Preview, free bets and enhanced odds for the UEFA World Cup play-offs, 9-14 November 2017
Eight sides are battling it out for four places at the World Cup in the European phase of qualification. If you fancy a bet on the upcoming play-offs, check out the great offers below!
We’ll add more enhanced odds promotions and other betting offers as they are released. Alternatively you can see all our World Cup promotions at our 2018 hub. Or click the button below to see all the latest and best free bets.
Denmark v Republic of Ireland, 11th + 14th November
Group E runners up Denmark host Group D second Ireland with the first leg on the 11th November in Denmark. Denmark are big favourites to qualify having finished second behind Poland. They are priced at best odds of 8/11 (Betfair) to make it to Russia.
They qualified in third place in the second-placed table, well ahead of the Republic who only just sneaked into the play-offs, taking the final second place spot. O’Neill’s troops beat Wales in Cardiff in their final group match to pip the Welsh in Group D. That win left them second behind Serbia and they are priced at best odds of 5/4 with Coral.
It’s going to be closer than the bookies reckon we feel and we think the underdogs are worth a bet in the “to qualify” market. In the first leg the hosts are odds-on at 3/4 but the value for us lies in the draw at 13/5 with Coral.
Northern Ireland v Switzerland, 9th + 12th November
The other Irish side play Switzerland, the latter whom topped the runners-up chart and will count themselves hard done by not to qualify automatically. The Swiss were pipped on goal difference by Portugal despite winning their first nine games! Only Spain and Germany mustered more than Switzerland’s 27 points but that counts for nothing now.
Michael O’Neill’s men were second in Group C, with Germany the runaway group winners. Norn Iron saw off the Czech Republic and Norway to earn their play-off place. Having done so well to qualify for the last Euros and then surpassing expectations in France, O’Neill’s side will be confident they can cause an upset here.
We feel the bookies have got this wrong in making the Swiss such huge favourites. It must be remembered that, whilst they got nine wins, that was in a group so poor that there were two sides worse than the Faroe Islands!
The best odds on the Swiss to qualify are just 4/11, whilst NI are way out at 11/4 (Coral) to make it through to their first World Cup since way back in 1986. Most of their players weren’t even born then but we think this group can make history and odds of 11/4 are too big to ignore.
Sweden v Italy, 10th + 13th November
For neutrals the most exciting of the four play-offs may well be Sweden v Italy, the first leg taking place in Stockholm on the 10th November. The second match is to be played in Milan. Spain just about edged Italy out, whilst Sweden were ultimately undone by France in Group A.
Only the Swiss were ahead of Italy in the table of second placed sides, whilst Sweden were down in fifth. However, given Italy were grouped with Albania, Israel, Macedonia and Liechtenstein, it’s hardly a surprise they amassed a decent points total.
We feel the Swedes are being underrated by the oddsmakers here. They are well-drilled, organised and very fit. At best odds of 5/2 with Unibet they are worth a small bet to make it to Russia 2018.
Croatia v Greece, 9th + 12th November
Our final game sees Croatia, who were second to Iceland in Group I, play Greece. The Greeks, big underdogs here, finished second to Belgium in a relatively easy group that also featured Gibraltar, Cyprus and Estonia.
Croatia always show brilliant heart and unity and are also technically very good.
They ended as the fourth-ranked second-placed side and will fancy their chances of qualifying for another World Cup.
Croatia are clear favourites to qualify, priced at 4/11 with Betfair. The odds on the Greeks are 3/1 but, whilst that may look tempting, we think the superior experience of the Croats will see them through.