Most Read Football

Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring for England against Croatia at Wembley1

England secure finals spot

England came from a goal down to book their place in next summer's Nations League finals in Portugal and also condemn Croatia to relegation.

Portugal2

Portugal to host Nations League finals

Portugal will host next summer's Nations League finals after they secured their passage from Group A3 thanks to a goalless draw against Italy.

Check out today's Paper Talk3

Paper Talk: City land De Jong

Manchester City are close to sealing a £61million deal for Ajax star Frenkie De Jong - according to the Sunday Mirror.

Wayne Rooney thanks England fans for their support4

Former England stars 'jealous'

Wayne Rooney has explained that some of his former England team-mates are jealous of the success of the Three Lions and their current young generation.

Gareth Southgate5

Southgate proud of England growth

Gareth Southgate says his young England side have progressed since their World Cup exploits after watching them come from behind to beat Croatia to a place in the Nations League finals.

World Cup qualifying betting tips: Friday preview

Portugal
Portugal

Nick Hext backs Portugal for a big win as one of his two selections for Friday's World Cup qualifying action.

Recommended bets:


2pts Portugal (-2) to beat Latvia at 21/20 - European champions have claimed all of their last six wins by three or more goals

1pt Bulgaria to beat Belarus at 23/10 - Belarus have lost four matches on the spin so can't be trusted as favourites to beat in-form Bulgaria

Click here for our transparent tipping record.    

World Cup qualifying returns to Europe on Friday night and there’s more of interest on the nine-match coupon than I first anticipated. 

Sweden’s clash against leaders France in Group A (check out all of the latest standings) is the standout contest but I reckon there’s more enticing betting opportunities elsewhere. 

Portugal have returned to form after losing their opening game in qualifying against Switzerland but they can’t afford any kind of slip-up away to Latvia. 

The European champions sit three points behind Group B leaders Switzerland but have been netting frequently so have a vastly superior goal difference to the table-toppers. 

All is set up for a huge clash between the nations in October with Portugal having home advantage, that’s as long as they remain at most three points adrift. 

Portugal have claimed all of their last six victories by at least a three-goal winning margin and I’m keen on another convincing success for Fernando Santos’ men. 

Latvia lost 4-1 to Portugal earlier in the qualifying campaign and their last outing was a concerning 5-0 defeat against Georgia in a friendly. 

The Faroe Islands and Hungary have both claimed Group B wins in Latvia so there can’t be much of a case made for anything other than a simple victory for Portugal.

Cyprus were swatted aside 4-0 in a friendly by Portugal last weekend and a best price of odds-against has to be taken for the European champions to win by three or more goals. 

I’m also going to take a chance on Bulgaria at over 2/1 to return with three points from the trip to Belarus. 

More was expected from Belarus in Group A but they’ve only picked up a couple of draws in five outings to leave no chance of qualification at the halfway stage. 

Bulgaria will be feeling a lot better about things. They sit only one point behind Sweden after claiming three wins from five games and victory in Belarus should see them move into a play-off place. 

That’s because leaders France can be expected to get the better of Sweden in the night’s headline match. 

Bulgaria beat Holland 2-0 in their last qualifying contest and they won 1-0 at home to Belarus in the clash between the nations last year. 

There is a concern that Bulgaria have lost convincingly away to both France and Sweden during their bid to reach the World Cup but Belarus don’t possess as much quality as those two sides. 

The price is right to show some support for Bulgaria against the out-of-form Belarussians, who have lost four matches on the spin and go down as by far the most opposable favourite on Friday’s coupon.    

Where to watch on TV: All matches are live on Sky Sports, including via the Red Button.

Posted at 1445 BST on 06/06/17. 

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring for England against Croatia at Wembley1

England secure finals spot

England came from a goal down to book their place in next summer's Nations League finals in Portugal and also condemn Croatia to relegation.

Portugal2

Portugal to host Nations League finals

Portugal will host next summer's Nations League finals after they secured their passage from Group A3 thanks to a goalless draw against Italy.

Check out today's Paper Talk3

Paper Talk: City land De Jong

Manchester City are close to sealing a £61million deal for Ajax star Frenkie De Jong - according to the Sunday Mirror.

Wayne Rooney thanks England fans for their support4

Former England stars 'jealous'

Wayne Rooney has explained that some of his former England team-mates are jealous of the success of the Three Lions and their current young generation.

Gareth Southgate5

Southgate proud of England growth

Gareth Southgate says his young England side have progressed since their World Cup exploits after watching them come from behind to beat Croatia to a place in the Nations League finals.

Football Tips

Sporting Life's betting tips for England v Croatia on November 18

England to burst out of the blocks

George Pitts fancies England to win their crunch Nations League match with Croatia on Sunday, with two recommended bets for the Wembley meeting.

Our best bets for the latest games in the Sky Bet EFL

Sky Bet EFL betting preview

There may be no Sky Bet Championship, but there is still plenty of value on offer in Leagues One and Two on Saturday.

Our latest goalscorer treble

Sporting Life Goalscorer Treble

We have three prolific goalscorers this season for our treble this week, enhanced to 11/1 with EFL title sponsors Sky Bet.