Spice up friendlies with Chile bet
Ben Coley previews Wednesday's international friendlies and is prepared to chance Chile ahead of their clash with Germany.
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International friendlies dominate the midweek football program and bring with them the usual conundrums.
Team selection will have a major effect on prices as kick-off draws nearer and with changes both to starting line-ups and throughout the game, this isn't football as we know it.
However, that doesn't mean betting opportunities no longer exist, it simply means we've a few different dynamics in play so while the advice has to be to tread carefully, there do look to be one or two sporting wagers worth chancing.
First up its surely worth chancing Chile at as big as 15/2 to beat Germany.
England fans will be all too aware of the threat the South American side pose as they swept aside Roy Hodgson's men with ease last November, and that's not the only evidence to support backing them here.
A couple of months prior to that, Chile held World Cup holders Spain to a 2-2 draw in a game which saw them twice take the lead, while they've since given Brazil a fright before eventually succumbing to a 2-1 defeat.
It's Chile's scoring threat which makes them dangerous, and in these friendlies which can often be a tad lifeless that's a trait which holds extra significance.
Joachim Lowe is reportedly set to do Bundesliga bosses a favour and name a much-changed side, perhaps not far removed from that which lost to the USA last summer, and has acknowledged that all is not as good as it may seem in his camp.
"On paper we have a top team with top quality and top individuals, but the reality looks a little different," Low told reporters. "The truth is not so nice because many of our players have been injured for a long time and don't have much rhythm, be it due to a dip in form or niggling injuries, which is why we need to use these next two and a half months to improve and do everything to reach top form.
"The clock is ticking and I'm making an appeal to everybody to prepare as best as they can and to invest all they can, not only to be physically but also psychologically ready for this. We need a very good core and some of my players are still showing deficiencies."
Truth be told, Germany are unbeaten since that game against the USA but they weren't as impressive as Chile in beating England having previously drawn with a weak Italy side, so if they're not at their absolute best an upset is far from out of the question.
We'll take the 15/2 about a Chile victory but those with Betway accounts should consider their 14/1 about both teams scoring in an upset - the South American side don't tend to do clean sheets and may need to score twice to win.
As for England, their clash with Denmark is interesting in so far as it'll allow Roy Hodgson to take a look at his fringe players once more and hopefully there's a debut cap for Luke Shaw, whose reaction to being selected was one of pure joy.
His Southampton colleagues Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana could also feature but in truth it's a game I find hard to get excited about.
Certainly, I wouldn't be going near Hodgson's side at the price. Of late they've really struggled to assert themselves and while this is easier than the visits of the aforementioned Chile and Germany, a narrow victory over Scotland along with a draw against Ireland suggests Wembley is no fortress right now.
Denmark's failure to even qualify for the World Cup is a concern but it was a competitive group and their recent results look solid. The absence of Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen isn't ideal but they could sneak a draw here if England struggle to cope with the abundance of tweaks that appear most likely.
The Republic of Ireland may find life tough without their talisman Robbie Keane when they host Serbia, who are worth a small interest at upwards of 2/1.
Like Denmark, Serbia's recent results have shown clear improvement so while they didn't do enough to reach Brazil 2014, there's plenty there for acting coach Ljubinko Drulovic to work with as he looks ahead to Euro 2016 even if he's likely to have been replaced by then.
Serbia are drawn with Denmark in Group I, the sole five-team group for which Portugal are favourites, and will feel like they can follow Paulo Bento's side to the finals if their recent improvement - which has yielded several big results including a 3-0 win in Wales - is maintained.
Premier League observers will be familiar with a defence that includes captain Branislav Ivanovic plus Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov and without Keane, Ireland are likely goals hard to come by.
That shouldn't be the case for Serbia, who've also beaten Scotland and Chile in the last 18 months as well as drawing with Russia last time and scoring six when they hosted Wales, and I'm a little surprised to see them made underdogs.
It's also worth mentioning that Wales look a little short as they welcome Iceland, who are by no means incapable of causing a surprise of sorts, while Scotland face a tough test against the well-backed Poland who would be backable at evens or bigger. Northern Ireland are also scheduled to take on Cyprus.