The UEFA Nations League is here and it will be interesting to see whether the biggest national teams in the business take this competition seriously.

Gareth Southgate has admitted that England are turning to youth in the next stage of their cycle. A mouth-watering clash against Spain offers the ideal chance for some of the fringe players to impress…

Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but I’m backing the Azzurri to prosper at home to Poland on Friday night.

With Roberto Mancini at the helm, Italy will be pragmatic but that should be all that is required to defeat a struggling Poland. If you fancy a 14/1 accumulator ahead of the first round of Nations League fixtures, have a scroll down and check out my other tips.

 

THURSDAY

Germany vs France

Nobody expected Germany to crash out of the group stages in Russia this summer but that is exactly what happened.

Whether it was a case of complacency or simply falling short, Joachim Low’s side were not good enough and they paid the ultimate price. Back on home soil, Germany will be desperate to make amends as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, Didier Deschamps has selected a strong squad and the World Cup winners will be quietly confident of securing a positive result. Hugo Lloris is one notable absentee and France will miss the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper.

I fancy Germany to edge this one but both teams to score (7/10) is my top tip ahead of this clash – it is hard to envision either side keeping a clean sheet.

TIP: Both teams to score @ 7/10

PREDICTED SCORE: Germany 2-1 France (Priced at 8/1 with 888sport)

 

FRIDAY

Italy vs Poland

Mancini has wrung the changes ahead of this contest, bringing in a number of new faces whilst also recalling Giorgio Chiellini for the first time in almost a year.

The Bologna crowd will be expecting a strong Italy performance this weekend and the Azzurri will be determined to put on a show for their fans. 11/10 for over 1.5 home goals is well worth considering.

Adam Nawalka was sacked in the aftermath of the World Cup and it may take some time for Jerry Brzeczek to adjust to life as an international manager. Expecting an instant impact in this fixture would be foolish to say the least…

Poland were abysmal in Russia this summer and Italy haven’t lost on home soil for over two years. All signs point towards a home win and 7/10 is an excellent price.

TIP: Italy to win @ 7/10

PREDICTED SCORE: Italy 2-0 Poland (Priced at 6/1 with 888sport)

 

Lithuania vs Serbia

Lithuania have won just three of their 24 international fixtures and another defeat beckons here. To put their lack of attacking prowess into perspective, the hosts have scored three goals in their last 900 minutes of international football.

It would be one of the shocks of the weekend if Lithuania were to get a result here. The 23/20 available for a draw at half-time may be the best way to go if you fancy the hosts.

As mentioned in a recent Premier League recap, Aleksandar Mitrovic is starting to prove his worth. The Fulham striker has notched four goals so far this season, putting him joint-top in the Golden Boot race.

Punters can back Mitrovic at 13/8 to continue his fine run of form here – an excellent price considering Serbia’s threat going forward. This could get ugly for Lithuania.

TIP: Aleksandar Mitrovic to score @ 13/8

PREDICTED SCORE: Lithuania 0-3 Serbia (Priced 10/1 with 888sport)

 

SATURDAY

England vs Spain

The Wembley crowd will be expecting a positive performance following England’s exploits in Russia this summer but this is not going to be straightforward by any means.

With a number of key players ruled out through “injury”, Southgate’s options are limited. It would take a brave man to back against England based on their World Cup efforts but the 9/10 for both teams to score is the most appealing bet at this moment in time.

Luis Enrique has the experience to lead Spain back to the top of world football and there will be punters tipping the visitors at 33/20 to prevail under the Wembley arch. On paper, Spain are arguably the stronger of the two sides…

A score draw looks likely on Saturday night. Diego Costa has pulled out of the Spain squad but that shouldn’t hinder Enrique’s men too much. It could be all square come the final whistle.

TIP: Both teams to score @ 9/10

PREDICTED SCORE: England 1-1 Spain (Priced at 11/2 with 888sport)

 

*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

About the Author
By
Alex McMahon

Alex is a freelance sports writer, specializing in football, rugby union and the NFL.

He has a keen interest in most sports though and trips to Wimbledon, Lucas Oil Stadium and Augusta National are on his bucket list. Currently residing in Cardiff, he has worked closely with 888sport since 2015 as well as producing content for the likes of Goal.com and The SPORTBible.

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