Qatar Here We Come?

Can you believe we are just over a year away from the next World Cup finals? Over the next week or so, countries from all over the world will continue their bids to reach the finals. Let’s look at what lies ahead for the four home nations in the first of three matches due to be played in a week. We’ll also give you a few betting odds thrown in for good measure.

England are well on their way to the finals. They top Group I and travel to second placed Hungary on Thursday September 2. England are two points clear of Hungary, so a win here will further cement their hopes of finishing top of the group. Will they protest about LGBT rights in Hungary or just take t the knee again?

Gareth Southgate’s side have won all three games in what isn’t exactly a tough group. They can be backed at odds of 9/20 at 888sport to beat Hungary. This won’t be too easy a task though as Hungary played well at Euro 2020 in the Group of Death. They drew with both France and Germany and only have a loss to Portugal in their last eight matches. Poland went to Hungary in this group and drew 3-3. If they can score three against them, England must have a good chance of winning this game.

Scotland haven’t played in the World Cup finals since 1998. They are second in Group F but already four points behind leaders Denmark. They have an away game in Denmark on Wednesday September 1 and a defeat looks likely. The Danes had an emotional but successful Euro 2020 and top this World Cup group with three wins, 14 goals and none conceded. They are 4/9 at Betfair to get a fourth group win.

Scotland can’t afford to lose this game if they want to finish top and take the one automatic qualification place. They are only a point above Israel and Austria, so face a tough battle to claim second spot and go into the play-offs. Their away form is not impressive and they are 7/1 at BetVictor to win this match.

Wales haven’t made it to the World Cup finals since 1958 and are sick of being told that fact. They are in Group E and it’s not going to be easy winning it. Wales already trail leaders Belgium by four points and are in third, a point behind the Czech Republic, despite beating them 1-0 at home. However, they do have a game in hand on the top two.

Their next group game is on Saturday September 5 away in Belarus. By then, they’ll have two games in hand on Belgium and the Czech Republic who both have winnable games on Thursday. Belarus beat Estonia at home but lost 8-0 away in Belgium.

Wales need to win this and a home match against Estonia before a tough away game against the Czech Republic in October. No odds yet but they should get three points here. One factor that is likely to get them into the play-offs is their Nations League group win, so all is not lost.

Northern Ireland are already on mission impossible. They are third in Group C but five points behind Switzerland and eight adrift of leaders and European champions Italy. Not even a game in hand is going to get them past Italy.

They travel to Lithuania on September 2 with the home side having lost their last six games with only one goal scored. Over 90 minutes, Northern Ireland have one win in their last 15 matches but should justify odds of 5/6 at William Hill to beat Lithuania.