EURO 2024 QUALIFIERS: The Ultra previews Saturday’s qualifiers between SCOTLAND v CYPRUS and CROATIA v WALES both with a recommended BETDAQ bet.


2pm It’s a very different Saturday afternoon on BETDAQ Betting Exchange this week as qualifying for Euro 2024 continues. We don’t have our usual mountain of games to choose from, and we kick off the day in Group A as Scotland start their campaign against Cyprus. Scotland come into this tournament in a good place, they have definitely improved over the last few years and they will fancy their chances of getting through. Spain are certain to top Group A, and then it will be a shootout between Norway and Scotland who finishes second in my opinion. A lot might depend on how many games Haaland gets to play for Norway. He’s already been ruled out for the first International break. Scotland can go into this tournament with the confidence of knowing that they are already certain of at least a playoff spot after their Nations League performance. They won in Group B1, and next time around will be in an A Group – which will surely be more than a little out of their league, as Wales found out getting relegated from Group A4. These two sides will know each other well because they played in Euro 2020 qualifying together. Scotland won both those meetings 2-1.

The market is very confident on the home win here, with Scotland trading as short as 1.25 at the time of writing. As I said above, Scotland have made a huge amount of progress over the last few years and it’s hard to see past a home win. They have been fantastic at home lately, apart from getting outplayed by Ukraine in the World Cup playoffs. Cyprus finished bottom of their Nations League Group, Group C2 a full tier below Scotland, and that put them in the “relegation play-outs” with only two teams getting relegated to a D Group, which will be played in March 2024. Their level has been pretty low recently, and this should be one way traffic for Scotland. I feel it’s a case of how many goals Scotland can score rather than will they win, and I like them to cover the 1.5 goal Handicap at 1.72. I know Scotland won the Euro 2020 qualifying games by one goal, but they have improved since and Cyprus have gone backwards – they can cover the Handicap here.

The Ultra Says:
Two points win Scotland -1.5 goals to beat Cyprus at 1.72 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

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7.45pm Next we move over to Group D to finish Saturday as Croatia host Wales. This should be a cracking game, and it’s undoubtedly the best fixture from Saturday’s list! Wales come into this tournament in a very tricky position. A poor performance at the Nations League, although they were out of their depth in an A Group, means they have to finish in the top two spots. That’s going to be tough with Croatia and Turkey in the Group, along with Armenia and Latvia who make up the numbers. The good news for Wales is they have avoided the really strong sides, and Croatia aren’t totally out of their league like for example Germany, Spain, Belgium, etc. I would suggest Croatia and Turkey will be the favourites to go through, so that leaves Wales with work to do. Wales were very poor in the Nations League, and got relegated back down to a B Group after finishing with just one point in a Group with Netherlands, Belgium and Poland. It’s fair to say that an A Group was above their level, and they will do much better back in a B Group and in this qualifying phrase too. Croatia put up another great showing at the World Cup but they did benefit from luck throughout the tournament. They were battered by Belgium, but managed to knock them out with a 0-0 draw while conceding an xG of 3.22. After that they drew with Japan and Brazil, winning on penalties twice before losing to Argentina at the Semi-Final stage. They did win the Third Place Playoff though! They conceded xG figures of 2.05 v Japan and then 2.84 v Brazil. You have to give them credit for grinding out results, but they were outplayed.

With home advantage here however, you’d have to fancy them to beat Wales. Indeed, they come into this game trading odds on. The home win is 1.64 at the time of writing, and given Wales have been playing poor football recently it’s hard to see past the home win here. The major problem for Wales has been they have been leaking goals at the back – they don’t score too many, and now they’ll struggle even more without their star player Gareth Bale too. They will likely have to change their whole approach to the game – they basically need to create more chances, and somehow stop conceding sloppy goals. That isn’t a quick fix, and it will be interesting to see how they do with live after Bale. I’m going to keep stakes small here because Croatia aren’t a side to get carried away with – they have to grind out results themselves, but Wales will give them chances here and they can get the job done. The 1.64 is worth taking for a small bet.

The Ultra Says:
One point win Croatia to beat Wales at 1.64 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

DAQMAN Sat: Newmarket NAP
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THE ULTRA Sat: European Football Preview
THE ULTRA Sun: European Football Preview
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PAT HEALY: Recapping a brilliant week in Listowel
WEEK AHEAD: Champions League & Rugby World Cup
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