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UEFA Nations League: Opening matches set to take place this week

12:09 IST 04/09/2018
HD Olivier Giroud Benedikt Howedes Germany France
New European competition will decrease number of friendly games, while offering chance to qualify for Euro 2020

This coming Thursday (6 September) will see the opening matches in the newly formed UEFA Nations League take place. Aimed at producing more competitive football, as we see in club football in Europe, Thursday’s encounters include Czech Republic v Ukraine and Wales v Ireland.

First things first

Before you go any further, head on over to the Oddsshark website, find your favourite betting site and get your account up and running using your credit card. As a new customer and with the UEFA Nations League set to get underway this week, there should be a wide range of promotions and offers available to you.

Where should I be investing my money?

Czech Republic and Ukraine are set to go head to head with both teams looking to make a winning start to the new competition. This looks like being an uphill struggle for the visitors however; in two previous meetings with the Czech Republic, Ukraine are yet to score a goal.

Both the previous matches were friendly matches, with the Czech Republic thrashing Ukraine 4-0 in the first match, while the second game, in 2012, ended in a goalless draw. As such, this will be the first ever competitive fixture between the two countries.

And recently, when Czech Republic take to the field, you are likely to see a result. In their last 10 games there has been no stalemate, with the side winning six and losing four of those encounters.

With both of these teams starting in League B, the incentive will be to start climbing the table as soon as possible. However, it would appear that it is Czech Republic who are better prepared to begin that ascension.

Czech Republic come into this game as the favourites to walk away with the victory and are priced at 2.30 to do so. However, if you think Ukraine can record their first victory over their next opponent then you can back them at 3.30 to pick up a vital victory on the road, according to the Oddsshark site.

The Czech side can take confidence from their previous meetings with Ukraine however. A comfortable, 2-0 win for the home team is priced competitively at 10.00, thereby offering a ten-fold return on any investment – in addition, you can back Czech Republic to win to nil (without Ukraine scoring a goal) at 3.50.

Wales looking for revenge over Ireland

Wales meanwhile will be looking to avenge Ireland, after Martin O’Neill’s side won a winner-takes-all clash in Cardiff to seal their place in the World Cup ply-offs. And back in front of their own fans, the Welsh will be looking to get one over on the Irish this time around.

Following an excellent showing at the European Championships in 2016, Wales did not even make it out of their qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup. Their recent form has been nothing short of dreadful, with Wales managing just one win in their last six outings.

Ireland, meanwhile, did not make it to the World Cup either despite that 1-0 win over Wales in Cardiff. The Irish were drawn against Denmark in the play-offs and, despite an encouraging goalless draw away from home in the first leg, collapsed in front of their own fans and suffered a 5-1 thrashing.

Ireland’s recent form has also been patchy of late, with the team recording just one win in their last five matches. Whichever way you look at this, we could be seeing a scrappy game with both sets of players more concerned with producing a positive result rather than producing aesthetic football.

Looking back over a longer period, Ireland’s last eight matches have produced three wins, two draws and three defeats. And with O’Neill’s men scoring just two goals in their last five games, goals could also be low on the ground in this clash.

Meanwhile, it is home side Wales who come into this match as the favourites to make a winning start to the UEFA Nations League. The Welsh are at just 1.90 to take the points, while the Irish are at over double that price at 4.50 – a draw is almost right down the middle, at 3.10.

For the reasons mentioned above, do not expect a scramble of goals in this match. A narrow, 1-0 win for Wales is priced at 5.00, meaning that a US$5 bet would lead to a US$25 pay out – under 2.5 goals in the game is at just 1.44.

UEFA Nations League fixtures

Thursday, 6 September

(2.55) Kazakhstan v Georgia (2.87); draw (3.10)

(1.18) Armenia x Liechtenstein (15.00); draw (6.50)

(2.30) Czech Republic x Ukraine (3.30); draw (3.10)

(2.50) Germany x France (2.80); draw (2.80)

(21.00) Gibraltar x Macedonia (1.10); draw (9.50)

(1.28) Latvia x Andorra (15.00); draw (4.50)

(1.40) Norway x Cyprus (9.00); draw (4.20)

(2.10) Slovenia x Bulgaria (4.00); draw (3.00)

(1.90) Wales x Ireland (4.50); draw (3.10)