Wednesday, October 17, 2007



Another host country where all is not well, many of the senior, better and more experienced players have fallen out with the FA and will not play again for the national team . They did put in an improved showing at Greece on Saturday, but had to battle hard, play 30 minutes + with 10 men and are now claiming to be tired. Rahimic and Hrgovic, two key players are suspended today and this team is a far cry from the side that looked so promising a few years ago. Despite these problems, the coach has named an offensive looking line up and they are likely to play 4-3-3, with their defensive frailities, I feel that this will give Norway a lot of scoring opportunities.

Norway are without Carew, but have an able replacement in the in form Thorstein Helsted, who is Tippeligaen's top scorer, with 18 goals. There is an argument to be made for them settling on the draw, but I do not see this being that type of game at all.

4.5 points Norway -1/2 ball 2.075 asian line.


Despite some brave words from the Bulgarians, there is no doubt that they are devastated by the Romanian win over the Netherlands, which meant, a major shock aside, they look unlikely to qualify for the finals. That is not to say that they will not give it their best, but it make take a while, for them to shake the disappointment from their legs.

Albania is not an easy place to go and even score let alone win and when they do concede, it is normally late in the game. Therefore , I am going to suggest that we take a little on the half time stalemate. In their last 12 home qualification games, the hosts have gone in level at the break in eight. During this campaign, the home games against Romania, Slovenia and Netherlands were all 0-0 at the half, in fact, it took the Dutch until the 91st minute to score. I expect the water tight Albania defence to hold out for 45 minutes and the match to open up in the second half.

5 points Half time draw 2.20 general.

My third selection of the day has already come in for significant support and shortened by a full 1/4 ball on the asian line.

Good Luck.

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