Nations League Tips: Portugal will make winning start to Nations League defence

Dan Fitch thinks Portugal are good value to beat Croatia as he previews Saturday's Nation League games...

Nations League
Saturday 5 September

Gibraltar will rock San Marino

Gibraltar 1.43 v San Marino 10.00; The Draw 4.60
Kick off 14:00

It's no surprise to see Gibraltar as short priced favourites here. Indeed, their odds could even be described as generous against opponents who have lost 37 games in a row.

Gibraltar are on a twelve match run without a victory themselves, but were able to win two of their Nations League games last time round. Back Gibraltar to win half-time/full-time at 2.10.

Home win against familiar foes

North Macedonia 1.73 v Armenia 5.50; The Draw 3.70
Kick off 14:00

North Macedonia are a growing force in European football, with a number of impressive results over the past three years.

They faced Armenia in the last Nations League, winning this fixture 2-0 at home. Armenia won the home match 4-0, but that felt like something of a freak result at the time and the more consistent North Macedonia should win this one at 1.73.

Luxembourg can score on the road

Azerbaijan 2.32 v Luxembourg 3.80; The Draw 3.10
Kick off 17:00

One of the great achievements of the first Nations League, was to give a platform for teams like Azerbaijan and Luxembourg to actually win matches.

Both did well and finished second in their League D groups to win promotion. This should be competitive and both teams to score is 2.10.

Visitors are overrated

Cyprus 3.40 v Montenegro 2.34; The Draw 3.00
Kick off 17:00

Montenegro look too short here. They have only won one of their last ten away matches (D4 L5).

That run includes a 0-0 friendly draw with Cyprus. The Cypriots has a decent Euro 2020 qualification campaign and the draw could land at 3.00.

Back Georgia to keep clean sheet

Estonia 4.40 v Georgia 1.91; The Draw 3.30
Kick off 17:00

The Nations League have really helped Georgia. Unbeaten as they won promotion from League D, they took some confidence into a tough Euro 2020 qualifying group and generally proved difficult to beat.

Georgia's price is a little short. To find some more value, back Georgia to win to nil at 2.70, with Estonia having failed to score in any of their last five games.

Danes can keep it tight against Belgians

Denmark 4.40 v Belgium 1.82; The Draw 3.95
Kick off 19:45

Competing in Group A2 alongside England are Denmark and Belgium. The Belgians look like the team to beat, having won all ten of their qualifiers for Euro 2020.

That run included a 4-1 away win against Russia, so this trip should hold no fear for the visitors. Having said that, the Danes have not lost at home since 2016, so it's worth taking a chance on them making life tough for the visitors. Back the draw half-time/Belgium full-time double result at 5.00.

Portugal will beat fading force

Portugal 1.98 v Croatia 4.60; The Draw 3.50
Kick off 19:45

Portugal are a really good price here. The reigning European Championship and Nations League holders beat Switzerland and Netherlands at home when this competition was last staged.

Meanwhile, Croatia have been in decline since reaching the World Cup final. They qualified from Euro 2020 was ease, but benefitted from a kind draw. Portugal are big at 1.98.



Swedes can step up in group of death

Sweden 5.40 v France 1.76; The Draw 3.60
Kick off 19:45

Along with Portugal and Croatia, Sweden and France are also in Group A3. So along with the European Championship and Nations League holders, Sweden must also face the winner and runners-up from the last World Cup.

In such circumstances Sweden should be happy if they avoid relegation, but that doesn't mean they won't be competitive. The Swedes have developed a cutting edge since the last World Cup, scoring in each of their last eight games. Both teams to score is 2.00.

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