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World Cup betting guide: England, Republic and Wales can move clear with wins while Scotland struggle in Slovakia

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World Cup betting guide: England, Republic and Wales can move clear with wins while Scotland struggle in Slovakia

The first round of World Cup group games in Europe these past three days saw very few shocks as the favourites romped clear for expected victories.

Unfortunately for Scotland boss Gordon Strachan, his team could not harness the support of their home fans to put Lithuania to the sword which leaves them in an awkward Group F position.

England may not have looked convincing in their 2-0 home victory over minnows Malta, however they are sitting pretty with six points at the head of this tricky group.

Scotland do have four points banked already, nevertheless away games in Slovakia and England followed by a home tie against Slovenia forms a tough set of fixtures to ensure they remain in the race.

Scotland

They needed a late goal from sub James McArthur to snatch the point on Saturday with the Crystal Palace man good value for a starting spot for the trip.

If Strachan wants to get anything out of the game, he needs to switch up his attacking options too as prodigy Oliver Burke, Chris Martin, Robert Snodgrass and Matt Ritchie looked listless at times.

Leigh Griffiths and Steven Fletcher could find themselves given a starting spot, but Slovakia are pegged as 21/10 favourites for a reason so only a draw at 12/5 looks worth risking for fervent Scottish supporters.

Wales and Republic of Ireland are up first on Sunday as they attempt to get a jump on Group D rivals Serbia and Austria.

Scotland2

A draw looks likely in Belgrade at decent 27/11 value, so the two home nations have a great chance to propel themselves above them both.

Wales dug deep for the 2-2 draw in Austria, Chris Coleman’s team possessing a steely spine to add to Gareth Bale’s world class brain.

They are odds on to despatch Georgia, therefore look to the correct score markets for value in the Cardiff clash with 2-0 at 5/1 and 3-0 at 15/2 looking very attractive indeed.

Martin O’Neill takes his team to Chisinau in Moldova hunting down a win that would keep them level with Wales, should both triumph.

Follow @mattogborn on Twitter

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