5 Handicap Tips for Tuesday's Internationals - 16/11/21

Holland vs Norway: Holland (-2)

Both Holland and Norway run the risk of being eliminated depending on the result in Rotterdam on Tuesday night, with the Dutch needing just a point, but Norway needing a win.

Saturday night saw both nations inexplicably drop points, with Norway drawing at home to Latvia, opening the door for Holland to confirm their progression as group winners with a win over Montenegro, and it looked a certainty being 2-0 up with 82 minutes played, but they also went on to draw, meaning this tie is essentially a winner-takes-all clash with Turkey breathing down their necks.

A draw for the Dutch on home soil would mean only a 13-0 win or greater for Turkey against Montenegro could see them leapfrogged at the top of the group, but as unlikely as that is, anything but a Dutch win here will be a surprise anyway, considering Norway are missing their superstar, Erling Haaland. They had 25 shots in their draw with Latvia, failing to find the net with any of them, and in a game where they will have far fewer chances, wasting opportunities at a similar rate will be costly.

With a lot riding on this game, Holland will be at full strength again, and their last three home games have seen them score 16 goals.

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NETHERLANDS -2 @ 11/4

Finland vs France: France (-3)

After securing qualification for the World Cup with an emphatic 8-0 win over Kazakhstan on Saturday night, France finish their campaign with a trip to face a Finland side currently vacating the play-off spot in Group D.

That important win at the weekend for France means that Didier Deschamps will most likely rotate a lot of his side for the trip to Helsinki, but every player on the French fringes at the moment would walk into what is a talented Finland side, which just emphasises the strength-in-depth possessed by Les Bleus.

Finland’s win on Saturday was one of the most eye-catching on a day full of surprise results, winning 3-1 away in Bosnia when reduced to ten men after half an hour, eliminating their hosts in the process and leaving their destiny in their own hands. However, if the reverse fixture against France is anything to go by, then they may find it difficult here.

They failed to register a shot on target as the French ran out comfortable 2-0 winners in Lyon in September.
Despite the expected changes that will come for the French starting eleven, some fringe players will look to impress in hopes of breaking into the first team, and a good win here would help that.

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FRANCE -3 @ 9/2

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Ukraine: Ukraine (-1)

Also in Group D, Finland’s only remaining challengers, Ukraine, travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina for a must-win game if they want to keep alive any hopes of a play-off spot.

Any dropped points by Finland against France will leave the door wide open for Ukraine to overtake them if they can beat Bosnia in Zenica. If that is to happen, the Euro 2020 quarter-finalists will need to shake off the habit of drawing matches. They are unbeaten since losing 4-0 to England in the summer, but they have only won one of those six games, drawing the other five.

Bosnia are another side who have struggled to get any wins on the board at all, and it cost them at the weekend when their defeat to Finland saw them eliminated. Their only win in their last 12 home games came in a friendly against Kuwait, as they have also lost seven of those ties on home soil, a run stretching back to October 2019.
Another draw is no good here for Ukraine, and a two-goal margin of victory may be required for them should Finland nick a point off the French in Helsinki.

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UKRAINE -1 @ 2/1

Czech Republic vs Estonia: Czech Republic (-3)

The Czech Republic go into their final qualifier at home to Estonia knowing that if Wales fall to defeat against Belgium, a big win here will see them leapfrog the Welsh into the play-off places.

Wales’ 5-1 win over Belarus on Saturday means the Czech’s will be relying on Belgium to do them a favour by winning in Cardiff, while also needing a three-goal swing in goal difference due to them losing on the head-to-head record with Wales. That does look like a reasonable possibility though considering the Czech’s put six past Estonia when they met in the reverse fixture in March.

Jaroslav Silhavy’s side got themselves in the mood on Thursday too, beating Kuwait 7-0 in a friendly, and that ruthless edge will be needed again in Prague if they want to capitalise on any Welsh slip-ups. Estonia are playing purely for pride with fourth-place already confirmed after Belarus’ defeat, meaning they will not finish bottom, but they will want to build on the four points they have currently picked up in the group.

A repeat of their 6-2 win in Tallinn will be most welcome for the Czech Republic, as it will be a tense final set of fixtures in Group E.

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CZECH REPUBLIC -3 @ 21/10

Gibraltar vs Latvia: Latvia (-2)

A dead rubber encounter at the bottom of Group G sees Gibraltar search for a first point of the campaign when they welcome Latvia to the Victoria Stadium on Tuesday night.

One solitary draw against Andorra in a June friendly is all Gibraltar have to show for their efforts in 2021, losing the other ten internationals they have played, but they will hope the twelfth and final game of the year will bring some success as they face the next-weakest side in the section. Any repeats of the severe defensive instability they have shown all year, which has seen them concede 46 goals, will make that task very difficult though, even against a fellow minnow nation.

Latvia, on the other hand, have turned their fortunes around slightly after losing nine in a row in Euro 2020 qualifying. Results over the last 12 months have seen them pick up draws away to all three challengers to the Netherlands in Group G, Turkey, Montenegro, and Norway, while also scoring a combined 14 goals in wins over Lithuania, Andorra, San Marino, and Gibraltar.

Latvia have shown they are a class above the real minnows across Europe, as well as collecting a few scalps in this group, and they could fill their boots in Gibraltar

By Andrew Delaney

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LATVIA -2 @ 5/2


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