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World Cup round up: Germany remains unbeaten

TAGs: fifa world cup, Germany, world cup

Lee Davy takes a look at Week 4 of the FIFA World Cup European Qualifiers including the reigning champions Germany blitzing San Marino, England beating Scotland and more points dropped by the Welsh.

World Cup round up: Germany remains unbeatenThe Germans are the reigning FIFA World Cup Champions and the favourites to defend their title in 2018 and with good cause. Joachim Low’s side’s 8-0 demolition of San Marino means they have now won all four of their opening matches, and if you look at their competition, you can see them doing what England did in the 2016 Euros qualifying campaign, flying through unbeaten.

The victory over San Marino was Low’s 95th win as coach of the German national side after taking over from Jurgen Klinsmann in 2006, making him the most successful German manager of all time. Germany has had ten different managers since 1926 including Franz Beckenbauer, Berti Vogts and Rudi Voller.

The star of the show was Serge Gnabry. The former Arsenal midfielder, now Werder Bremen star, became the first debutant to score a hat-trick since Dieter Muller in 1976. Sami Khedira, Kevin Volland, Jonas Hector (2) and an own goal completed the rout.

With Germany running away with the group it looks like a straight punch up between Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic for the playoff spot.

The Irish inflicted Azerbaijan’s first group defeat with a resounding 4-0 win at home, and the Czech Republic beat struggling Norway at home by 2-1.

Germany is 1/41 to win the group outright with the Czech Republic favourites to qualify for the playoffs.

France Move Ahead of Sweden After Emotional Clash

The French remain 8/1 joint third favourites to lift the 2018 World Cup after beating Sweden in an emotionally charged evening at the Stade de France. The game began with a minute’s silence to remember the 130 people who lost their lives in the Paris atrocities one year ago to the day.

Sweden took a surprise lead thanks to Emil Forsberg’s 54th-minute free kick, but Paul Pogba headed the equaliser before the Swedish team could settle in. West Ham midfield star, Dimitri Payet, scored the winner in the 65th minute after bundling the ball home from close range.

France is now three points clear of Sweden at the top of Group A.

Spain & Italy Score Four in Tight Race

Easily the most interesting group of the lot is Group G with the giants Spain & Italy battling it out for the one and only automatic place. Both sides hammered four without reply against their opponents this week. Italy beating Liechtenstein and the Spaniards beating Macedonia. Spain keeps the top spot on goal difference for now.

The bookies make Spain the 4/11 favourites to win the group with Italy 2/1. None of the others sides has a cat in hells chance.

Gareth Southgate Finishes Mini Campaign on Top

England’s interim manager, Gareth Southgate, has completed his three-match qualification run with two wins and a draw after a 3-0 win at home against Scotland. However, to put things into perspective, I could have managed them against Malta, Slovenia and Scotland and still earned the same points.

England was average against the Scots, and if it wasn’t for poor Scottish finishing, it could have been a different scoreline. In the end, that extra bit of quality counted as three England headers from Daniel Sturridge, Gary Cahill, and Adam Lallana ensured Southgate signs off – for now – with England at the top of the group.

England is 2/17 to win the group, 16/1 to win the competition outright and Gareth Southgate is the 1/8 favourite to be appointed on a full-time basis after his final game on Tuesday, a friendly against Spain.

Rep. Of Ireland Rising; Wales Falling

Wales are no longer the favourites to win Group D after dropping more valuable points, this time at home to Serbia. The Dragons roared into the lead thanks to a 30th minute Gareth Bale strike, but Newcastle striker Aleksandr Mitrovic equalised with five minutes left to play.

The new favourites are the Rep of Ireland after they came away from Austria with an impressive 1-0 win. West Brom’s James McClean scored the only goal of the game to put the Irish on top of the group two points ahead of the Serbs and four points ahead of the Welsh.

Ireland is the 15/8 favourite to win the group; Serbia is 2/1 with Wales at 11/4.

Here is a full round-up of the rest of the European qualifiers (Sunday matches not included)

European Qualifying Results (Full)

Group A

France 2 v 1 Sweden

Group C

Czech Rep 2 v 1 Norway

Northern Ireland 4 v 0 Azerbaijan

San Marino 0 v 8 Germany

Group C Table

1. Germany – 12

2. Northern Ireland – 7

3. Azerbaijan – 7

4. Czech Rep – 5

5. Norway – 3

6. San Marino – 0

Group D

Austria 0 v 1 Rep. Of Ireland

Georgia 1 v1 Moldova

Wales 1 v1 Serbia

Group D Table

1. Rep. Of Ireland – 10

2. Serbia – 8

3. Wales – 6

4. Austria – 4

5. Georgia – 2

6. Moldova – 1

Group E

Armenia 3 v 2 Montenegro

Denmark 4 v 1 Kazakhstan

Romania 0 v 3 Poland

Group E Table

1. Poland – 10

2. Montenegro – 7

3. Denmark – 6

4. Romania – 5

5. Armenia – 3

6. Kazakhstan – 2

Group F

England 3 v 0 Scotland

Malta 0 v 1 Slovenia

Slovakia 4 v 0 Lithuania

Group F Table

1. England – 10

2. Slovenia – 8

3. Slovakia – 6

4. Lithuania – 5

5. Scotland – 4

6. Malta – 0

Group G

Albania 0 v 3 Israel

Liechtenstein 0 v 4 Italy

Spain 4 v 0 Macedonia

Group G Table

1. Spain – 10

2. Italy – 10

3. Israel – 9

4. Albania – 6

5. Macedonia – 0

6. Liechenstein – 0

Group I

Croatia 2 v 0 Iceland

Turkey 2 v 0 Kosovo

Ukraine 1 v 0 Finland

Group I Table

1. Croatia – 10

2. Ukraine – 8

3. Iceland – 7

4. Turkey – 5

5. Finland – 1

6. Kosovo – 1

World Cup Winner Odds

Germany – 9/2

Brazil – 8/1

Argentina – 8/1

France – 8/1

Spain – 9/1

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