Published on February 6th, 2011 | by Sportingly Better Tipster3
Midweek International Matches 8th Feb & 9th Feb
The club calendars take a break midweek as international managers look to experiment with players and tactics ahead of competition qualifiers next month.
The Nations Cup makes a welcome return as the Republic of Ireland take on Wales at the Aviva Stadium . Two of Wales’ star players; Bale and Bellamy are missing for Gary Speed’s side, whilst Liam Lawrence and Leon Best have been withdrawn because of injury.
Ireland’s attacking line are in good recent goalscoring form with Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Andrew Keogh, Kevin Doyle and James McCarthy having all found the back of the net in their last round of club fixtures. Republic of Ireland beat Wales 1-0 in a competitive European qualifier in 2008 and I expect home advantage and a superior squad to get Giovanni Trappatoni off to a flying start in the Nations Cup as Gary Speed begins to assemble his Welsh side.
Republic of Ireland to win @1.61
Co-hosts for Euro 2012 Poland have a decent blend of youth and experience and in Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski have a striker of decent pedigree and international form. Club team mate Jakub Blaszczykowksi is another noticeable player for Franciszek Smuda’s side along with Ludovic Obraniak of Lille. Opponents Moldova have only won 3 out of their last 12 games one of which was a 2-0 win against San Marino last time out. Poland are unbeaten in 4 games (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ivory Coast, Ecuador and the United States) and should have enough about them to beat an inadequate Moldova side.
Poland to win @1.8
Sandor Egervari and his Hungarian side take on Azerbaijan who have only won once in their last 8 matches. Hungary boast a number of top players such as Vladmir Koman of Sampdoria, Zoltan Gera of Fulham but Hungary’s talisman is PSV midfielder Balazs Dzsudzsak who has been linked to a number of European clubs over the past 12 months. Hungary’s recent opponents haven’t exactly been challenging, but they have won their last 4 successive games and I expect this winning run to continue against Azerbaijan.
Hungary to win @1.61
Ivory Coast and Mali meet in France and both sides have brought strong enough parties and should be well supported. On paper the Ivory Coast have a formidable side with the likes Romaric and the highly emerging Gervinho of Lille and of course not forgetting a strong Premiership contingent that includes Drogba, Kalou, both Kolo Toure and Yaya Toure, Tiote and Eboue. Francois Zahoui is now in charge after Sven departed for Leicester in the Summer. Mali have a strong, physical, battling side with the likes of Mohammed Sissoko formerly of Liverpool, Mahamadou Diarra and Seydou Keita of Barcelona, but Ivory Coast should have enough talents in their squad to pick up the win.
Ivory Coast to win @1.61