Wales take on Ukraine with the winner of the contest securing a World Cup spot. Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets.
1.5pts Ukraine to qualify at 19/20 (General)
1pt Gareth Bale to score anytime at 11/4 (Betfair, Paddy Power)
Ukraine were superb in their victory over Scotland on Wednesday night. A last minute strike wrapped up a 3-1 victory at Hampden Park and it was fully deserved based on performance.
They could have scored more with eight shots on target and there were a couple of occasions where the final touch let them down. They looked comfortable in possession with a serious threat posed on the counter attack.
Wales will need to be wary of that and, even with home advantage, it will be a really tricky game. The odds show that little separates these two sides and it's basically a coin flip of who progresses in the 'to qualify' market.
A Wales side far from full strength was beaten 2-1 by Poland in the Nations League on the same night as Ukraine's triumph over Scotland. It's hardly a surprise that they would prioritise this game due to the fact that the winner gets a World Cup spot.
They've proven to be a tough side to beat at home with a strong record in front of their own supporters. A recent highlight would be that 1-1 draw with Belgium in World Cup qualification - although the visitors weren't at their best in attack.
This is a contest between two fairly evenly matched sides but the performance of the visitors in Glasgow will give them plenty of confidence. At a best price of 19/20, it's worth backing UKRAINE TO QUALIFY.
A noisy Hampden Park didn't affect them and it'll be a similar atmosphere in Cardiff. They were still able to, not only just get the result, but set-up in the way that they wanted and create some really strong opportunities to score.
On the goalscorer side of things, while Ukraine are backed to progress, it's difficult to turn down the 11/4 best price on GARETH BALE TO SCORE ANYTIME. He will be the key player for Wales as they aim to reach Qatar.
He scored both goals as they beat Austria in the semi-finals back in March and Bale's threat from both open play and set-piece situations makes him a hugely appealing bet when odds like this are available.
It's also helped by the fact that it could become a fairly open game. The performance of Ukrainian goalkeeper Georgi Bushchan was far from convincing against Scotland and there is little confidence in them keeping a clean sheet because of it.
His last four competitive appearances for Wales have brought five goals and an assist. BALE is the bet in the goalscorer market while UKRAINE represent value in a contest that could go either way.
Score prediction: Wales 1-1 Ukraine (Sky Bet odds: 9/2)
Odds correct at 1030 BST (02/06/22)
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