Israel vs. Northern Ireland – (6.00pm)
The odds have been steadily dropping since Saturday for the home side to run out comfortable winners, and it’s definitely likely they continue their perfect symmetry within the group. So far Israel have matched results against all other sides in the group and have drawn both games with Portugal, lost both games to Russia, won both games again Luxembourg and drawn both games with Azerbaijan. Northern Ireland are yet to win away in the group and with just 3 away games, it seems unlikely they’ll find a way past an organised Israeli side that knows where the net is. All 3 of their wins have come by 2 clear goals or more, and in those 3 wins the home side netted 11 times to no response. Jonny Evans’ red card in the last round of group games means he’ll be replaced at the back (likely by Baird or Bruce) and there’s an obvious big dip in quality there. In the bigger picture of the group the game is meaningless, and Northern Ireland look set to switch things around and give lesser featured players a chance. The game isn’t of any importance for Israel either, but at International level where the break is such a big thing and all players take the time out to travel out to their home countries, they look likely to field a similar side and Northern Ireland don’t have the quality to match.
Belgium vs. Wales – (8.00pm)
Belgium are qualified and this game means nothing to either side in terms of the group. That said, the majorly contrasting performances that saw Belgium win in Croatia and Wales narrowly defeat a poor Macedonia side. As I said in the previous preview all the players have made the trip and Hazard, Lukaku and co are all going to start. Despite absences to Kompany, Benteke, etc, Belgium are likely to field their strongest possible side. Wales will be without Gareth Bale again and they don’t have enough quality to win in Belgium. With all respect to the Welsh and the man himself, but if your only hope is a retiring Craig Bellamy, you’re potentially going to have a long night against a side this good. Belgium will be looking to make it 9 wins from 10 in the group after leaving Wales with a 2-0 win at the start of the group phase.
Costa Rica vs. Mexico – (2.30am)
Costa Rica will host a Mexico side that really isn’t of any strength anymore. On Saturday Javier Hernandez was extremely un-clinical and off the pace once again, Dos Santos was uncreative and one or two big individual performances carried them past Panama at home. This is a big game for a Mexican side that have to win just to finish the top 4 of 6 and even then it’ll be at best a qualifying playoff to quality for the World Cup. They don’t particularly deserve to be at the World Cup and Costa Rica, already qualified and locked in 2nd, kept a clean sheet in Mexico & have won all 4 home games so far including the 3-1 win over USA that ended their 12 game win streak. No mean feat considering that run included a 5 goal thrashing of Germany and a win from 2-0 down in Bosnia. The line has definitely been shifted to account for the circumstances but I’m not ever sure Mexico will score in this atmosphere.
Israel -1AH @ 1.99 with Pinnacle
Belgium -1.75AH @ 1.78 with 10Bet
Costa Rica +0.5AH @ 1.84 with Pinnacle