Although Ireland will unfortunately not be taking part in next year’s football world cup in Brazil, football gambling fans will undoubtedly still be watching the remaining play-off matches for gambling opportunities. Irish sports gambling enthusiasts follow football all over the world and apart from horse racing gambling on football is their favourite gambling activity. Last week saw the four first leg matches being played and with the return legs scheduled for tonight there may be some surprises still to come for fans of gambling on football. The biggest upset in the first round of matches was undoubtedly the 2-0 victory for Ukraine over France, and the previous winners of the tournament now face an uphill battle to qualify even though the return leg is at home. Equally surprising for many football gambling fans is the distinct possibility that Iceland may still qualify for their first visit to the world cup finals, a feat that would make them the smallest nation to ever play in the latter stages of the tournament. A 0-0 draw at home last week, despite playing most of the second half with just ten men has kept the dream alive for the return match in Croatia and most football gambling fans will wish them luck. In the other two matches Greece appear to have sealed qualification with a 3-1 victory in the first leg over Romania, but there may still be another upset on the cards in the remaining match between Sweden and Portugal. Both these countries have been consistent qualifiers for the finals, but one of them will not be in Brazil net year. Portugal hold a slight advantage going into tonight’s game but a 1-0 lead may yet prove insufficient in Sweden. This match and the match in Croatia both offer exciting gambling opportunities for ardent football gambling fans to get good odds on Sweden and Iceland qualifying for the finals, so best of luck.