Soccer Wagering Articles

World Cup Qualifying: European Zone

For many, soccer’s World Cup is the finest sporting event on the planet. But getting there is no mean feat for the countries involved. In the European Zone, a brutal 15-month qualifying round will reduce 52 countries to thirteen. As the host nation, Germany automatically
qualifies. Each team will play between ten and fifteen matches, with several games coming in pairs only four days apart. This provides several opportunities for the astute handicapper, as bad lines and heavily bet public teams are commonplace. By taking a closer look at the
eight European qualifying groups, we can separate the wheat from the chaff:

Group 1 (Finland, Romania, Netherlands, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Czech Republic, Andorra, Armenia):
The Finns are off to an excellent start and have a chance of stealing a second-place spot. But with the Czechs, Romanians and Dutch involved, this is arguably the toughest group of the lot. The Macedonians are a sturdy home side and will frustrate the top teams in this group, but qualification will remain a distant dream for them.

Group 2 (Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Denmark, Albania, Greece, Kazakhstan): The Danes will have an exceedingly difficult time in a group full of eastern teams. All of them, bar Kazakhstan, are capable of holding Denmark to at least a draw on their home grounds. Euro 2004 champions
Greece will be unable to cope with such a tough group. Ukraine have a great chance of representing their country in 2006. Albania and Georgia will play spoiler.

Group 3 (Slovakia, Portugal, Estonia, Russia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg): This is the weakest group, but Slovakia are a big surprise at the top with an impressive 3-0-1 start. They would be bitterly disappointed not to pick a qualifying spot. Expect Portugal to finish in the top two, with Euro 2004 participants Russia and Latvia missing the cut.

Group 4 (Switzerland, Republic of Ireland, France, Israel, Cyprus, Faroe Islands): Here is another mediocre and wide-open group. France should get through, but they are a shadow of their former selves. Don’t be surprised if
Switzerland or Ireland finish tops. They both have the quality to take advantage of a French team in crisis.

Group 5 (Slovenia, Italy, Belarus, Norway, Scotland, Moldova): The Slovenes have an excellent chance of taking second place in this group. They’ve already beaten Italy and have enough talent to see off their weaker group opponents. Norway, Belarus and Scotland will only
cancel each other out. Expect the Scots to be let down again.

Group 6 (England, Poland, Austria, Wales, Azerbaijan, Northern Ireland): England were blessed with the most favourable draw of the qualifying round. Poland will be a minor irritant, but Austria, Azerbaijan and the other two British countries have no serious hope of progressing. Under the circumstances, England have no excuse not to dominate this group.

Group 7 (Lithuania, Serbia and Montenegro, Spain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium, San Marino): This is undoubtedly a second-rate group and Spain should win it with ease. The Serbs will be disappointed with anything less than second-place, but the Belgians won’t make it easy for them. The two Balkan sides are always tough on visiting teams, and Spain will be no exception.

Group 8 (Croatia, Sweden, Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, Malta): Here is another second-rate, but difficult and wide-open group. The Croats, Swedes and Bulgarians will be desperate to qualify, but at least one of them will be disappointed. Finishing in top spot will require a near-perfect performance, and Hungary and Iceland are both capable of playing spoiler. Look for Croatia to progress at Sweden’s expense.

Other Articles About Soccer Betting:

» Soccer Wagering: Point Spread or Money Line?
» UEFA Champions League Prediction: Group Stage
» World Cup Qualifiers 2006: European Zone
» Carling Cup Prediction: Second Round Preview
» Italian Soccer Prediction: Serie A Preview 2004/2005
» French Soccer Prediction: Singing Les Bleus
» Spanish Soccer Prediction: Primera Liga Preview 2004
» German Soccer Prediction: Bundesliga Preview 2004
» English Premier League Prediction 2004/2005
» Olympics Soccer: Redemption Time
» Copa America Prediction: Samba or Last Tango in Peru?
» Asian Cup Prediction: Here We Go Again
» Copa America Betting: At the Copa...
» Betting Euro 2004: The Final Four
» Euro 2004 Gambling: Propaholics and Rooney-Mania
» Euro 2004 Predictions: Handicapping Secrets Revealed
» Euro 2004 Tips: Props - Part 1
» Euro 2004 Bets: Props - Part 2
» International Friendlies: How to Cash In
» Road Dogs and Big Profits: How to Find Both
» Uefa Champions League Betting Tips: The Final Four
» Man Utd v Arsenal Prediction: Clash of the Titans
» Premiership Predictions: EPL Roundup
» UK Bookmakers: Where the Action Is
» Legal Betting: A Gambler's Paradise
» Cup Competitions: Where the Money is
» Profit from Home Field Advantage

Home | Free Picks | Results | Articles | FAQ | Links | Contact | Live Scores | Odds | Matchups | Stats | Subscribe

2004 (c) Copyright Sports Investments Ltd. All rights reserved. Read Legal Policy and Privacy Policy