European Soccer Betting
Wednesday Euro 2008 Qualifiers Preview (15-Nov-2006)
Germany look to preserve a perfect record in their Euro2008 qualification campaign and grab the lead in Group D on Wednesday.
Coach Joachim Loew has taken taken the reigns after Juergen Klinsmann departed after the World Cup. Plus, the three-time European champions are the heavy betting favourites against Cyprus (-3 goals on the Asian Handicap line).
"It would be great if our winning run continues. And I think we will beat Cyprus," German giant Franz Beckenbauer said confidently.
Loew does, however, have four injury worries going into the final Euro 2008 qualifiers match day of 2006. Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has a fever, striker Lukas Podolski is struggling with an ankle problem, Bernd Schneider has a thigh strain and midfielder Piotr Trochkowski is nursing an Achilles' injury.
Keeper Timo Hildebrand from Bundesliga leaders VfB Stuttgart will replace Lehmann, and expect Oliver Neuville to fill in for Podolski next to Miroslav Klose in the attack.
Cyprus, who have three points from three matches, face a tough task to knock off a German side in top form. With a win, Loew's men will pass the Czech Republic for the top place in Group D with a perfect 12 points (the Czechs have 10 in four games).
Also in Group D, the Republic of Ireland have what could be their final opportunity to get back on track as they face San Marino. The Irish have just one point from three matches. But the bet odds are heavily in Ireland's favour, with the spread set at –4 goals.
The Euro 2008 qualifying schedule also comprises important games in Groups A and E.
Belgium host Poland in a clash between teams with seven points from four Group A matches. Either side could pull even with leaders Serbia, who have 10 points and a game in hand. Meanwhile, Finland, who are on eight points, are big wagering favourites at home against minnows Armenia. (1.33 odds at Ladbrokes Betting)
In Group E, Israel and Croatia do battle. Both teams will look to take control of the group and each has seven points from three matches. Macedonia, who host Russia, also have seven points but from four games.
England are in the same situation as Macedonia and will watch nervously what happens from a distance. The English are also on the pitch on Wednesday, but just in a friendly against Holland.
That match is just one of many impressive international friendlies on the final national team matchday of the year. Betting on friendly games can be tricky, and the results unpredictable, so punters might want to keep their cash in their wallets for this one.
The Czech Republic host Denmark, while Turkey visit World Cup champions Italy.
2006 World Cup runners-up France welcome Greece, while Spain look to finally get back on form at home against Romania.
The Euro2008 co-hosts are also playing on Wednesday as Austria play at home against Trinidad & Tobago, and Switzerland face a tough home game against Brazil.