Group A leaders France can edge closer to next year’s World Cup when they travel to Bulgaria on Saturday night. As it stands they are a point ahead of Sweden and four points clear of the Netherlands in what was potentially a very tricky qualifying section. Staying in first place is the only way to guarantee one of the 32 places at the tournament and the top three can all still mathematically finish there, with the second-placed team likely to qualify for the play-offs, which take place in November.

France have been dominant, though have still been allowed to drop points in three matches – including one defeat – without being overtaken, largely due to their quality as top seeds. As their final place in their home Euro 2016 tournament showed, Les Bleus have one of the strongest squads in world football, with players like Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe yet to reach their peak.



The biggest surprise in Group A has been Sweden, who have won five times and are now on the verge of finishing second ahead of a thoroughly disappointing Netherlands team. The Dutch are set to miss out on a second successive tournament unless they can pull off two big wins in their final games – along with a three-point gap to Sweden, they have a goal difference deficit of six to make up.

Bulgaria can still mathematically qualify for the finals themselves, though this now appears most unlikely after they lost 3-1 to the Netherlands in their most recent qualifier last month. They are in fourth place and on 12 points, so the maximum six still on offer could realistically see them into second, though that would be heavily dependable on how results in the other matches pan out. Their standout performances so far were in victories over both the Netherlands and Sweden, though with four wins and defeats apiece they have lacked consistency.

Tipbet is a leading sports betting website that is full to the brim with top odds. They cover all football matches and for the game on Saturday night they have a massive 100 markets to bet on. Given that France still need points to confirm their qualification, they are expected to name a very strong side and they are 1.22 to win. They are also 1.04 with the Double Chance bet not to get beaten. With a final match against Belarus on the horizon, the pressure is somewhat lessened. Bulgaria are 12.5 to get the three points that would keep them in contention for qualification. Other markets can be viewed here.