Wales were perhaps a touch unfortunate to emerge empty-handed from their trip to Macedonia, where a 2-1 defeat mathematically ended any slim hopes Chris Coleman’s men had of qualifying for the World Cup next year.
Realistically of course, the Welsh have long been in a battle for third spot – and an improved future seeding – in Group A, but another reverse as they entertain Serbia would effectively rule that out too.
Despite their home advantage, Wales are 2/1 outsiders with bet365, to gain revenge for a 6-1 defeat suffered in Novi Sad last September and the Serbs are 13/8 (Stan James) to plunder the points in Cardiff.
However, the Serbs have struggled on the road during this qualifying campaign, accruing just one point and scoring only once in four away games so there are grounds for optimism in the Welsh camp.
Admittedly, Gareth Bale won’t start for the hosts but Coleman still has enough talent in his squad to suggest his team can secure a share of the spoils at the Cardiff City Stadium, where Paddy Power’s 23/10, posted against a stalemate is arguably the best match bet.
BetVictor offer 6/1 about a 1-1 scoreline, for punters feeling a touch more ambitious and there’s also the same bookie’s 4/1 for scores to be level at the end of each half.
In Luxembourg, Northern Ireland are Coral’s 5/4 favourites but the teams drew in Belfast and with Michael O’Neill’s team weakened by a couple of key suspensions, a repeat stands out at 12/5 (Paddy Power).
Finally, following the 2-1 home reverse against Sweden, it’s win or bust for Ireland as they travel to Austria. However, bet365 rate them as 7/2 outsiders and forced to attack Giovanni Trapattoni’s might end up vulnerable, so it’s easy to see why the home side are odds-on at 20/21 via Stan James.