of the 90 minutes. Get your cash down and profit from the play.
Clarke Has Had it Tough
On results alone, Steve Clarke has made a dreadful start to his reign as Scotland manager and there may be times he wished he had remained at Kilmarnock where he had things a little better. Looking beyond the bare results, however, and Clarke has had things tough, faced with Belgium twice and Russia. He did lead his new recruits to a decent home win over Cyprus and Scotland pushed a very good Russian side close at Hampden.
Bookmakers have priced Scotland like losing isn’t an option in this home match and that will come as little surprise to followers of football or, indeed, betting. Scotland may be out of form, but they should have enough about them to beat San Marino, even on their worse day. Clarke is sure to use this match as an excuse to give youth and fringe players a chance to showcase their talents. Having said that, you’d expect those usually on the bench and trying to force their way into the starting line up to be good enough to see off the minnows of San Marino. This looks more a case of how many Scotland win by, rather than then actually getting the points.
A quick flick through the match betting for this game shows Betfair are trading the home cheer at 1/80. That’s very tight indeed but it’s actually good value when compared to the 1/100 offered by most firms. The same firm has a draw marked up at 35/1. A good pay-out for backers but a woeful result for Scotland. Fancy San Marino to make history while sticking the boot into their hosts? The away win is unlikely at 80/1 with Betfair. A nice price but we don’t expect to see too much attention on that one