Punters losing faith in Ireland World Cup hopes

Ireland have received a boost in the build-up to Saturday's World Cup playoff first leg in Denmark with left-back Stephen Ward returning to full training after a knee injury, but punters are backing the Danes to win.

When the playoff-round draw was made, Denmark were available at evens to win the first leg but they have shortened to just 3-4.

The Danes' to-qualify price has been cut from 8-11 to 4-6 this week, while Ireland have been eased from 13-10 to 11-8 to reach the finals in Russia.

There is still a fitness concern over Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick, who missed training on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

David Moyes gave his first interview as West Ham manager on Wednesday and praised the quality of the players he has inherited from Slaven Bilic.

However, West Ham have a relegation battle ahead of them are no bigger than 9-4 for a bottom-three finish - only Swansea and Crystal Palace are shorter in the betting.

Match in Focus

17:30 TODAY BT3

Hoffenheim v Stuttgart

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Stuttgart have taken one point from a possible 24 away from home this season
Expert verdict
Hoffenheim were beaten 2-0 at Hannover last weekend but their previous home game was an impressive 4-0 win over RB Leipzig and another victory looks likely against poor travellers Stuttgart. Leaders Bayern Munich and high-flying Schalke have also lost at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena and Stuttgart could be facing an eighth road defeat.

 

Competitions

Whether it's the Johnstone's Paint Trophy or the Champions League, Soccerbase will ensure you don't experience a big cup upset

Teams

Agonising over Aberdeen?
Yearning for Yeovil? Our database is crammed with every football club you could possibly wish for

Players

A plethora of players ranging from Adebayor to Zamora. All you need to know to find out who is the best bet to score next

Referees

Card-happy control freak?
Astute arbiter? Make the right decision on any referee with the help of our specialist pages

Managers

From Allardyce to Zola, our massive manager database, with histories and win ratios, is sure to get your vote of confidence