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 By Derek Bilton

Can Wales defeat Republic of Ireland to book World Cup playoff place?

It's the final round of qualifying matches ahead of the 2018 World Cup this week, and we've got all the best betting angles covered.

Running total: -£63.59

The Home Banker

After nine World Cup qualifying matches just a single point separates Wales and Republic of Ireland, who do battle in Cardiff on Monday evening in what looks a classic winner-takes-all encounter. Much has been made of Wales' supposed inferiority when without star man Gareth Bale, but a thunderbolt from Tom Lawrence earned them a 1-0 win in Georgia on Friday. Martin O'Neill's boys in green kept pace with them by beating Moldova 2-0, meaning a playoff place is up for grabs for the winner of Monday's clash (or even an automatic qualification berth from Group D if leaders Serbia slip up against Georgia).

It promises to be a tense, nervy encounter and punters possibly should take heed of the fact Wales have won just one of their past 10 matches against Republic of Ireland (failing to score in five of their last six). However at the prices Chris Coleman's side look a bet here, with the Irish having flattered to deceive for a large chunk of this Group D campaign.

Selection: £4 on Wales to win and Under 2.5 goals at 3/1 with bet365.

The Tasty Treble

Switzerland and Portugal have the top two Group B spots sewn up but Tuesday's clash at the Estadio da Luz is huge as should Portugal win they would win the group and qualify for Russia automatically by virtue of their vastly superior goal difference. It looks set to be an interesting battle with the smart money going down on both teams to score at evens.

The Group A clash between the Netherlands and Sweden is another set to produce goals but the Dutch have made a real mess of qualifying and would need a miracle from here to book their place in Russia. Add Moldova vs. Austria and you have a solid both teams to score treble paying almost 11/2.

Wales look a decent bet to beat the Republic of Ireland on Monday.

Selection: £2 on BTTS treble at 5.44/1 with bet365.

The Euro Wager

Cristiano Ronaldo changed the game when he came on for Portugal in Andorra on Saturday and the Real Madrid legend -- who has scored 15 goals in just nine World Cup qualifiers -- looks a tempting price at 11/5 to score two or more against the Swiss.

Selection:£2 on Ronaldo to score 2+ at 11/5 with bet365.

The Wildcard Tip

Argentina are in danger of missing out on their first World Cup since 1970 and face a do-or-die clash at altitude against Ecuador on Tuesday. La Albiceleste are still odds on to qualify but they've now gone five competitive matches without any player scoring from open play and have a dire record in Quito. With this in mind, Ecuador look potentially huge at 7/1 for the win.

Selection: £1 on Ecuador to win at 7/1 with bet365.

The Bookie Basher

Chile are the only team to beat Brazil in South American qualifying and need a positive result against the Selecao in the final round of matches. A win would see Alexis Sanchez and the boys qualify automatically while a draw would more than likely give them a playoff place. A 2-2 result is a 12/1 poke with bet365 and looks worth a small play in Sao Paulo.

Selection: £1 on 2-2 draw at 12/1 with bet365.


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