Bosnia-Herzegovina vs Gibraltar
2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Europe, Group H.
Date: Saturday, 25th March 2017 Kick off at 17:00 UK / 18:00 CET.
Venue: Stadium Bilino Polje.
Bosnia-Herzegovina had a fantastic opportunity to make a major step towards the second place in the group H, but they were unlucky to concede the 96th minute goal against Greece at Georgios Karaiskaki in the last round. Bosnia manager Mehmed Bazdarevic is without Roma striker Eden Dzeko so all the pressure will be on Miralem Pjanic who has played a significant role in the Juventus’ midfield this season.
Hertha BSC striker Vedad Ibisevic is expected to start up front for Bosnia, with former Liverpool trainee Armin Hodzic potentially partnering him in Dzeko’s absence. Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic is likely to play in goal, having played only two more club games than internationals this season, while there is no space in the 23-man squad for former Sevilla defender Emir Spahic, who has 93 caps to his name, after his release from German side Hamburg in January this year.
Jeff Wood has choices to make in defence; following injuries picked up to Ryan Casciaro & Erin Barnett, Lincoln youngster Kenneth Chipolina could find himself making his debut at left-back while his brother Joseph moves into the centre of defence to partner Roy Chipolina & Jason Pusey in a reported 5-4-1 formation.
Andrew Hernandez replaced Barnett on Friday, a decision which surprised many seeing as Pishu is a midfielder and Ethan Jolley, who was put in the preliminary squad as a defender, was overlooked. Up front, Lee Casciaro is expected to lead the line after scoring vs Cyprus, and depending on what formation Wood plays, JP Duarte could partner him up top. Liam Walker and Anthony Bardon are very likely to start in midfield, while Aaron Payas or Jamie Bosio could find themselves starting to add a bit of extra defensive bite to the midfield.
Betting (All odds via Unibet)
Unsurprisingly Bosnia find themselves 1/100 favourites for this match, while Gibraltar are 66/1 to pull off a monumental win. The draw, itself a big result for Gib should it happen, is 23/1, but there’s one area that strikes us as being good value.
Gibraltar have scored three goals in their seven competitive away qualifiers since joining UEFA and FIFA; equalisers vs Cyprus and Scotland, and a consolation in the 8-1 defeat to Poland. Despite this, you can get 24/5 on any Gibraltar player scoring a goal – odds of nearly 5/1 on an outcome that has happened in 42% of Gibraltar’s away qualifiers.
Gibraltar often find themselves putting in strong first half performances at bigger sides, and for that reason Under 2.5 1st half goals at 4/5 also catches the eye.