UEFA Nations League Round-Up: 10/09/2018

UEFA Nations League Round-Up: 10/09/2018

UEFA Nations League Round-Up

The second round of UEFA Nations League fixtures continue tonight, with some mouth-watering ties to sink your teeth into ahead of the return of club football this weekend. It’s made a refreshing change from the monotonous schedule of friendlies and un-competitive international qualifiers, pitching teams together of similar ability and identity. Expect the same this evening, with the four fixtures previewed below being the stand-out contests of Monday night’s action.

Portugal vs Italy

European Champions Portugal open their Nations League campaign on Monday night against Italy hoping to make a positive start to the new tournament. They will have to do so without Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks, after he declared himself unfit to face a team that features a number of his native Juventus teammates. Portugal tested themselves against a high-calibre opposition on Friday night in preparation for this game, taking on World Cup runners-up Croatia and drew 1-`1 in their friendly after Pepe cancelled out Ivan Perisic’s opener.

As for Italy, they were also involved in a 1-1 draw last time out, after being held at home to Poland in Roberto Mancini’s first competitive game in charge. It was a far from vintage performance from the Italians, who had Jorginho to thank for not being on the losing side after his penalty earned them a point following Piotr Zielinski’s opener. With both teams scoring and conceding in their last outing, we can see a repeat of this occurring once again on Monday at the Estadio da Luz.

Recommended bet: Both teams to score YES at 10/11 with SkyBet – BET HERE

Sweden vs Turkey

An intriguing clash in League B clash in Group 1 pairs together Sweden and Turkey, as both teams look to get their first wins in the Nations League. For Sweden, this is their first game in the competition having fielded a much-changed team on Friday night, resulting in a 2-0 defeat to Austria. Expect a far more familiar looking team to return to the fold against Turkey tonight, where they will look to extend their excellent home record in competitive internationals, having won each of their last five in a row at the Friends Arena.

It is a daunting task for Turkey, who almost certainly have to come away with three points here to stand any chance of winning the group at its conclusion in November. They opened against Russia and fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home, leaving them with an uphill battle to climb. As such, Turkey will have no choice but to go for it this evening, leaving plenty of reason to believe there will be chances at both ends in this one.

Recommended bet: Over 1.5 goals at 4/9 with SkyBet – BET HERE

Serbia vs Romania

Given their involvement at the World Cup, the argument was made that Serbia should have been drawn in a higher league than League C, where they are automatic favourites to win Group 4. That said, they didn’t have things all their own way against Lithuania, after edging to a 1-0 win in their opening Nations League game on Friday night thanks to Dusan Tadic’s penalty. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was rested for the fixture and is expected to return for this game, which looks set to be their toughest in Group 4.

Romania kicked off their campaign against Montenegro, but were unable to break their stubborn opponents down as a frustrating 0-0 draw ensued. It was a difficult result for them to stomach and one that they realistically need to be winning if they hope to challenge Serbia for top spot. Romania qualified for Euro 2016 and will see the Nations League as a potential way of making it to Euro 2020, but we’re expecting Serbia to have too much quality for them in this one.

Recommended bet: Serbia win at 4/7 with SkyBet – BET HERE

Scotland vs Albania

Scotland were given a hammering by World Cup semi-finalists Belgium on Friday night, after losing 4-0 to Roberto Martinez’s team at Hampden Park. It was the third successive game in which the Tartan Army had failed to find the back of the net, as goals from Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and a Michy Batshuayi brace helped their opponents cruise to a friendly victory. It was a disappointing result for Scotland but came against a calibre of opponent that they will not be facing in the Nations League. They will see this as the perfect opportunity to bounce back, having gone unbeaten in their last seven competitive home matches – winning four and drawing three.

Albania will have other plans and hope to make it six points from six to start their Nations League campaign, after overcoming Israel on Friday night. The 1-0 victory came courtesy of Taulant Xhaka, with the result leaving them top of Group 1 in League C after the first match. Despite their positive results of late, we think Scotland should be too strong for them at home.

Recommended bet: Scotland win at 4/5 with SkyBet – BET HERE