Poland v Portugal, Thursday 11th October, 19:45
Poland endured a horrid time in Russia over the summer, but they’ve registered a pair of respectable 1-1 stalemates against both Italy and Ireland since.
Meanwhile, Portugal have been as miserly as ever, drawing 1-1 with Croatia and beating the Italians 1-0, with both of these on home turf.
Ronaldo was absent and will be again once more as his international future hangs in the air at present, but 22-year-old Sevilla striker Andre Silva is in great form and should shoulder the goal scoring burden admirably.
He’s already netted seven goals in eight appearances so far this term domestically and showed he can be relied upon at international level with the only goal against Italy.
Lewandowski flopped at the World Cup but you don’t reach 55 goals in 99 caps without good reason, while Poland have other attacking talents in the shape of Napoli duo Piotr Zielinski and Arkadiusz Milik.
There’s also Krzysztof Piatek, who’s banged in a very impressive 13 goals in just eight matches for Genoa across Serie A and the Coppa Italia this term. That leaves both teams to score a distinct possibility, though given Portugal have drawn five of their last nine, we wouldn’t put anyone off the 1-1 correct score either.
Russia v Sweden, Thursday 11th October, 19:45
Sweden are yet to get going after their quarter-final exit at the World Cup, first losing 2-0 in Austria before kicking off their UEFA Nations League with a 3-2 defeat hosting Turkey.
That competitive result will have stung deeply as the Turks were widely expected to struggle in Group B2.
With the Russians victorious in their opener away against the same opponents a few days before, this is now a must win encounter if Sweden want to challenge for group supremacy, while defeat would leave their League B status in peril.
Stanislav Cherchesov’s team have also beaten the Czech Republic 5-1 since the World Cup, this time at home, and there’s no question they’ll be supported vociferously in Kaliningrad.
They’re W3-D2-L1 on home turf since the start of the summer’s showpiece event, with the only teams they were unable to beat over 90 minutes Spain, Uruguay and finalists Croatia – all of whom pose more serious questions than Sweden.
The visitors have conceded seven times in their last three games now and a combination of momentum and home territory ought to help Russia to a third win in five unbeaten games facing the Swedes this century.
Montenegro v Serbia, Thursday 11th October, 19:45
Serbia participated in the World Cup but while they failed to make it out of the group stages, they held themselves respectably as they beat Costa Rica 1-0 and lost 2-1 and 2-0 against Switzerland and Brazil respectively.
They haven’t been fantastic in their two UEFA Nations League matches so far though, winning 1-0 on the road at Lithuania and being held to a stalemate when hosting Romania, but the same can be said of Montenegro who also sit on four points following a win and a draw versus the same opponents.
That essentially means Serbia have underperformed slightly while Montenegro are merely meeting expectations.
The hosts have been parsimonious at the back as they’re W1-D4-L1 this calendar year with four clean sheets to their name – including three goalless stalemates – but they’ll have difficulty shutting out their opponents here.
Only Chile and Brazil have kept Serbia’s attack quiet over their last 12 appearances, and with the likes of Aleksandr Mitrovic, Dusan Tadic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic within their ranks, the visitors should take control of Group C4.
*all odds are subject to change