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Biggest ever UEFA international qualifying scorelines in history

In light of UEFA footballing minnows Andorra, Gibraltar, Malta and San Marino all taking on much higher-ranked opponents Portugal, Belgium, England and Northern Ireland respectively this international break, that got Coral writers thinking.
Goals galore are expected in each of those fixtures, so we find out some of the biggest scorelines in the history of World Cup and Euro qualifying from European nations.

England 8-0 Turkey (1987)

We start off with England and, although their 8-0 win is not the biggest scoreline on the list, it was against one of the most high profile – Turkey.

Ahead of Euro 1988, the Three Lions battered the Turkish outfit, thanks to a hat-trick from Gary Lineker and a brace from John Barnes, while Bryan Robson, Peter Beardsley and Neil Webb also chipped in.

Spain 8-0 Liechtenstein (2016)

Most recently, Spain hammered tiny territory Liechtenstein 8-0 too this current World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign, thanks to braces from Diego Costa, David Silva and Alvaro Morata.

Republic of Ireland 8-0 Malta (1983)

The Boys in Green’s biggest ever win came in qualifying for the 1984 European Championship, against former British oversees territory Malta, in a group involving Spain and the Netherlands.

While they failed to qualify, they did smash the island nation 8-0, with defender and now-pundit Mark Lawrenson bagging a brace.

Spain 9-0 Austria (1999)

La Roja predictably feature on this list a few times, but their 9-0 triumph over Austria in Euro 2000 qualifying is perhaps the most impressive.

Raul hit four, while Fernando Hierro converted from the spot.

England 9-0 Luxembourg (1982)

England actually failed to qualify for Euro 1984, but at least gave fans something to cheer about by giving Luxembourg a thrashing at Wembley.

Luther Blissett’s hat-trick helped the hosts to the 9-0 win, and the Three Lions are 33/1 to beat Malta by that same scoreline on October 8th.

San Marino 0-13 Germany (2006)

To complete the list, Germany’s ridiculous 13-0 scoreline in San Marino is the biggest of them all, and came against usual whipping boys San Marino.

Lukas Podolski bagged four, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Thomas Hitzlsperger all got braces, and Michael Ballack, Manuel Friedrich and Bernd Schneider got one apiece too in this 2006 qualifier.

Spain 12-1 Malta (1983)

Spain again, this time against Malta, who’ve had their fair share of thrashings over the years.

Four goals each from forwards Santillana and Hipolito Rincon helped La Roja on their way to firing 12 in, though at one stage it seemed unlikely as Silvio Demanuele got a 24th-minute equaliser.

Netherlands 11-0 San Marino (2011)

It might be a surprise that the famed attacking side Netherlands only feature on this list once, but their 11-0 triumph over San Marino in Euro 2012 qualifying puts them in our top three biggest scorelines.

Robin van Persie’s quadruple, Wesley Sneijder and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s braces and strikes from Dirk Kuyt, Johnny Heitinga and Georginio Wijnaldum gave Clockwork Orange their greatest ever victory in terms of goals scored.

France 10-0 Azerbaijan (1995)

Ahead of the memorable Euro 96 tournament in England, bitter rivals France were under pressure to qualify for the tournament across the Channel, but their 10-0 walloping of Azerbaijan certainly helped them on their way.

Youri Djorkaeff and Frank Leboeuf managed two goals apiece, while Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly, Vincent Guerin, Reynald Pedros, Christophe Dugarry and Christophe Cocard all scored too.

Dortmund are the top scorers in the Bundesliga,

Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid
Live on BT Sport
Dortmund 2.56, Draw 3.80, Real Madrid 2.86

Occasionally the Champions League group stage throws up a humdinger of clash, and this week we have two of the best and they both involve clubs from the Bundesliga and Madrid.

Bayern Munich's clash with Atletico will be a fascinating repeat of last year's engrossing semi-final, while Real Madrid's trip to Borussia Dortmund simply promises to be a right ding-dong of a game as they have been over the years.
These are two teams full of extremely talented players but led by completely different coaches.
Madrid boast Zinedine Zidane, a coach who won everything as a player and then moved into elite coaching to immediate success. Zidane has a serene air to him and his sides don't have a particularly notable playing style, he just focuses on keeping his players happy and confident.
Dortmund are managed by Thomas Tuchel, an intense coach (albeit less so than predecessor Jurgen Klopp) whose distinctive playing patterns involve high-energy pressing and fast-transition attacks. A modest playing career meant he had to work his way up through the ranks but now he has arrived at the top and Tuchel is considered one of Europe's finest young coaches.
At Signal Iduna Park, there is little doubt that Dortmund will have a good go at Real Madrid and that will suit the defending champions. Cristiano Ronaldo was taken off (much to his disgust) late-on at Las Palmas to keep fresh for this game and that suggests we're looking at the first-choice 'BBC' front three from Madrid.
Luka Modric, their beating heart, is back but Zidane has suffered an injury in the only position in his entire squad that he doesn't have back-up - defensive midfield. Casemiro has proven a vital player for this Madrid side and they'll be without his defensive influence in the centre of the park. The likes of Mario Gotze and Shinji Kagawa will look to exploit that space.
With Dortmund having played on Friday night and Real Madrid on Saturday near the equator, the German side will be fresher. Both sides have played five games in the last two weeks but the Bundesliga giants haven't had to travel 6,000km since Friday like their opponents.
That isn't to be underestimated against a team who will harry and press you.
Dortmund also boast an assassin of a centre-forward in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who will punish any mistakes - and if you've been watching Sergio Ramos recently, you'll know that has to be a real concern.
The big expectation for this game is goals. Madrid obviously have plenty in their side while every Dortmund game bar one this season has gone over 2.5 goals. They're the top scorers in the Bundesliga, with more than even Bayern, and they've only failed to score once at home in any competition in 2016 - a 0-0 draw with Bayern in March.
If they score first then this could be a brilliant Wild West shootout of a game. Casemiro's absence will feed into that, and Madrid's failure to buy anyone of a similar profile in the summer helps make our mind up about the plays for this game.

Best bet
Back over 3.5 goals at 2.34

Next England Manager: Three overseas candidates to be considered

Ralf Rangnick @ 10/3

Much as last time, a German is second favourite, but Rangnick is a far more rounded and interesting candidate than Jurgen Klinsmann. Despite winning promotions with multiple clubs and reaching a Champions League semi-final at Schalke, his style rather than his success earned him a reputation, being credited with introducing the popular pressing style of the day to the Bundesliga and altering perceptions of the league. The demands for Glenn Hoddle show the value in which England fans hold possessing a discernible tactical ideology, and the RB Leipzig director certainly provides that.

Laurent Blanc @ 33/1

The ease with which Blanc won at Paris St-Germain gets used as a knock on him, even though he fared better than feted predecessor Carlo Ancelotti and Unai Emery has so far shown that the job isn't as simple as his performance implied. He topped Ligue 1 and reached a Champions League semi-final in three years at Bordeaux, and finished first three times and got to three quarter-finals in three in Paris, winning six other major trophies across those stints. The 50-year-old has international pedigree too, steering France to the Euro 2012 quarters after their Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 group-stage flops.

Louis van Gaal @ 33/1

Obviously things didn't work out quite as well as they should have at Manchester United, yet Van Gaal is just over two years removed from an excellent international run in charge of the Netherlands, placing third at World Cup 2014 and beating Spain, Chile and Brazil en route. They didn't even qualify for a 24-team European Championship without him. His legacy at Old Trafford may not be an FA Cup triumph and fourth and fifth-place finishes - arguably par for the period and squad he was given - but plucking Marcus Rashford from obscurity and turning him into a starter at the age of 18.

Can Spurs go all the way?

There was no more pressing matter this weekend than who would win the top two battle at White Hart Lane and the comprehensive manner in which Tottenham Hotspur dismantled Pep Guardiola's previously slick machine has inevitably resumed a conversation.
It's a conversation that began last season as people began to wake up to the undeniable fact that Mauricio Pochettino had forged a young, hungry side who had bought wholesale into his mandate while being greater than the sum of their parts. That in itself is not an uncommon phenomenon but when the parts in question are a truly outstanding goalkeeper; a defender in Toby Alderweireld whose calm authority made him a shoo-on for the PFA Team of the Year; the breath-taking emergence of Dier and Alli; and Harry Kane sweeping away fears of second season syndrome with another haul of goals then Spurs's title credentials soon went from being whispered on forums to openly discussed in pubs and television studios.
The last time the north London giants had won the league Dele Alli's grandad was a mere twinkle in his great-grandad's eye so their sustained challenge was thoroughly deserving of acres of coverage and high praise. In the event they largely only got the former with Leicester's incredible fairy tale understandably hogging the plaudits. In the event Spurs were cruelly and erroneously seen as 'bottlers'.
Aware that he had struck upon a winning formula Pochettino resisted change for its own sake this summer, and by targeting significant upgrades in his squad's weaker areas Spurs were only going to get better, stronger and become even more of a collective force to be reckoned with. So it was a surprise to see them priced around the 20-1 mark - twice that of Arsenal or Manchester United - as the new campaign loomed large, an under-estimation that can partly be explained by the strange habit we have in this country of closing the book on a completed season and immediately forgetting all the lessons it contained. As if three short months changes everything. As if continuity and shrewd improvement count for nothing.

Additionally a new story was unfolding with 2016/17 supposed to be the Pep v Jose show and Manchester centre stage. Spurs' sensible claim got in the way of this and because headlines that state the obvious are reductive the narrative twisted to the point of rewriting recent history. Granted they had been mightily impressive last term but their final tally was a single point less than in 2013 when they'd finished fifth. Didn't that suggest their title bid was achieved by default, as they benefitted from the unexpected failings of others? Besides, look at Kane's woeful displays at the Euros. He was a shattered force and without a fit and firing focal point Spurs are just a buzz of energy without an end product. Aren't they?

If any performance disproved such nonsense it was their recent accomplished victory over Middlesbrough that secured Spurs' best start in the top-flight for 51 years. In Kane's absence through injury his understudy Son Heung-min stepped in to score two excellent goals as Pochettino's men climbed to second in the table. Last season they would have drawn such a tricky away fixture. In fact they did, eight times.
Alarm bells then should have been ringing at that result alone, along with a tumbling of their odds to ultimately lift the Premier League trophy. That they didn't remain a mystery and even now, after Tottenham's highly impressive swatting away of Manchester City's supposed invincibility they continue to be priced at a tempting 8-1.
Anyone who witnessed Sunday's statement of intent at the Lane will see value here as Spurs' well-established press and pass methodology exposed City's similar approach for the work in progress it is. The home side were a relentless swarm of intensity with every player intuitively knowing their role and executing it ferociously, all lapped up by a passionate crowd who believe something very special is imminent. That last point should not be discarded. That last point can sometimes be enough to get you over the line.
Victor Wanyama was seemingly fitted with a third lung for the occasion as he bossed Fernandinho throughout while Son's work-rate made viewers watching at home in their comfortable armchairs puff out their cheeks in vicarious exhaustion. Highly organised and highly effective they were the side Pep Guardiola desperately hopes his own can one day become.

So it's right and just that we are resuming the conversation as to Tottenham's title credentials. It began last season as a whisper. On current form it's a great shout.

Premier League Betting Tips : Round 4

Mike Norman
Back Bournemouth @ 2.16 to beat West Brom
Saturday, 15:00
A meeting between two clubs that have started the season relatively slowly, but have performed in contrasting fashions.
Okay, the Baggies have four points on the board so not exactly a poor start, but they performed a smash and grab away to goal-shy Crystal Palace, lost at home to Everton, and then were involved in the worst game you'll ever witness at home to Middlesbrough.
Despite the arrivals of Nacer Chadli and Hal Robson-Kanu I sense that West Brom boss Tony Pulis is far from happy with how the transfer window ended and I seriously believe that he won't be the manager come the end of the season. I think West Brom will struggle to score goals and they'll be in and around the relegation zone for much of the campaign.
Bournemouth have picked up just one point but they performed with credit against West Ham and Manchester United before playing well for 45 minutes at Crystal Palace. The signing of Jack Wilshere has to act as a massive boost, and the return to full fitness of quality defender Tyrone Mings is another positive.
The Vitality Stadium will be buzzing for this home game and I just feel that now is the time to be with the Cherries. I can see them being on the front foot throughout so hopefully Wilshere and co can conjure up enough goalscoring chances to put the game to bed.
Mike Norman 2015-16 P/L: +£24.00

Joe Dyer
Back Under 1.5 Goals @ 2.78 in Burnley v Hull
Saturday, 15:00

Sean Dyche took charge of Burnley in October 2012 since when he has stewarded the club through six meetings with Hull.
Astonishingly, five of those matches have ended in 1-0 victories, four of them to Burnley and one to Hull. I'm expecting similarly low-scoring fare this weekend.
Steve Bruce may have left the Tigers but his stamp remains and, despite a bright start, the club look destined for a struggle in the top-flight this year. Their success will come through defensive resilience and organisation.
Burnley possess a little more firepower and are rightful favourites to take this match, but I think goals will be very thin on the ground and it'll be a struggle for either side to break through. The price is tight but I can't ignore those strong trends and I'll take a chance on under 1.5 goals at 2.78.
Joe Dyer 2015-16 P/L: +£12.00

Luke Moore
Back Middlesbrough to beat Crystal Palace at 2.34
Saturday, 15:00

While my regular weekly Premier League column is going well (+8pts since the start of the season), I'm having a touch more trouble finding consistency in the Battle. I backed Watford to get something at home to Arsenal last time round, but sadly for me the Gunners were in fine fettle and made a decent job of picking up a win.
This time I'm persuaded by the generosity of the price on offer for Aitor Karanka's Middlesbrough to beat struggling Crystal Palace. The Eagles are in utterly dreadful nick under Alan Pardew - Opta tell us that Palace have garnered just 12 points from 22 Premier League games in 2016 - and the south Londoners have also never won at the Riverside in five league attempts.
Boro are yet to lose in the Premier League this season and a good home record is vital to their ambitions of remaining in the top tier. I fancy them heavily to get a win against a Pardew team in freefall, and 2.34 is more than enough value for me.
Luke Moore 2015-16 P/L: -£8.50

Dan Thomas
Back a Draw in Man Utd v Man City at 3.35
Saturday, 12:30
Live on Sky Sports 1

Yohan Cabaye's missed penalty against Bournemouth cost me a 'half-time draw' winner last time out, so I'm looking for a decent priced selection to get me into profit again and it's the Manchester derby that has grabbed my attention.
While United are the home team and have a 100% record so far this season, Jose Mourinho is never one to throw caution to the wind against the better teams and negating City's attacking threat will be at the forefront of his mind ahead of this one.

City are also heading into the game with a 100% record and Pep Guardiola will no doubt be desperate to get (another) one over his old rival but, in the absence of talisman Sergio Aguero, the Blues will probably be pleased enough with a point.


The best bets for APOEL, Dinamo Zagreb and Crvena Zvezda

APOEL 2.40 v Rosenborg 3.30; The Draw 3.50
Tuesday, 18:00

Rosenborg were 24 minutes from completing the perfect home first-leg performance last week, leading 2-0, only to concede an away goal that threatens to be costly.
They have lost four straight Champions League qualifiers on their travels, while APOEL showed in the last round that they only need one hot half to progress, offering nothing for the first 143 minutes of the double header before firing three times in the space of 37 minutes to crush The New Saints.
The best punting option might be to oppose both teams to score though as this has paid out in ten of APOEL's past 13 contests as hosts in the competition, including five of the latest six, and four of Rosenborg's last six overseas in it.
Recommended Bet: Back both teams to score? No @ 2.04

Dinamo Tbilisi 3.70 v Dinamo Zagreb 2.20; The Draw 3.60
Tuesday, 18:00
Live on Betfair Live Video

Dinamo Zagreb have a pretty snug cushion at the halfway point of this third qualifying round tie thanks to first-half goals by El Arabi Hilal Soudani and Ante Coric in the Croatian capital, but in all likelihood they didn't even need such a strong result to set them on course for the play-off round.
Zlatko Kranjcar's men are exceptional away performers, going 12 qualifiers abroad without suffering a defeat, a sequence which now spans a few weeks shy of five years. Ten of the most recent 11 were victories, seven of those were achieved to nil and they scored two or more in eight of the last nine.
Dinamo Tbilisi have lost two of their previous three Champions League home games without netting, being shut out in four of their past seven over a wider period, so the stage is set for the Zagreb's finest to triumph again, quite possibly without leaking.
Recommended Bet: Back Dinamo Zagreb to win @ 2.20

Crvena Zvezda 2.42 v Ludogorets 3.30; The Draw 3.50
Tuesday, 19:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

This clash is wide open after a 2-2 first leg in Bulgaria during which Ludogorets broke the deadlock, found themselves behind and salvaged a draw. This column won't guess which side is going through, as the standout wager instead appears to be over 2.5 goals at 1.95.
This bet paid out with 34 minutes to spare last week and was a winner in all five of Crvena Zvezda's 2015/16 fixtures to date, with the latest three clearing 3.5 goals for good measure. Their final four matches last season served up a combined 17 strikes, demonstrating the sustainability of such form.
As for Ludogorets, there have been three or more goals bagged in six of their past eight Champions League encounters.

Recommended Bet: Back over 2.5 goals @ 1.95

Europa League Tips tonight

Hertha Berlin 1.51 v Brondby 8.40; The Draw 4.50
Thursday, 19:15
Live on Betfair Live Video

Germany's premier capital club went from looking almost certain to claim a Champions League spot in late March, sitting third, six points clear of Borussia Monchengladbach in fifth with seven Bundesliga fixtures to play, to being grateful to cling on for a Europa League berth in seventh after earning only two points from a possible 21.
Whether they are over that isn't yet apparent, though Brondby's five past failures to reach the Europa League group stage coupled with near-elimination at home to Hibernian last week, getting by on penalties, will leave Hertha confident of progress.
They are a short price for victory, so consider selecting under 2.5 goals at 1.83. It paid out in six of their past eight continental contests, as well as both legs of Brondby's tie with Hibs, which delivered a mere two in total.
Recommended Bet: Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.83

Away in Europe last season, West Ham beat Andorra’s Lusitanos 1-0 and were felled 1-0 by Malta’s Birkirkara before exiting with a 2-1 loss to Romania’s Astra Giurgiu."
Recommended Bet: Lay West Ham to win at Domzale @ 1.61
Domzale 6.80 v West Ham 1.60; The Draw 4.30
Thursday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 2

West Ham are strong favourites to win the away leg of their double header with the side who finished third in the Slovenian PrvaLiga, but there are several reasons to suspect that they are worth the lay at 1.61.
The first is their unconvincing travelling displays in last season's competition despite entering two rounds earlier and therefore theoretically facing less taxing teams. They beat Andorra's Lusitanos 1-0 and were felled 1-0 by Malta's Birkirkara before exiting with a 2-1 loss to Romania's Astra Giurgiu.
Domzale should be more prepared for the task at hand than their guests after blasting through two rounds, prevailing in both home encounters, and playing two league games. The Irons by contrast have won just one of their five friendlies, being turned over 3-0 in two of those.
Recommended Bet: Lay West Ham to win @ 1.61

St Etienne 1.72 v AEK Athens 6.00; The Draw 3.90
Thursday, 20:00
Live on Betfair Live Video

Whereas the two showdowns above pit a club already up and running against fresh entrants, both of these clubs are kicking off their campaigns with this third qualifying round clash.
St Etienne were granted their participation for taking sixth place in Ligue 1 and AEK Athens for coming third and lifting the cup on their return to Greece's top tier.
The hosts appear to be deserving frontrunners at 1.72. Their tally of ten Ligue 1 triumphs in front of their fans was bettered by only four rivals, while they won three and drew the others of their most recent five Europa League matches in France.
AEK Athens on the other hand have lost a substantial eight of their last 12 European road trips.

Recommended Bet: Back St Etienne to win @ 1.72

Celtic have lost seven of their last 11 Champions League road trips

FC Astana 2.46 v Celtic 3.50; The Draw 3.20
Wednesday, 15:00
Live on Premier Sports

Brendan Rodgers did a good job of summing up the challenge confronting Celtic in Kazakhstan, quipping that: "It's a six-hour flight, five-hour time difference, 35C+, a plastic pitch with no water, but apart from that..."
FC Astana are unbeaten in 15 home games, winning 12 of their latest 13, and it isn't just in domestic competition that they dominate. Their six Champions League fixtures in front of their fans last term delivered victories over Maribor, HJK, APOEL and draws with Galatasaray, Benfica and finalists Atletico Madrid and not a single defeat.
Celtic have lost seven of their last 11 Champions League road trips, with the first reverse in that sequence occurring 2-0 against inferior Kazakhstani opposition in Shakhter Karagandy and the most recent being inflicted by Gibraltarian adversaries in Lincoln Red Imps.
Recommended Bet: Back FC Astana to win @ 2.46

Astra Giurgiu 3.40 v FC Copenhagen 2.42; The Draw 3.35
Wednesday, 18:30

This is a clash between Champions League debutants and veterans of this qualifying process, with the latter fancied to put their experience to good use, even though it has only seen them through to the group stage once in their past four attempts.
A better option than investing in the outcome is betting on a high-scoring contest, especially with the odds on over 2.5 goals as appetising as 2.58.
Astra Giurgiu's final four Europa League matches last summer against West Ham and AZ Alkmaar served up 14 strikes, with three of those breezing past the 2.5 barrier. The opening encounter of their domestic title defence at the weekend produced five as they fell 4-1 to Dinamo Bucharest.
As for FC Copenhagen, they fired nine times past Northern Ireland's Crusaders in the last round, with their previous double header in the competition against Bayer Leverkusen delivering the same number of goals. Their last five league outings also shot past 2.5, usually by a distance.
Recommended Bet: Back over 2.5 goals @ 2.58

Fenerbahce 2.88 v Monaco 2.88; The Draw 3.25
Wednesday, 19:30

Punters may struggle to pick a winner from a showdown which, at the time of writing, has co-favourites, but there is an interesting trend indicating that the advantage is with Monaco.
Fenerbahce haven't scored a single goal in their last four Champions League assignments and, proving that it wasn't a result of facing vastly superior sides, each of those blanks was incurred in the qualifiers, with Arsenal shutting them out twice in 2013 and Shakhtar doing likewise last year.
Monaco have won three of their previous five away days in the tournament, with the Gunners one of their victims, yet even more surprising is the fact that they have conceded less than a goal per game on average across their past ten on their Champions League travels.

Recommended Bet: Back Monaco to win @ 2.88