Friday 24th March 2017
Rep of Ireland vs Wales
In this international special, and hopefully the only one, I start with a local derby. Ireland have massive injury problems to players I barely know about which is unsurprising when they normally crap themselves facing Roy Keane at training. Saying that, they are top of their league and that’s a good thing.
They are up against Gareth Bale’s country who are moaning now that other teams play better against them after what happened at Euro 2016. Boo hoo, get over it. I hear Wales have other players other than there Madrid winger. At home I’m backing the Irish
Spain vs Israel
The former intergalactic champions are still performing well. With 10 points from their first 4 games they look certain to get to Russia next summer. Sergio Ramos is on 140 caps! 140! And that’s still about 30 less than Iker Casillas. And there we go going nuts about Rooney’s 100th. Pedro is back in the squad but with no Costa bullying and biting up front he may struggle.
Israel come into this game on the back of three wins. Albania did have three players sent off. I looked through the Israel squad and hand on heart say that I’ve never heard of them. I think Ben Sahar may have been at Chelsea a few years back.
Saturday 25th March
Luxembourg vs France
Luxembourg still await their first win in the qualifiers, but at least their captain enjoys the high life playing for New York City. Maxime Chanot is the only high profile player as far as I’m aware. At least you’ve learned something.
France have some great players. And without a strike or protest in sight they win this is easily. Maybe even Giroud will get a few goals and come back to fire Arsenal to 5th place. Just as long as Hugo Lloris comes back safe and sound nothing else matters to me.
Belgium vs Greece
The ‘Golden Generation’ of Belgian players are in danger of becoming similar to the English one of the mid 2000’s – crap. But with Lukaku up front Eden Hazard pulling the strings and falling over anything within a five-mile radius surely, they will beat Greece.
Greece still rely on ex-Fulham non-hitman Kostas Mitroglou to put the ball near the net. He’s now in sunny Benfica and somehow banging them in again. He will be full of confidence and a goatee.
Sunday 26th March
England vs Lithuania
After an ok performance against Germany, Gareth Southgate’s team will hopefully be without Jamie Vardy and win. Jermain Defoe moves far more and is about 21 years older than the party animal Vardy. Three at the back won’t be needed as Lithuania will bring as much threat as a chocolate teapot. But this is England and we all remember San Marino after 7 seconds don’t we?
I did try to learn about Lithuanian players. But Google just laughed at me, bit harsh I thought.
Northern Ireland vs Norway
Michael O’Neill’s team sit second behind the machine that is Germany. So even a draw against Norway should be good. But Nor-way should they be thinking like that. (facts and jokes, you don’t get that anywhere else!).
Sadly Will Grigg won’t be playing and that wonderful song no one got annoyed with won’t be sang.
Norway are struggling since there hey-day of Flo, Solskjaer and Heggem. They’ve played 4 and won only 1 suggesting the golden days are long behind them. But Joshua King (see I told you he was Norwegian) and 11-year-old Martin Odegaard do suggest a brighter future.
Scotland vs Slovenia
Scotland are a strange footballing nation. They drew against an Ice Hockey team on Wednesday and have picked 3 left backs when Phil Bardsley is sat at home doing nothing. They have 38 midfielders and no striker who can score. And what happened to the lad who went to Portugal? Ryan Gauld? Plus don’t they have someone at RB Leipzig? Well I’m sure they will waste their career.
Slovenia have Jan Oblak in goal, but I doubt he will be too busy. A draw would be good for England and that’s what I’m seeing.
Azerbaijan vs Germany
Anyone thinking Germany were poor on Wednesday really knows nothing about football. How many times are they utter tripe in friendlies only to make to the final of a World Cup?
Saying all this, the people of Germany decided to vote Mesut Ozil as their player of the year for 6th time in a row. Maybe just standing there doing nowt is the way forward without moving forward.
Azerbaijan are managed by former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Portsmouth midfielder Robert Prosinecki. And all their players last names end in a V apart from Deniz Yilmaz. That’s all I know.