THE Pars make their entrance in the third round of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup on Saturday and punters will have to assess whether they end up biting off more than they can chew.

Alloa Athletic are the visitors to East End Park and bookmakers Betvictor have the best or joint best odds for all three outcomes: the Pars 5/6, a draw 5/2 and the Wasps 16/5.

Put simply, this is a horrible game to wager on without knowing the strength of both teams and Dunfermline are nothing more than a token selection. Prediction: Dunfermline 2 Alloa 1.

Connah’s Quay Nomads reached the final of the competition last season and will be confident of progressing past Cove Rangers in a match televised on S4C (Saturday, 5.15pm kick-off). The Nomads are 20/21 (Boylesports) while Bet365 price both the draw and the Toonsers up at 12/5.

Euro 2020 qualifiers dominate the football landscape over the next few days and Scotland are faced with a tough home fixture against Russia tomorrow (Friday) night (Sky Sports 7.45pm).

Having split their opening four matches, Scotland desperately need a win to keep pace with both their opponents and group leaders Belgium but it is the Russians that are marginally favoured by the layers: Scotland are 19/10 (Bet365/Unibet), Russia 7/4 (Bet365) and a stalemate 21/10 (Boylesports/Betfred). The Scots have been wholly unconvincing so far, losing heavily to both Belgium and Kazakhstan while narrowly seeing off both Cyprus and San Marino. Russia are pretty decent and 7/4 is a big price.

Prediction: Scotland 0 Russia 1.

Two of the other Home Nations countries have, on paper, easy home fixtures. Wales entertain Azerbaijan (tomorrow, Sky Sports 7.45pm) and England play Bulgaria (ITV, Saturday 5pm). The prices are, respectively, Wales 2/7 (Betfred), a draw 23/5 (Unibet) and the Azeri 14/1 and England 1/12, a draw 11/1 and Bulgaria 40/1 (Unibet). Neither game makes any betting appeal whatsoever.

Predictions: Wales 2 Azerbaijan 0, England 4 Bulgaria 0.

Republic of Ireland hold a flattering five-point lead at the top of their section courtesy of playing more games than their rivals including Gibraltar twice. Their qualification credentials should be fully tested with a home game against Switzerland tonight (Thursday, Sky Sports 7.45pm). Bet365 are the bookmakers to focus on for this game; Eire are 14/5, a draw 9/4 and the Swiss 6/5.

Prediction: Republic of Ireland 1 Switzerland 1.