Denmark Futsal players add intrigue and value to UEFA Nations League match-ups

Denmark’s National Soccer team – who is ranked #9 in the FIFA World Rankings – will be forced to field an immensely under-strength squad for their match vs Wales this Sunday.

Due to an ongoing labor dispute between the DBU (Danish Football Association) and the Danish Players Union – the top tier players who make up the 9th ranked team in the world, will sit out the remainder of the Nations League matches until an agreement is made between the two sides.

This leaves the Danish National Team scrambling to make call ups for players from the their and fourth levels of their domestic league, as well as players from the Danish Futsal National Team – 4 of which competed in the 2016 Futsal World Cup.

Image result for denmark futsal world cup

The Danish squad, who’s match up and futures odds have now been taking off the board around the world; played an international friendly vs Slovakia on Wednesday and lost 3-0. To give you an idea of how much of a change in expectation this was – opening odds around the world had Denmark as  +150 favorite vs Slovakia who were short +165 dogs. As soon as the news hit that Denmark’s top tier players would sit out – the odds shifted to Slovakia -500, and would soon close with Slovakia being -2000 favorites and Denmark being +2300 dogs. That means, you would have to bet $2000 to win $100 if you bet on Slovakia, and the return on a Denmark wager would be $23 on every $1 you wagered on them. That is an astronomical swing when it comes to sports betting odds.

Where is the Value ??

Denmark – were originally around a -110 favorite vs Wales, who were around +230 dogs in this match – have had their match-up odds and futures odds taken off the board for the remainder of their Nations League matches. They will more than likely reopen as +3000 dogs vs a Wales team, who isn’t a top tier nation – but is better than Slovakia.

The only problem is that this game is OTB, meaning you can not bet on it – mostly because there is so much uncertainty about what kind of roster Denmark is going to field, and also for the reason that there may be so much chalk on the Welsh side here that the oddsmakers won’t even be willing to put up 30/1 odds on Denmark to win the match.

So this is where I see value.

Image result for gareth bale wales

This is not the only UEFA Nations League match that Wales has this week, they also face Ireland on Thursday. The Welsh national team, who were originally around +115 favorites vs the Republic of Ireland’s national team  – have now moved to an average favorite line of -105. This line move is for a numerous amount of reasons – but I will speculate what the biggest reason is.

The Welsh national team – who failed to qualify for the World Cup after making a semi finals run in the 2016 Euro Cup; are ranked 19th in FIFA World Rankings, but only 50th in the UEFA coefficient rankings. Point being – the Welsh NEED to make up some ground when it comes to their overall seeding and standing in FIFA and more specifically the UEFA rankings. This is a team that has not qualified for World Cup since 1958, and up until 2016 – had never qualified for a European Championship either.

Image result for Roy Keane

The Republic of Ireland’s national team comes into this match not without it’s share of problems. A whole slew of injuries has plagued this team – Preston midfielder Alan Browne was ruled out of Thursday’s match earlier this week with a calf strain. Browne joins James McClean, Robbie Brady, James McCarthy, Scott Hogan and Shane Long who are all on the unfit list.

On another side of darkness for the Irish. Critics of the team’s management have called for assistant manager Roy Keane to be either sacked or resign from the squad. Keane’s position is in jeopardy after rumors of a pre-match spat between him and numerous Irish players occurring prior to the Ireland/USA friendly in June. These rumors were confirmed by manager Martin O’Neill and may have been the root cause of star mid-fielder Harry Arter and West Ham defender Declan Rice’s absence from the squad for their match vs Wales on Thursday.

Overall – the Irish Republic’s program seems to be at a standstill, a new coach and new direction may be what is needed here – but that won’t happen until the end of the UEFA Nations League opening group matches. So we look to exploit these issues and here is how…

Image result for Wales soccer celebrate

Best Bet:

Wales +105 (vs Ireland)

There are numerous factors that are attributing to this being my best bet of the day on Thursday…

1. Ireland may be a slightly above average squad when it comes to the UEFA field – but they are outmatched vs this Wales team who could make a splash in the Nations League and may be arguably the most undervalued squad in this competition. Add in the drama that is looming over the Irish squad, the ongoing problem with fitness and injuries. As well as the possible dissension among the ranks of their team and management – this Nations League campaign could be a disastrous one for Irish Republic.

2.  With the news of Danish national team being reduced to amateurs and indoor soccer players, the Welsh team are now faced with a very unique opportunity. For a team that is starved to make a move among the rankings of UEFA coefficients and the FIFA world rankings – this is an absolute gift. Wales, who has a ton of talent on their roster including Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale; who is now the national team’s all time leading scorer, Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, as well as veteran Stoke City defender and team captain Ashley Williams. The Welsh also have a ton of young skill in their mid-field and front end. Ben Woodburn, the 18 year old playing for Sheffield United has played 7 matches for the national squad. As well as 18 year old mid-fielder Matthew Smith, and 17 year old Ethan Ampadu who plays for Chelsea’s development team – all three of these very skilled players are living proof that there is a rejuvenation and new generation of skill coming into the Welsh national program – this is a very good sign if you are backing this team going forward.

3. The Welsh will play Ireland on Thursday, travel to face Denmark’s B team on Sunday, they will play an international friendly vs Spain in early October. They then will travel to Ireland on October 16th to play Ireland again in Nations League play and will host Denmark on November 16th for their final Nations League group play match of the year. For the Welsh to really make a push for them to advance in this competition and secure a spot in the 2020 European Championship – they must put their foot down on this below average Group 4 that they are in. Especially because by the time they host Denmark in November – more than likely the labor dispute will have been resolved by then and they will be facing the true form of the 9th overall ranked team in the world. So they need to get up on this group now – which I am convinced they will.

4. Everyone forgets that Wales were one match away from the 2016 European Championships, they bowed out to the eventual Euro Cup champions, losing 2-0 to Portugal in the semi-finals. The fact that this team is only ranked 19th in FIFA World Rankings and 50th in the UEFA coefficients is a gift to anyone who wants to back the Welsh here because they are much better than 19th in world rankings and are far better than 50th in UEFA rankings. Not to mention the strategic advantage they are going to have by knowing the team they play next is going to be massively under strength – so they will be able to play a more powerful line up in their opening game to get a win, and then more than likely just cruise to a exhibition like victory vs the Danes b-team.

Act fast because alot of places are taking this one off the board or moving the odds immensely because of a number of factors mentioned above. The Irish are decimated with injuries, they have management issues which is more than likely going to lead to unorganized team play and a lack of a proper game plan. Add in the factors concerning the Wales team and their match against this amateur Denmark team that will more than likely lose by 2 or 3 goals to the Welsh. These are all attributing factors to the line movement – so act now and get on the right side of this one. This is an absolute gift in my opinion, and it’s my best bet for Thursday.

AlMac’s Best Bets

($100) – Wales (+100)
($200) – Wales (Over 1), Ireland (Under 4) (Combo) +150
($25) – Ireland (Under 2), Gareth Bale to Score, Wales -1.5 (Combo) +400
($110) – Wales (-110)


Follow AlMac on twitter @AlMacSportsTO
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