There are plenty of internationals being played each day as teams either warm up for the World Cup or prepare for the next qualifying campaign and there can be plenty of value around as bookies struggle to price these games.
Take a look at our selections for your favourite BTTS and Match Result treble.
Italy v Republic of Ireland – 2.30pm Saturday
Italy to win and BTTS is 11/4
Despite this being at a neutral venue, Craven Cottage in London, there should be plenty of Irish fans in the ground getting behind their side. Nonetheless, I am backing an Italy win here with the World Cup motivation making a difference, although Ireland have given the Azzuri some great games over the years and beat them 2-0 not so long ago. Last Sunday Martin O’Neil’s side lost 2-1, verses a poor Turkey side at the Aviva Stadium and the extra quality they are coming up against on Saturday is likely to become clear with the scoreline. Just one victory for from four for Martin O’Neil does not make good reading and the fans will like to see an improvement, as well as at least a goal in what will feel like a home tie.
The Italy players will be well enthused going in to this friendly knowing that head coach Cesare Prandelli will name his 23-man World Cup squad after this game. Each and every player will want to give everything in what is their last opportunity for selection. The manager has provided plenty of encouragement for this squad by reassuring them that he has “not decided anything yet,” and we will “have to wait and see how the players react to the workload we’re putting them under.” The Italian also spoke about how “crucial” this warm up match is which should get the players very focused on a good result. The Azzuri should have far too much quality and I am seeing nothing but a win for Prandelli’s side as they look forward to opening their World Cup campaign with the game against England.
Holland v Ghana – 7.30pm Saturday
Holland to win and BTTS is 11/4
The Netherlands require a significant improvement as they take on Ghana this weekend. In their last friendly they scraped a draw against Ecuador in what was quite a disappointment, leaving plenty of questions for manager, Louis van Gaal. Since that poor performance the future Manchester United boss has been able to take his 30-man squad away for some warm weather training in Portugal and he should now know much more about his team.
During the Ecuador game Van Gaal experimented with the side and formation with a 5-3-2 and I expect a return to a more familiar set up as they welcome Ghana. Robin van Persie did come away with an outstanding individual goal which is good news if the United striker can come into form.
The Oranje’s have the quality in Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben to get a result here and the manager will be expecting a much better display from his side and one similar to the last time these two met which finished in a 4-1 win for Holland.
Ghana too are looking forward to a World Cup campaign where they will face a tough group of Germany, Portugal and the USA and with two European sides in the mix, a warm game verses Holland is perfect preparation.
The Black Stars will be relying on the stalwarts of the side and the first names on the team sheet of Michael Essien, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Sulley Muntari and Asamoah Gyan, and Gyan with 39 goals for his country can certainly be trusted in the 18 yard box, along with Christian Atsu and Jordan Ayew.
Ghana haven’t provided many positive results lately having lost a friendly to Montenegro in March and failing to beat Libya a month earlier. I expect Netherlands to have too much for the African side who are 38th in the FIFA rankings, but Ghana have only failed to score once since the start of 2013 which has included 25 games and I can see them being edged out of a close match where they should net.
Sweden v Belgium – 7.30pm Sunday
Belgium to win and BTTS is 9/2
This time round Sweden failed to make the biggest tournament in the world and will have less focus on this tie than their opposition. Sweden will take more than enough confidence from seeing Belgium concede to a dreadful Luxembourg side despite the final score being quite the battering. Even though many expect Belgium to win comfortably on Sunday, I do see Sweden finding the net. The Scandinavian side have only failed to score twice in their last 13 internationals and have one very special player in Zlatan Ibrahimovic to provide the goods.
Much is expected from this Belgium side over the summer and they dare not fail to deliver. Boss, Marc Wilmots made his intentions for these friendly games clear when naming an incredibly strong side against minnows Luxembourg last week as Romelu Lukaku bagged himself a hatrick.
Up against the stronger Sweden, a similar quality of side should be chosen. Here was the starting eleven for the game in Gent- Courtois, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Kompany, Vertonghen, Witsel , Fellaini, Eden Hazard, Mirallas, De Bruyne, Lukaku. I can’t imagine many changes from this and with no weak link in sight it could be a long night for Sweden