UEFA’s World Cup qualifiers are getting to the stage where those in with a chance of progressing to Qatar cannot afford to slip up. Wales are in that category and a win for this side against Belarus on Saturday (7.45pm) will mean that qualification will remain in their hands.
Group leaders Belgium are almost certain to go through as winners of this section but that second place is a straight battle between Wales and the Czech Republic. Whoever claims that slot will enter the playoffs while the team to miss out will simply have to wait for another four years.
In short, it’s a vital game and one that Wales have to win in order to maintain their hopes for Qatar 2022. So what chance do they have in this game? Read on for our full World Cup qualifier match preview with concluding betting tips.
The bookmakers are certainly expecting a comfortable 90 minutes for the Welsh who go into this game as favourites at a general 1/5 across the board. The draw is the next option in this market at around 11/2 while victory for Belarus is quoted at distant best odds of 35/2.
If those numbers are correct, we would have to look elsewhere for value in this match but could there be hope of an upset? Belarus are at the bottom of the group and have returned six straight defeats since opening their campaign with a 4-2 win over Estonia.
If we look at the reverse fixture, played in Kazan in September, Belarus did make it tough for their opponents. The home side were 2-1 up at half time and it needed a Gareth Bale hat-trick, including two penalties and a 93rd minute winner, to see Wales sneak home.
It could all be very different with home advantage but that scoreline also suggests that the fitness and participation of Bale could be vitally important.
Wales vs Belarus Side Markets
Gareth Bale has been named in the Wales squad for their upcoming internationals but there is no guarantee that he will feature against Belarus on Saturday. A hamstring injury has curtailed his involvement with Real Madrid this season and this should be kept in mind for those looking at the individual goalscorer markets.
The former Spurs winger is currently listed as the favourite to open the scoring at best odds of 13/5 while his teammate Harry Wilson follows at 15/4. Other options from a Welsh point of view include Daniel James at 11/2 and Aaron Ramsey at 13/2 while the first name for Belarus is Andrey Solovey at 16/1.
Solovey has yet to score in his first three international matches but the FC Gomel striker has been prolific at club level and could be the one to watch. From a Wales perspective, they may struggle in the absence of Bale and that would leave responsibility with the experienced Aaron Ramsey.
He often steps up to score important goals for the national team and, with 18 strikes in 69 matches, Ramsey offers some value here.
In the team goals betting, Both Teams to Score is listed for Saturday’s game at 31/20. We often say that this market gets interesting as it starts to reach odds of evens in the betting, so that’s clearly a price worth considering. We know that Belarus are bottom of the group but they did put two past Wales in the reverse fixture.
In the Total Goals betting, a stake Above the 2.5 line will bring best odds of 3/4 while a push to Over 3.5 takes those numbers to 15/8. The bookies are expecting Wales to provide the majority of those strikes but we’ve seen that Belarus can play their part.
Our Preview’s Wales vs Belarus Betting Tips Verdict
Wales are by no means a one-man team but this preview would be more confident over some of these markets if we knew that Gareth Bale would be starting against Belarus on Saturday. Not only could his appearance influence the result, it’s likely that the goals markets would be easier to call too.
Of the bets that interest us, irrespective of whether Bale makes the starting XI, Both Teams to Score is the first pick. The stats are mixed in this respect with Belarus scoring six times in their opening two qualifying games but they did not find the net in their subsequent four matches. Overall, we think that odds of 31/20 are too good to ignore here.
We’ll also take Aaron Ramsey for an anytime goal. The Juventus midfielder has those 18 goals in 69 international matches and he found the net in Wales’ vital 2-2 draw away to the Czech Republic last month.
The three points should go to Wales and, while they are hot favourites, these two tips offer better priced options for Saturday’s crucial match. So these are the picks of this Wales vs Belarus preview: