England manager Gareth Southgate faces a must-win trip to Belgium (Image: PA)
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Don’t fret about who’ll win in Belgium tonight – just hope for foul play.
The year of 2020 has changed so much in our world, but at least the Nations League remains the same reliably uninvolving folderol of jumped-up friendlies.
Gareth Southgate will understand England need to beat Belgium (7.45pm) to retain a chance of reaching the finals, which take place next October – a piece of post-Euros pandemic scheduling that will have had Jurgen Klopp snorting his Sugar Puffs out of his nose.
The Three Lions won the reverse fixture 2-1, but the international formbook’s a dog’s breakfast right now, and the added volatility of late Covid withdrawals makes the 1X2 murky.
Embrace football’s new normal with a penalty punt instead. No VAR here, but there’s been at least one penalty in three of England’s four games in Group A2. Belgium also gather their share.
Take the 12/5 (Hills) ‘a penalty is awarded’.
Take a punt on Scotland and Northern Ireland being incapable of stomaching a ding-dong today.
The goal-lite Irish’s trip to Austria (7.45pm) looks like their usual dry one.
Scottish heads will head to Slovakia (2pm). On Thursday, David Marshall saved a penalty to send them to a tournament for the first time in 22 years. Shandies all round!
Bet NO ‘both teams score’ in both games, the double pays 2/1 (Fred).
Gareth Bale opted to putt his feet up and focus on his laptop during Wales’s 0-0 against the USA on Thursday night. In entirely unrelated news it was the first round of the Masters at Augusta.
Bale should be back teeing it up for the Nations League visit of the Republic of Ireland (5pm) – he’s the driver of Wales’s quality edge.
The Irish might be relegated and were very ordinary in their defeat by England. Take the Wales WIN at 6/5 (Unibet).
Norway’s Erling Haaland is different gravy – punt him ‘anytime scorer’ (v Romania, 7.45pm) at 11/10 (Paddy).
Last week: Winners at 11/2, 19/20 & 9/5