Predictions and Picks for All European World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday, March 24 (2022)

| March 22, 2022 6:52 am PDT

Qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup continues this week. On Thursday, March 24, the European play-offs get underway, with heavyweights such as Italy and Portugal returning to action.

Before we go any further, let’s check out the schedule in full.

  • Portugal vs. Turkey
  • Wales vs. Austria
  • Sweden vs. Czech Republic
  • Italy vs. North Macedonia

If you’re planning to wager on these matches, you will be pleased to learn that I will be sharing my European World Cup qualifying predictions and betting picks in this post.

Let’s kick things off with my Portugal vs. Turkey prediction.

Portugal to Beat Turkey

Believe it or not, Portugal finished second in Group A after taking just one point from the final two matches. Although the Euro 2016 champions finished eight points clear of Ireland, they ended up three points behind Serbia.

However, it is worth noting that Fernando Santos’ men have won five of their last seven games in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Turkey finished two points behind the Netherlands in Group G. Despite losing only one of their ten matches, the Cresent-Stars were forced into the play-offs due to the Netherlands’ superior record.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Cristiano Ronaldo has a big impact on this clash. Even at 37, the Portuguese megastar can’t stop scoring. After netting a hat-trick for Manchester United earlier this month, it wouldn’t be a shock if he added to his tally of 115 international goals on Thursday.

I’m backing Ronaldo and co. to overcome Turkey without any major problems.

You can bet on this match and others at 10Bet, which presently offers odds for every match in this betting preview. Read their review below or head to the site now to place some bets!

Wales to Beat Austria

Wales heads into the play-offs on a seven-game unbeaten streak across all competitions. The Dragons have avoided defeat since Euro 2020, picking up three wins and four draws in the process.

Let’s not forget that Rob Page’s boys held European heavyweight Belgium to a 1-1 draw last time out. As a result, they finished second in Group E after losing just one of their eight qualifiers.

On the flip side, Austria suffered four losses in ten qualifying games earlier in the campaign. That meant they finished behind Denmark, Scotland, and Israel in Group F. However, they secured a play-off place via the Nations League.

The Austrians have registered five wins and five losses across their past ten outings, underlining their inconsistency. With that in mind, I can see Wales edging out Austria.

Sweden to Beat Czech Republic

The Swedes pushed Spain all the way in Group B, only to finish four points behind La Roja. Still, they booked their spot in the play-offs after winning five of their eight matches.

The Blue & Yellows won 11 of their 16 encounters in 2021 but have yet to play this year. But with EPL forwards like Dejan Kulusevski (Tottenham Hotspur) and Anthony Elanga (Manchester United) enjoying outstanding club form, they will be confident of dispatching the Czech Republic.

Like Austria, the Czechs secured a play-off berth via the Nations League. Having managed to win just four of their eight World Cup qualifiers, they finished behind Belgium and Wales in Group E.

It is worth pointing out that Sweden has never lost against the Czech Republic. Granted, they have only faced each other on three occasions. But the Czechs will be well aware of their head-to-head record.

Having taken everything into consideration, all the signs point towards the Sweden win here.

Italy to Beat North Macedonia

It seems crazy that Italy might not feature at the World Cup later this year. Of course, the Azzurri won the European Championship last summer. But they failed to seal automatic qualification to Qatar 2022.

Although the reigning European champions avoided defeat in Group C, they recorded four wins and four draws. Consequently, Switzerland topped the group – leaving the Italians with no choice but to enter the play-offs.

Still, Roberto Mancini’s men shouldn’t struggle to get past North Macedonia. Italy is ranked #6 in the FIFA World Rankings, while North Macedonia is all the way down at #67.

Blagoja Milevski’s boys claimed a shock 2-1 win over Germany in March 2021. However, they suffered a heavy 4-0 thrashing in the reverse fixture. If everything goes to plan, they should suffer another defeat on Thursday.

Best Bets for Thursday’s World Cup Qualifiers

Now that you’ve had my European World Cup qualifying predictions for Thursday, it’s time to go over the best value bets for all four games. My picks are courtesy of the top soccer betting sites.

Portugal vs. Turkey – Cristiano Ronaldo to Score Anytime1.91
Wales vs. Austria – Wales to Win2.80
Sweden vs. Czech Republic – Both Teams to Score2.00
Italy vs. North Macedonia – Italy to Win and Over 2.5 Goals1.73

Portugal is priced at 1.36 to beat Turkey. Needless to say, those odds are pretty low. Instead, I’m backing Ronaldo to score. CR7 has netted 13 goals across his previous 12 appearances for Portugal!

I really like the look of Wales’ price to beat Austria, so I’m backing the hosts to get the job done. In terms of Sweden’s clash with the Czech, both teams to score feels like the best value option for that game.

Since Italy is priced at just 1.14 to beat North Macedonia, I recommend adding the over 2.5 goals wager onto the home victory to boost the odds to 1.73. The Italians should notch a high-scoring win on Thursday.

As mentioned, you can find all of my predictions and picks at 10Bet. If you like my preferred bets listed above, head there now.

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Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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