As domestic football takes a back seat (hush up back there, internationals are fun too), the European section of World Cup 2014 qualifying gets underway and I’m anticipating a flurry of attacking activity in Holland v Turkey, Malta v Armenia and Andorra v Hungary on Friday.
Having scoured the fixture list and identified these three games as being the most likely to provide over 2.5 goals, here comes the part where we back our assertions up.
Over 2.5 goals in Holland v Turkey @ 18/25
|Confederation Cup - Group B|
The perennial underachievers in orange came up short again at Euro 2012. Very short, in fact, as they crashed out in the group stage without registering a single point. However, when it comes to qualifying, the Dutch don’t mess about.
In qualifying for the tournament in Ukraine and Poland, Holland scored a whopping 37 goals in their ten games and matches featuring the Dutch averaged 4.5 goals during the campaign.
Now under the tutelage of the delightfully mad Louis van Gaal, expect the Netherlands to come out flying again in this qualifying group.
Turkey were much more modest in their unsuccessful bid to reach Euro 2012, with their games averaging only 2.4 goals, but knowing they will probably have to score to get anything from the tie at the Amsterdam Arena, the chances of Abdullah Avci’s men simply sitting back for 90 minute seem slim at best.
Over 2.5 goals in Malta v Armenia @ evens
Now for two games that will have sneaked under most punters’ radars. Be honest, you aren’t likely to check the score of this one unless you have money on it.
Malta find themselves as the whipping boys most of the time, though it is their poor form that makes their games a good bet for over 2.5 goals.
Despite scoring only four times themselves in Euro 2012 qualifying, they take on Armenia, who were full of goals during their campaign.
Scoring 22 and conceding ten, Armenia amassed an impressive 17 points to finish third in Group B, scoring in every away game, including a 4-0 win in Slovakia.
Over 2.5 goals in Andorra v Hungary @ 2/5
We end our treble in the little nation lodged between France and Spain (there’s far worse places to be lodged).
Andorra, like Malta, rarely enjoy their qualifying campaigns and regularly end up propping up their group.
This time around they begin at home to Hungary, who, like Armenia, quietly went about their business in Euro 2012 qualifying, business which generally involved goals.
The Hungarians’ games averaged 3.6 goals and they scored an impressive ten times in five away games, including three against Holland.
Andorra scored one single goal in Euro 2012 qualifying, but conceding 25 pulled their average to just above 2.5, meaning that should Hungary be… well… hungry for goals, then this game should deliver.
So there we have it – three games that will hopefully bring you some welcome cash for the sunny September weekend. That should ease the pain of no Premier League football… shouldn’t it? *cries uncontrollably*
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