A break in the domestic action may have been much needed for the Premier League clubs but here at Goals Galore we thought we were carrying some good momentum.
We have however got the international action in midweek but these friendlies can be tough to predict, we recommend being cautious due to so many changes throughout games. We are confident with our coupon though and have got a Match Result and BTTS treble with three selections that return a huge price so please check it out…
Belgium v Ivory Coast – 7.45pm Wednesday
Belgium to win and BTTS – 11/4
Belgium host their African opposition on Wednesday at Stade Roi Baudouin, and will be taking this friendly very seriously as their preparation for Brazil begins. The Red Devils had two friendly games back in November 2013 and failed to impress, which is worrying for a squad that has been heralded at the best ever produced by the European nation.
This is by far the Red Devil’s best World Cup opportunity with many punters backing them to win the competition as far back as four years ago, when the squad was slowly coming together. On paper, the side looks great and they did breeze through qualification, but the friendly defeats to Japan (2-3) and Colombia (0-2) were not the signs they were after and manager Marc Wilmot will be looking to test his team here but register a victory as well, and I expect them to deliver.
The Ivory Coast also have the summer to look forward to, as they qualified for yet another World Cup when they beat Senegal over two legs at the end of their World Cup Qualifying campaign. The last two times the Elephants have come up against better opposition they have lost 4-1, those results were against Nigeria and Mexico and many would argue that Belgium are better than both of those sides.
I cannot see the victory being that wide, but I do expect Ivory Coast to score just as they did in both of those away games. The African outfit have plenty of quality with Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba and Gervinho included in the 27 man squad and with manager Sabri Lamouchi under pressure to get his side to perform- the Frenchman will be desperate for a result. Expect a positive strategy from the off.
England v Denmark – 8.00pm Wednesday
England to win and BTTS – 3/1
70,000 England fans will be at Wembley on Wednesday night as plenty of players get the chance to showcase their talent in one of the few opportunities before the World Cup squad is announced. A lot of players will get their chance and therefore, this is more than just a friendly for those lucky enough to get some vital minutes, and I expect them to take it by putting on a performance and registering a victory in England’s final game on home soil before the World Cup.
The likes of Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw will get opportunities and there will be plenty of quality throughout to see them through this tie with Denmark.
Denmark have already suffered a blow in the run up to the Wembley game as Christian Erikson was ruled out by Tim Sherwood over the weekend with a back injury. The dynamic midfielder is the most important player for the Danes and they will have to rely on other players to take on the hefty responsibility of orchestrating a result against England.
Denmark do have other players to cause England problems and will look to Nicklas Bendtner, Thomas Kahlenberg and William Kvist for big performances. Daniel Agger and Simon Kjaer in the back four will provide a bit of stability. I think England will win but with plenty of changes throughout the match from the home side there should be plenty of opportunity for a Danish goal.
Spain v Italy – 9.00pm Wednesday
Spain to win and BTTS – 5/2
The Spanish squad is just outstanding, it really is a struggle to look past Brazil or Spain for the World Cup this year. Spain can even afford to leave out Juan Mata, Fernando Llorente and David Villa from the squad because they quite simply cannot find room for them.
Diego Costa makes the team and is on electrifying form with 26 goals in 28 games and you wouldn’t bet against him making a goal scoring debut. Vicente del Bosque will also look to the likes of Alvaro Negredo, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas who are expected to line up and the Italians must be quaking in their boots. Despite coming up against strong opposition here, I think Spain will score a few, in what could be a terrific match in the stand out tie on Wednesday evening.
We have made it pretty clear that Italy will have their hands full on Wednesday evening when they visit Estadio Vicente Calderon and their task has been made even more difficult as they have two key players missing from the squad. Our favourite pantomime villain, Mario Balotelli is out with a shoulder injury which is a bitter blow for the Azzuri, while Daniele De Rossi misses out after receiving punishment for an on the pitch incident with Mauro Icardi of Inter Milan over the weekend.
Ciro Immobile looks like he will get an opportunity up top and with 13 goals in Serie A so far this season, he could be the threat in front of goal for Italy. Cesare Prandelli’s side may well be in for a long night but whenever they come up against top opposition they seem to score as they proved in a 1-1 draw with Germany back in November and a 2-1 defeat, away to Argentina earlier in the year and of course the 2-2 draw against Brazil in the Confederations Cup.