Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
The weekend is over and we’re faced with another working week before the Premier League returns on Saturday after the October international break.
But just because the weekend is gone it doesn’t mean we have to wait around for the return of Europe’s big leagues as there is plenty of midweek action to keep us entertained. We’ve rounded up some of the best fixtures this week for our The Long Haul feature, with selections from World Cup qualifying and the EFL Trophy before elite level club action returns.
These five fixtures should keep you more than entertained until Saturday rolls around again.
The Long Haul Accumulator
Monday – Croatia vs Slovakia (World Cup qualifying, 19:45)
Best bet – Croatia to win
Slovakia may be able to make a game of this European World Cup qualifier on Monday, but Croatia should still be able to come through with all three points. Zlatko Dalic’s men have won their last three games in a row, including a 1-0 win over the visitors in the reverse fixture last month, and have a formidable record at home – with seven wins in their last nine games in Croatia.
Tuesday – Bulgaria vs Northern Ireland (World Cup qualifying, 19:45)
Best bet – Northern Ireland to win
Bulgaria may have taken a point from Belfast but they’ve lost three of their six games in this group. They head into this one having lost five of their last seven home qualifiers, which should allow Ian Baraclough’s men the chance to claim a victory.
Northern Ireland have faced the Swiss in back-to-back games, with both of those games putting the gulf between the pair on full display. However, NI have picked up results in more winnable games of late, claiming victories at Estonia and Lithuania. We see this clash going the same way as the visitors start building for the future.
Wednesday – Sunderland vs Manchester United U21 (EFL Trophy, 19:00)
Best bet – Sunderland to win
Sunderland won 2-1 at League One rivals Lincoln City in their only EFL Trophy game so far despite opting to rotate for this competition. With home advantage the Black Cats should be able to overcome Manchester United’s youngsters, who have three points from their two games in the EFL Cup so far.
Thursday – Colombia vs Ecuador (South American World Cup qualifying, 20:00)
Best bet – Colombia to win
Colombia are currently in the playoff spot in South American World Cup qualifying but a win over visitors Ecuador on Thursday would see them leapfrog their opponents into the automatic places. Colombia managed as 0-0 draw with Brazil in their last outing and also managed a draw with Argentina at home during qualifying. Ecuador have lost four of their five away qualifiers and look set for another defeat in Barranquilla on Thursday.
Friday – West Brom vs Birmingham (Championship, 19:45)
Best bet – West Brom to win
The big leagues return on Friday after the international break and West Brom’s home game against Birmingham opens this weekend’s Championship fixtures.
The Baggies saw their unbeaten start to the season ended at Stoke in their last outing but they should be able to bounce back against out-of-sorts Birmingham on Friday.
Albion have 11 points from five home games so far (W3, D2), while Birmingham have lost four of their last five games and have failed to score in each of their last four.
More betting news:
Here at Free Super Tips, we cover the entire English Football League. Make sure to check out our Championship Predictions, League One Predictions and League Two Predictions, all covered by our betting experts.
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