International Friendly Betting: Wednesday Tips


Russia 1.75, the draw 3.40, USA 4.60 (15:00 kick-off)

This meeting in Krasnodar features two of international football's form teams: Russia have won four on the trot, while the USA have lost just two of their last 14 matches. With that balanced record in mind, the odds available on the Russia win look a bit skinny, especially when you consider that recent wins have come against fairly modest opposition (Northern Ireland, Israel, Azerbaijan). The USA should provide stiffer opposition, even on Russian soil.

USA draw no bet looks eminently backable at 3.35, but a safer choice would be to back under 2.5 goals at 1.72. Four of Russia's five games since Euro 2012 have gone low, as have two of the USA's recent matches against testing opposition (they beat both Mexico and Jamaica 1-0).

Alexandr Kerzakhov looks a good bet in the goalscorer market, having racked up six in his last eight games for club and country. He may have had a torrid time in Poland and the Ukraine during the summer (So. Many. Shots.) but he's still worth a pick at 2.70 to score.

Score prediction: Russia 1-1 USA (6.75)


Netherlands 2.50, the draw 3.30, Germany 2.60
(19:30 kick-off)

One of football's great rivalries resumes at the Amsterdam ArenA, where the Netherlands will be hoping for an Oranje Wednesday (I'm so, so sorry) against Germany. Robin van Persie's withdrawal from a squad would normally lead to a lack of firepower, but there's no danger as far as this match is concerned: both teams' last five matches have produced an average of over four goals a game.

Germany will still be rocking in the wake of Sweden's barely-believable four-goal comeback last month, so a reaction can be expected here. Germany draw no bet at 1.88 is tempting, as is the 3.25 available on Jogi Low's side to be leading at half-time; this bet would have won you money in their last four matches.

Liverpool target Klaas-Jan Huntelaar looks a shoe-in to score against a fragile German defence (2.55), and it might even be worth backing him to score two or more at 8.00. For the visitors, Lukas Podolski (3.20) has been in good form for his club of late.

Score prediction: Netherlands 2-3 Germany (24.00)


Republic of Ireland 2.50, the draw 3.20, Greece 2.65
(19:45 kick-off)

Going by the reputation of these two sides alone, this looks like a snoozefest. Greece, who have prided themselves on grinding out results against more technically gifted sides in recent years, pitch up in Ireland to face the Boys in Green, who managed just a single goal in a dire Euro 2012 campaign.

Often, though, our expectations come a cropper in these games, and more recent stats suggest that both sides are coming out of their shells somewhat. There have been 20 goals in the last four Republic of Ireland matches, while Greece's last friendly produced a five-goal thriller in Norway. Both teams to score is available at 2.00, while over 2.5 goals is an appealing 2.30.

Much of the Republic's threat comes through dead balls, so small-stake punts on centre-backs Darren O'Dea (who scored against the Faroe Islands last month) and John O'Shea could pay off. The pair are at 17.00 and 20.00 respectively to find the net. For Greece, Giorgos Samaras looks the best value at 3.35 anytime.

Score prediction: Republic of Ireland 2-1 Greece (11.00)


Poland 2.55, the draw 3.20, Uruguay 2.55
(19:45 kick-off)

The Uruguay side that impressed in the 2010 World Cup and romped to victory at the 2011 Copa America is now but a distant memory; La Celeste have lost three of their last four and are in serious danger of missing out on Brazil 2014. Poland, meanwhile, have recovered from a slightly disappointing Euro 2012 campaign with a series of solid results.

With the visitors having scored just twice in five matches and Poland hardly renowned for their attacking prowess, the unders looks a good starting point for your betting: under 2.5 goals is at 1.62. The draw is well priced and worth your consideration, as is draw/draw HT/FT at 4.70.

Luis Suarez would be the smart bet in the goalscorer market (3.40 anytime), providing he doesn't go down with a case of internationalweekitis. Robert Lewandowski is the focal point for Poland, and is at 6.75 to notch first.

Score prediction: Poland 1-1 Uruguay (6.25)


Italy 2.25, the draw 3.20, France 3.05
(19:50 kick-off)

A fixture that has produced some of the most absorbing international matches of the last 15 years (the Euro 2000 and World Cup 2006 finals), Italy vs France is rarely anything less than essential. The latest edition sees the in-form Azzuri host a France side whose confidence has wavered slightly since a poor showing at Euro 2012.

Goalscoring has been a problem for Les Bleus, who have only once managed more than two goals in a match since June. The form of Olivier Giroud at Arsenal should provide a pick-me-up, though: the former Montpellier man will test the Italy defence and, in Karim Benzema's absence, looks good value at 4.00 to score.

Italy's reputation as defensive marvels has been on the wane in recent years, and Cesare Prandelli's side has not bucked the trend: Italy have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven games. Back both teams to score at 2.05 and consider over 2.5 goals at 2.40. Italy should just have enough about them to win this game in Parma, but the odds on the draw make that a tempting pick as well.

Score prediction: Italy 2-1 France (10.50)


Brazil 1.60, the draw 3.60, Colombia 5.75
(00:30 kick-off)

Brazil hope to celebrate what is by their reckoning their 1000th international game in style in... er... New Jersey. The Canarinho have been buoyed by the recent friendly wins over Iraq and the Japan, but face a tougher challenge against Colombia, whose impressive recent run has included wins over Uruguay, Chile and Cameroon.

Radamel Falcao will, if selected, give Brazil's occasionally-shaky backline plenty to think about, and can be backed at 8.75 to open the scoring. The return of Kaká, coupled with the emergence of Oscar, appears to have restored an attacking verve to Brazil, meanwhile. The former is at 3.10 to find the net, while Oscar is good value at 2.90.

The odds in the outright market look fair, but better value can be found elsewhere. Brazil have been quick starters of late, meaning over 1.5 first half goals could be a good bet at 2.60. Both teams to score (1.70) and over 2.5 goals (1.72) are also good additions to your betting slip.

Score prediction: Brazil 3-1 Colombia (14.00)