World Cup Qualifying opening matches for Group E, Group G, and Group H happen on Wednesday, March 24. The top game could be Belgium versus the Wales. Turkey against the Netherlands should also prove competitive. Check out analysis and free picks for Group E, G, and H opening games so you can place your bets against their FIFA World Cup odds.
UEFA Group E, G & H Opening Games Expert Analysis | 2022 FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup Qualifying Matches
- When: Wednesday, March 24
- Estonia / Czech Republic
No doubt, the Czech Republic is in much better form than Estonia. The Czech have won 3-of-5, including beating Israel 2-1 and 1-0 and dropping Slovakia 2-0. Estonia had a rough time in last fall’s Nations League. Italy beat them 4-0 while North Macedonia beat Estonia 2-1. The Czech Republic should roll.
Soccer Pick: Czech Republic
- Belgium / Wales
If Belgium doesn’t win the 2022 World Cup, they may never win it. Kevin De Bruyne has become the best soccer player on the planet while Romelu Lukaku remains one of the world’s best strikers.
But Wales isn’t without a shot. Gareth Bale is a great player. Bale didn’t even score in Wales’ 3-1 victory over Finland in their last. Harry Wilson, Daniel James and Kieffer Moore got the goals, proving Wales is a deep squad. So deep, in fact, that the Welsh could push for a draw.
Soccer Pick: Draw
- Turkey / Netherlands
The Turks head into this in okay form. Turkey lost their last international match 0-2 versus Hungary. Before that game, they had beaten Russia 3-2. Turkey also drew 3-3 with Croatia on Nov. 11. The Netherlands won their last couple of Nations League matches, 3-1 versus Bosnia and Herzegovina and 2-1 against Poland. Poland is a good soccer team. Beating them impresses. Turkey will put up a fight. The Netherlands will prevail.
Soccer Pick: Netherlands
- Latvia / Montenegro
These two squads are in similar form. Montenegro scored a nice 4-0 victory against Cyprus on Nov. 17. Also that day, Latvia blasted Andorra 5-0. In a match on Oct. 7 last year, Montenegro and Latvia drew 1-1. Another draw seems more than plausible.
Soccer Pick: Draw
- Gibraltar / Norway
After a couple of Nations League losses in their last international action, Norway should get back on the winning track in this. The Norwegians will benefit if Erling Haaland steps onto the pitch. Haaland leads the Champions League with 10 goals. He’s been unstoppable for Bundesliga squad Dortmund. Gibraltar has drawn with San Marino and Liechtenstein in their last couple. Neither one of those teams is as good as Norway.
Soccer Pick: Norway
- Malta / Russia
Malta has 3 wins and 2 draws in their last 5. Russia has lost 2 in a row. They drew in 3 straight before the 2 losses. Russia’s losses, to Turkey and Serbia, impress far more than Malta’s wins. Although the Russians could implode and lose to Malta, they deserve a look based the quality of opponents they’ve faced.
Soccer Pick: Russia
- Cyprus / Slovakia
Cyprus versus Slovakia should be one of the most competitive World Cup Qualifying opening matches. Slovakia has 2 wins and 3 losses in their last 5. Cyprus has a win, 3 losses, and a draw in their last 5. On paper, this should finish in a draw. But Slovakia has played against better teams. They figure to eke out a 1, maybe, 2 goal victory.
Soccer Pick: Slovakia
- Slovenia / Croatia
How badly will Croatia beat Slovenia? The 2018 World Cup runner-up is in terrible form. Ah, but Ivan Perisic and Luka Modric should play in this. Also, although Croatia has lost 3 of their last 5 international matches, the 3 losses were against quality squad Sweden, World Cup winner France, and Ronaldo led Portugal. Expect Croatia to cover the handicap.
Soccer Pick: Croatia