Our Tips for Sunday's Internationals - 06/09/21

Switzerland vs Italy: Italy win to nil

European champions Italy continue their World Cup qualifying campaign after their resounding success over the summer by facing one of the sides they beat along the way, Switzerland, away at St. Jakob’s Park this Sunday.

Italy’s remarkable unbeaten run of 27 games which they took into Euro 2020 has now been extended to a record-breaking 34 after they went all the way and took home the trophy in the summer, but the side most equipped to end that run in this international break will be Switzerland.

Even then, Switzerland were comfortably dispatched by Italy in the group stage of the Euros, being the 10th team in a row who had failed to score past the Italians. Almost an identical squad has been selected by Roberto Mancini for these qualifiers, so expect the Azzurri to pick up where they left off.

With this being the toughest of their three qualifiers, a full-strength side is expected, meaning the trio of Donnarumma-Chiellini-Bonucci will be near-impossible to break down for the Swiss.

Our tip is for Italy to win to nil in Basel.

World Cup Qualifiers Tips

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England vs Andorra: England (-5)

England’s return to international action after coming so close to European glory this summer will see them face Andorra at Wembley in the second of their three qualifiers this week.

England have been notoriously strong in qualifying in recent years, having lost just one qualifier since 2009, and in the last qualifying campaign for Euro 2020, they were merciless in front of goal. They put 12 past Montenegro, 10 past Bulgaria and nine past Kosovo on their way to winning the group with 21 points and 37 goals from just eight games.

Andorra, unsurprisingly, have taken quite a few heavy beatings in recent games, including a 7-0 loss to Portugal and a 5-0 defeat to fellow minnows Latvia, including shipping four goals to an Irish team who very rarely find the net with any consistency. Even though England may rest a few key players for the other two qualifiers on either side of this one, they should have a good time in front of goal here.

England are understandably enormous favourites here at 1/50 to win, but for them to win with a (-5) handicap provides better value at 15/8.

World Cup Qualifiers Predictions

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Kosovo vs Greece: Greece to win

UEFA’s youngest members, Kosovo, welcome Greece to Prishtina on Sunday for a Group B clash, as both sides come into this international window seeking a first victory of the campaign.

After making a brilliant start when first given their UEFA membership, Kosovo have seen their form dip quite a bit after going 15 games unbeaten between 2017 and 2019. That was soon followed up with a ten game winless run and their only wins since have all been against minnow nations.

Greece’s defeat to Switzerland in a friendly on Wednesday saw their 10-game unbeaten run come to an end but they have already faced Kosovo twice in the last year, winning one and drawing one. They have made a peculiar start to this group though, earning a draw away in Spain on the opening day, but following it up with a very underwhelming home draw with Georgia.

The current Greek crop have made a habit of getting results against smaller nations, with that draw against Georgia being the only recent blip, and we expect them to return to winning ways in Kosovo here.

World Cup Qualifiers Tips

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Iceland vs North Macedonia: North Macedonia to win

After making their major tournament debut in the summer, North Macedonia will turn attention towards qualification for a first-ever World Cup, and face another small nation who made their Euro and World Cup debut in the last five years, Iceland.

It almost seems as if North Macedonia have picked up the minnows' mantle as Iceland faded away. The overachievers of Euro 2016 also reached the 2018 World Cup where they drew with Argentina, but since then it has gone downhill. They were brutally relegated from League A in the Nations League, pointless, with 17 goals conceded in six games, and missed out on Euro 2020 thanks to two last-minute goals by Hungary in Budapest.

Despite losing all three games at Euro 2020, North Macedonia enter this window of matches in the top two, amazingly, with Armenia, thanks mainly to their shock win away in Germany in March. Without Goran Pandev though, they will need their exciting youngsters, namely Elif Elmas, Enis Bardhi, and Darko Curlinov to maintain their position in the top two.

Before Euro 2020, North Macedonia won nine of their 15 matches going into the tournament, losing just twice.

World Cup Qualifiers Predictions

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NORTH MACEDONIA TO WIN 1-0, 2-0 OR 2-1 @ 11/4

San Marino vs Poland: Under 4.5 goals

One of England’s group rivals, Poland, have the relatively straightforward task of facing San Marino on Sunday, as Lewandowski and co. travel to Serravalle looking for a comfortable three points.

With a vital qualifier coming up just three days after this fixture for Poland, at home to England, it would be no surprise to see them rest some very important players here. Manager Paulo Sousa took huge criticism in March for playing Robert Lewandowski against Andorra in which he got injured and then missed the England loss at Wembley a few days later.

This may be a blessing for San Marino who, in fairness, have managed to bring down the volume of goals going in against them recently. Only three of their last 14 internationals have resulted in a loss of five or more goals, and two of them were against the two Euro 2020 finalists. Poland, even with Lewandowski, have struggled to put minnow nations to bed too. Recent wins over Andorra and Latvia saw them score only three.

While a Poland win is virtually guaranteed, goals may not be, especially if Poland rotate. Our tip is for there to be under 4.5 goals in the game, at odds of 3/1.

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