Hampden Head to Head Points to Tight Tussle

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Today's clash at Hampden could go a long way to deciding who finishes second in Group F while Bulgaria will be expecting to close up in Group C.

Israel star Eran Zahavi

England are not expected to encounter any problems in seeing off minnows Andorra in World Cup qualifying but elsewhere in the European zone there are a number of crucial matches which will go a long way to determining those who are in the reckoning to reach Qatar next winter.

Hampden Park will be packed to the rafters to cheer on Scotland when they face old foes Israel in what seems certain to be a tight tussle between two countries who know each other inside out.

This will be the fifth meeting between the teams in 13 months and every one of the four so far have been closely fought affairs. The draw looks well worth a bet at 49/20 on the evidence of what we have seen between the teams previously.

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Three of the four meetings since September 2020 have finished level after 90 minutes and none of the quartet produced more than two goals. In total those four games have featured a total of five goals with a 1-0 Israel win the only time the teams have been separated.

Israel have a potent forward line of Manor Saloman and Eran Zahavi that will see the visitors carry a decent threat but Scotland have kept seven clean sheets in their last 12 World Cup qualifiers.

Back Bulgaria for Road Win

Lithuania have lost their last nine matches and it could be the imperfect ten when they host a Bulgarian side that have just started to pick up after a woeful time in the doldrums.

A 1-1 draw with European champions Italy seemed to kick-start the Bulgarians, who have since beaten Lithuania 1-0 and then landed an impressive 4-1 success over Georgia.

That marks a good start in the job for relatively new boss Yasen Petrov and Lithuania really are in a bad place these days.

Bulgaria are a tasty bet at 1/1 for a game they will expect to win.

Go For Goals in Sweden

At 5/6 there looks to be a good value bet to be had by backing over 2.5 goals when Sweden entertain Kosovo.

Minnows Kosovo like to attack and have scored in 11 of their last 13 matches, although one of those two exceptions did come in a 3-0 loss to Sweden but that is the beauty of this over 2.5 bet because defensively the visitors are shaky.

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All of their bigger hitters do their best work in the final third, including Norwich’s Milot Rashica and Bersant Celina, while Lazio forward Vedat Muriqi gives Kosovo a physical presence as the focal point of the attack.

Sweden used to be seen as a boring side, however, that no longer rings true and four of their last five matches all went over 2.5 goals.

Alexander Isak of Real Sociedad and Juventus’s Dejan Kulusevski are young guns looking to impress as they attempt to carry the goal threat in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Emil Forsberg is another capable goalscorer in midfield and Sweden should bounce back from the shock of losing to Greece last time out.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Mark is the Racing Post’s football betting expert and he is also a regular pundit on talkSPORT and the Guardian’s Football Weekly.

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