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Saturday's best bets
1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Ahead of a busy Easter weekend, the Sporting Life team provide their best bets for Saturday across a range of sports.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Saturday's Premier League tips

After profit in midweek on the Champions League, George Pitts looks ahead to Saturday's 3pm PL kick-offs with the best bets and top stats.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview3

City to get revenge on Spurs

Our tipster expects Man City to be fired up for their Premier League clash with Spurs after their midweek thriller, with two recommended bets.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages4

Paper Talk: Battle for Benito

Arsenal and Everton are keen on Fortuna Dusseldorf striker Benito Raman, according to today's back pages.

Norwich City's Mario Vrancic5

Norwich salvage important point

Substitute Mario Vrancic curled home a superb free-kick with virtually the last kick of the game to earn leaders Norwich a point from a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

European Championship betting preview: Free tips & best bets for Saturday's Euro 2020 qualifiers

Check out Sporting Life's tip for Saturday's Euro 2020 qualifying games
Check out Sporting Life's tip for Saturday's Euro 2020 qualifying games

George Pitts looks ahead to the best of Saturday's European Championship qualifiers with three best bets, including two goalscorers.


Recommended bets

1.5pts e.w on Matt Doherty to score first for Republic of Ireland at 14/1

1pt Romania to score 2+ goals against Sweden at 9/2

1pt Sergio Ramos to score anytime for Spain v Finland at 11/4

For advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Italy v Finland

  • Sky Sports Premier League, 1945 GMT kick-off
Roberto Mancini: Italy's new manager
Italy manager Roberto Mancini

Italy may have missed out on last summer's World Cup, but they have reached the last six European Championships and can do so again here with a favourable group.

Roberto Mancini's side have won just three of their last 13 in all competitions though, with the former Man City boss in charge for nine of those.

What is noticeable is the fact the Azzurri have failed to score more than one goal in their last eight games and if they are to win here it could be a low-scorer.

Norwich forward, and current top scorer of the Sky Bet Championship, Teemu Pukki could lead the line but it is a tough ask for the 28-year-old to beat a defensive pairing of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

After winning five in a row, Finland have lost three in succession and eight of their last nine have come under the 2.5 total goals threshold. Backing the hosts to win with under 2.5 total goals gives you a best price of 9/5 which could be your best option here.

Best bet: Italy to win and under 2.5 total goals at 9/5

Spain v Norway

  • Sky Sports Football, 1945 GMT kick-off
Sergio Ramos praised England's performance
Sergio Ramos in action for Spain

Luis Enrique's Spain squad may be full of new faces with more than four new call-ups and a returning Iker Muniain, who is back in the international fold for the first time since 2012.

They have won four of six since the World Cup and since Enrique's appointment, the two defeats coming in their difficult UEFA Nations League group with England and Croatia.

They face a Norway side that has lost just one of their last 10, with eight wins in that time, and their squad has a couple of familiar Premier League faces such as Bournemouth's Josh King and Southampton's Mohamed Elyounoussi and both can pose threats to the Spanish back line.

What stands out from that strong recent record is their clean sheet count of six and Spain could find it tough to break them down, so it could be worth backing a low-scoring home win again here.

A nice goalscorer price to consider is on Sergio Ramos to find the back of the net anytime. The Real Madrid centre-back has 17 goals to his name for his national team - and an astonishing 161 caps as he closes in on Iker Casillas's caps record of 167.

Ramos is a dead ball expert, often confidently stepping up to take set pieces for club and country - as you can see in the video below from Spain training this week.

He is not just a specialist at taking set pieces though, he is a real danger on the other end of them in the opposition's box. He has scored in his last four Spain appearances and the 11/4 anytime price on him finding the back of the net looks generous and too good to pass up.

Best bet: Sergio Ramos to score anytime at 11/4


Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland

  • Sky Sports Football, 1700 GMT kick-off
Matt Doherty scores a late winner for Wolves against Newcastle
Matt Doherty scores a late winner for Wolves against Newcastle

Mick McCarthy is back as Republic of Ireland boss and his first game in charge sees them get Euro 2020 qualifying underway in Gibraltar, who sit 194th in FIFA's world rankings.

Scotland may have been expected to cruise to victory in Kazakhstan on Thursday and it will be the same for Ireland here, but they should do it fairly comfortably.

Gibraltar have conceded 10 goals in their last two competitive games, against Armenia and Macedonia, and McCarthy could get off to a dream start.

They are ranked 34th in the world and without a win in their last six, but the odds are stacked heavily in their favour here - even with 12 potential absentees.

Whether they can keep a clean sheet or not remains to be seen - Gibraltar have scored in four of their last five - but backing the visitors on a -3 handicap at 6/5 gets you a good odds.

An eye-catching goalscorer price is available, at just under 5/1, for Ireland's Matt Doherty. The Wolves man may be a right-back by trade, but McCarthy has hinted that injuries may force him to push Doherty into right midfield. He has been an unlikely star for Wolves this season, scoring six and assisting eight in all competitions, averaging over a shot per game.

With less defensive responsibilities, he can take advantage of a suspect Gibraltar defence on his sixth Republic of Ireland appearance.

The best way to get with him is by backing him first goalscorer at 14/1 with bet365, who are 1/3 the odds unlimited places on each-way bets.

Best bet: Matt Doherty to score anytime at 23/5

Opta facts

Mick McCarthy
Former Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy is back as ROI boss
  • Republic of Ireland have won their previous two games against Gibraltar by an aggregate score of 11-0.
  • There has been just one goal scored in Republic of Ireland’s last four games in all competitions, with that goal coming courtesy of Wales’ Harry Wilson.
  • Republic of Ireland have failed to score in their last four games, they haven’t gone five in a row without finding the net since May 1996, when Mick McCarthy was in charge.
  • Mick McCarthy returns for his second stint as Republic of Ireland manager – he lost his first game in charge of his first spell back in March 1996, losing 0-2 versus Russia.
  • Ireland have won just two of their last 12 competitive matches (W2 D6 L4) and are winless in their last six such games (D3 L3).
  • After winning consecutive matches versus Armenia and Liechtenstein, Gibraltar have lost their last two games, conceding 10 goals in the process.
  • Gibraltar have won two of their last four home games (L2), after winning none of their previous 12 (D1 L11).
  • Seamus Coleman could make his 50th appearance for the Republic of Ireland national team.

Euro 2020 qualifying guide

The European Championship trophy being played for at Euro 2020
Read our comprehensive guide to Euro 2020 qualifying and finals


Sweden v Romania

  • Sky Sports Red Button, 1700 GMT kick-off
Andreas Granqvist: The Swedish veteran (left) celebrates his penalty against Turkey
Andreas Granqvist: The Swedish veteran (left) celebrates his penalty against Turkey in November

Janne Anderson's Sweden can extend their unbeaten run to five matches on Saturday, but it will not be easy as they face a Romania side without defeat in their last 10 matches.

Romania, 25th in FIFA's rankings, beat Sweden on the second game of that run - 1-0 on home turf in March 2018.

They have since beaten the likes of Chile and Finland and twice came from behind to draw with Serbia, so do not rule them out.

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof has rejected a Sweden call-up for 'personal reasons', while his likely stand-in Pontus Jansson, of Leeds, is injured so Romania could look to exploit a weakened back line.

With that in mind, backing them on a double chance at around evens is worth considering, but backing the visitors to score two or more presents odds of 9/2 which is worth a small play.

Best bet: Romania to score 2+ goals at 9/2

Odds correct as of 1400 GMT on 22/03/19

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Most Read Football

Saturday's best bets
1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Ahead of a busy Easter weekend, the Sporting Life team provide their best bets for Saturday across a range of sports.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Saturday's Premier League tips

After profit in midweek on the Champions League, George Pitts looks ahead to Saturday's 3pm PL kick-offs with the best bets and top stats.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview3

City to get revenge on Spurs

Our tipster expects Man City to be fired up for their Premier League clash with Spurs after their midweek thriller, with two recommended bets.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages4

Paper Talk: Battle for Benito

Arsenal and Everton are keen on Fortuna Dusseldorf striker Benito Raman, according to today's back pages.

Norwich City's Mario Vrancic5

Norwich salvage important point

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