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Weekly betting column

Wales' Gareth Bale (left) and James Collins (centre, right) during a training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Austria
Wales' Gareth Bale (left) and James Collins (centre, right) during a training session ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Austria

Valuebet’s betting expert Joe Whitaker turns the spotlight on the weekend’s World Cup qualifiers and racing action at Chester’s famous Roodee on Saturday.

It is an ‘International Weekend’ once again, with punters and fans 
having a moan that they had just got back into the rhythm 
of things.

Fancy a flutter this weekend?

Fancy a flutter this weekend?

That’s not to say there aren’t opportunities out there before we all head back to the school run and work come Monday morning, 
however.

On the football scene, a tasty World Cup qualifier at the Bernabeu in Madrid sees Spain host Italy. Both have only dropped two points from six matches in the campaign to get to Russia next summer, and this is clearly their ‘cup final’ to finish top of the group. I sense a cagey affair here and the draw at 5/2 looks worthy of making the Saturday accumulator for me.

Another decent chance of all square could be in Cardiff where Wales host Austria.

Whilst Wales must have a good chance in front of the home crowd, they are missing key midfielder Joe Allen and fullback Neil Taylor both through suspension.

Again at 5/2 the draw looks a good price for me with goals potentially hard to come by.

There is of course still some domestic action and value prices to be found. Scunthorpe to me look like a side who have just hit an early top gear after their 4-0 win at Plymouth and they travel to Bury, who have yet to gel as a team following a summer of new arrivals. The 7/4 for Scunthorpe to get a second away win on the bounce looks a very good price.

It’s also nice to slide a home banker in there and Southend at home to Rochdale look worthy of making the list at 5/4. One of the more fancied sides this season they are yet to hit top gear this season with only five points but I fancy them to do a job on an already struggling Rochdale side.

The Chester Stakes at 2:10 is always a decent race for the spectators though it can be a tricky one for the punters.

With it being over 1m5f it does tend to diminish the inside draw advantage that the betting public love to get stuck into at Chester over the shorter distances.

A course specialist can go a long way here though and Mark Johnston’s Hochfeld has won twice at Chester, a furlong either side of todays distance, this season. I anticipate he will go close again.

As always, whatever your selections have a good weekend folks and enjoy! Joe