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5 Handicap Bets for Saturday's Internationals - 09/10/21

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Andorra vs England: England (-4)

Despite losing their 100% record in World Cup qualifying late on against Poland in their last fixture, England are almost guaranteed to return to winning ways when they travel south to face minnows Andorra on Saturday night.

With the international fixture pile-up now sorted, the number of matches in a window is now back to two again, after consecutive triple-headers, meaning Gareth Southgate does not need to worry as much about squad rotation as he did in September. He made 11 changes for their tie with Andorra last month and they still ran out comfortable 4-0 winners. The likelihood is Southgate may name a stronger lineup for the reverse tie here, but the priority will be placed on the following match with Hungary.

Even a second-string England side will have no problems seeing off Andorra comfortably, though. The minnows have regularly conceded heavy figures of late, including seven to Portugal, five to Latvia, and four to an Irish side who barely ever find the net. In their five meetings with England, they are trailing by an aggregate score of 20-0, and England have shown themselves to be a formidable force in attack under Southgate when playing against weaker countries.

Moldova vs Denmark: Denmark (-3)

The undisputed best team in World Cup qualifying, Denmark, continue their surge towards Qatar with a trip to the Moldovan capital Chisinau, to face the side bottom of Group F, after winning six from six so far with six clean sheets.
The Danes have been formidable in 2021.

Their heroic run to the semi-finals of the Euros after the scenes surrounding Christian Eriksen was one of the most heartwarming stories in world football in recent history, but either side of that has been their stunning record in qualifying for Qatar 2022. Maximum points from six games, 22 scored and zero conceded in a group containing two sides which featured in the Euros, plus a free-scoring Israel, is very impressive.

Moldova have already felt the full force of this Danish machine, going down 8-0 to Kasper Hjulmand’s side in March, and they have lost their four subsequent qualifiers too, conceding another nine goals. If Denmark are in the mood, they could inflict more misery here, having put five past Israel in their last encounter and four past Wales, Russia and Austria this year.

Poland vs San Marino: Poland (-5)

As their two nearest rivals for qualification, Albania and Hungary, face each other on Saturday, Poland have the relatively straightforward task of facing San Marino on home turf at the same time in Warsaw.

Poland’s injury-time equaliser against England last time out could end up being vital to securing their place in the playoffs, especially considering they have the kindest set of fixtures remaining out of all the sides vying for second place in Group I. They are also the top scorers in the group, outscoring England by one goal so far, with 19 in six games.

That tally was helped massively by their 7-1 win in Serravalle against their next opponents last month. Robert Lewandowski did the business in the first half with two goals before being subbed, while his replacement off the bench, Adam Buksa, scored a 25-minute hat-trick. That result fitted the mould of San Marino’s results so far this year. Nine matches, nine losses, 36 conceded. In their last four meetings with the Poles, they have let in a remarkable 27, too.

Sweden vs Kosovo: Sweden (-2)

With Spain in Nations League action this month, Sweden will catch up on their two games in hand, knowing wins in both will see them go top of the group, and the first of those matches sees them welcome Kosovo to the Friends Arena in Solna.

A defeat in Greece undone all the good work their win at home to Spain did in a matter of days last month, but the Swedes’ fate is still in their own hands, and their run of seven consecutive wins at home puts them as strong favourites against Kosovo. Their first defeat in 90 minutes this year may have been a shock to the system, but if they can produce performances like the one against Spain again, they will win the group.

It has been yet another very difficult draw for Kosovo, but they have held their own well at times, except for the reverse fixture with Sweden, when they were battered from start to finish, losing 3-0 on home turf. Losing both matches to Spain has ended any outside hopes of a playoff place now, so pride is essentially all they are playing for.

Kazakhstan vs Bosnia-Herzegovina: Kazakhstan (+1)

After scoring two last-gasp goals to secure two draws over Ukraine and Bosnia-Herzegovina last month, Kazakhstan now welcome the Bosnians to Astana in an incredibly tight group which sees the four sides below leaders France separated by just two points.

Neither nation has been recording many wins of late, both have won just once since 2019, but Kazakhstan have come up with some impressive draws recently, including two against Ukraine, one away in Bosnia and one away in Montenegro, and another one here will keep them in contention with the other two challengers in the group facing each other as well.

Bosnia’s lack of wins have been greeted much less enthusiastically. Their sole win in their last 16 internationals was a friendly win over Kuwait last month in front of a virtually empty stadium in Sarajevo, not because of restrictions, but because the supporters have had enough. Three days later, they conceded a 95th-minute leveller to the Kazakhs in front of a very displeased home support.