FIFA World Cup qualifying predictions ahead of tonight's fixtures

England to win comfortably with bad results for the rest of the home nations. Meanwhile Croatia are backed for a win in their crunch tie with Serbia while Spain, France, Holland and Germany should win comfortably. Looking for a shock? Macedonia to beat Eden Hazard's Belgium.

As I write Israel are currently 3-1 up against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal so there is proof that there can certainly be scope for shock results in the world of international football; even if it probably won’t be in the England v San Marino match.

But here is a selection of the biggest international ties and the prediction to go with each.

We can start with the Home Nations.

San Marino v England: 0-5

I am quite a punter when it comes to my predictions but seriously, there should be no other result than a comfortable win for our boys in the tiny principality.

Five goals genuinely should be considered the bare minimum for the game and anything over then a comfortable victory should be considered a failure.

Scotland v Wales: 2-2

I really do not think there is much between these sides perhaps other than the talent of Gareth Bale.

Bale is struggling to remain fit for the fixture so that could also play a part in the game; along with the absence of Joe Allen.

Scotland are under the stewardship of Gordon Strachan for the first time but I can’t see that making a big enough difference.

Northern Ireland v Russia: 0-2

Well the main question about this fixture is whether it will even be on. Heavy snow is threatening the game at Windsor Park.

Snow won’t irritate the Russian players all of whom play in the Russian Premier League and they should be comfortable winners despite what will be a hard-working effort as ever from Michael O’Neill’s men.

Sweden v Republic of Ireland: 2-1

Ireland have decided to start Paul Green ahead of James McCarthy and I really do not understand why.

It should be a close game but with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in top form this should be a win for The Swedes.

Selected fixtures

Croatia v Serbia: 3-2

Absolutely the most anticipated game of the evening as these two sides meet each other for the first time since as independent nations.

Serbian fans have been banned from the game and a massive rivalry still exists between these two nations post the Croatian War of Independence in 1995.

On a footballing note Croatia should be too strong for Serbia.

Poland v Ukraine: 1-1

A massive game between two of England’s biggest rivals. Ukraine are struggling but have plenty of quality in their ranks and Poland may have to settle for a home draw on this occasion; which would be a good result for England.

Big nations such as France, Spain and Holland have home ties against sides they should beat while Germany will feel confident of bringing back three points from the artificial pitch in Kazakhstan.

If I am going to be pushed for a shock result; if anybody fancies a flutter I would have to go with maybe Macedonia v Belgium with a home win.

Full-time in Israel; Portugal have grabbed two goals to level at 3-3.

Funny old game.

What are your predictions ahead of the nights qualifying fixtures?

images: © law_keven, © Ronnie Macdonald

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