FIFA World Cup Qualifier parlay picks: France will fill the net
An international break this weekend means no Premier League action, but there’s still a whole feast of soccer content to get sucked into as nations do battle in World Cup qualification.
The nature of the beast means there are far more mismatched games during the international week than in the Premier League, as the minnows attempt a giant-killing, and the bigger nations exert their dominance. For our parlay this week, here are four of the hottest favourites this weekend with a focus on just how many goals they’ll score. A $10 parlay returns just under a cool $100.
Netherlands vs. Latvia: Netherlands Over 3.5 Goals (-140)
Sat, March 27 2021, 5:00 PM
The Netherlands are -10000 to win this match after a shocking 4-2 defeat away to Turkey in mid-week. There’s no better opportunity for them to bounce back, however, than a home tie against the team ranked 136th in the world – marginally above Myanmar and Burundi.
Latvia have only conceded over 1.5 goals once in the last nine games, but those matches have been against teams more at their level. In mid-week they conceded two goals at home to Montenegro, a team ranked 63rd.
The Dutch have been in free-scoring mode, with seven in their last three games and the last time they played a minnow, they won 4-0 away to Estonia and 5-0 at home in 2019. Estonia were ranked just outside the top 100 at the time.
The last time these two sides met in the Netherlands was in 2014, and the home side ran out comfortable 6-0 winners. This should be another one-sided affair as the Dutch look to put down a marker in Group G.
Kazakhstan vs France: France Over 2.5 Goals (-120)
Sun, March 28 2021, 1:00 PM
The second-highest ranked team in the world and current World Cup holders France travel to Kazakhstan this weekend for the first time in their history.
The French have not been struggling in front of goal recently, beating Croatia 4-2, Sweden 4-2, and the Ukraine 7-0 all since September. They looked laboured in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Ukraine, and like the Netherlands, have something to prove now against lowly opposition.
When your attacking players include Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, and Antonio Martial, it’s hard to see France underperforming again, and Kazakhstan are ranked 122nd in the world.
Kazakhstan conceded twice at home to Lithuania in their last game, and picked the ball out of the net three times against Albania before that. France should have no problem finding the target here.
Croatia vs Cyprus: Croatia Over 2.5 Goals (-185)
Sat, March 27 2021, 5:00 PM
As has been the trend with this column, Croatia are a team in a little bit of a rut who can turn things around with a blessing from the fixture Gods. After a tricky run of five winless games against France, Turkey, Sweden, Portugal, and Slovenia, Croatia will be delighted with a home tie against the team ranked 100th in the world, Cyprus.
Croatia may not have won any of those five games, but they did score seven times and now face a Cyprus team who conceded four times in their last away game – to Montenegro.
Croatia are ranked 11th in FIFA’s rankings, and Cyprus lost 5-0 to Russia (ranked 39th) and 6-1 to Belgium (ranked first) in the last 18 months.
Three goals should be well within Croatia’s reach as they get Group H back on track.
Denmark vs. Moldova: Denmark Over 3.5 Goals (-105)
Sun, March 28 2021, 4:00 PM
Denmark are on a serious run of form and have climbed up to 12th in the world on the back of a lovely purple patch for the country. They’ve won six of their last seven games, and scored 16 goals along the way.
Moldova, meanwhile, are on an 18-game winless run and their last seven games include a 4-0 defeat at home to Slovenia (ranked 62nd) and a 6-0 defeat away to Italy (ranked 10th).
In Denmark’s last five games Christian Eriksen and Jonas Wind both have three goals each and will see this home tie as a perfect opportunity to add to their tally. The Danes are firm favourites to top Group F, and a win here would be the perfect compliment to their 2-0 victory away to Israel in midweek.