There is no domestic league action in the Premier League to enjoy a bet on this week as we have a break for international fixtures, specifically, a number of Euro 2020 qualifiers with a number of teams involved across either one or both of Matchday 5 and 6 of the qualifying campaign.
The home nations will be playing one or two qualifying games during this period, with some playing a friendly if they only have one match across the six days of action. In this article, we are going to take a look at the two games each team faces over the next few days and assess their chances of a victory.
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Let’s now look at the games coming up across Matchday 5 and 6 in the Euro 2020 Qualifiers for all four of the home nation teams.
- Sat 7th September – England v Bulgaria – Euro 2020 Qualifier
- Tue 10th September – England v Kosovo – Euro 2020 Qualifier
Despite having played a game fewer than their main rivals in the group, England sit atop Group A by a point and I fully expect them to have extended that lead considerably after what looks like two routine home games for Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Bulgaria are nowhere near the force they once were in world football back in the early 1990s and this current team has struggled agains even the minnows in this group. England have netted five in their last two Euro 2020 qualifying games and I can see them getting close to that number in this game.
I think Kosovo may be a tougher prospect than Bulgaria but not one that England should worry about unduly. I feel the Kosovan team is stronger defensively and perhaps may limit England to a goal or two less, but I still fully expect England to score and I’d be surprised if defensively they don’t keep two clean sheets in these games.
- England 4-0 Bulgaria
- England 3-0 Kosovo
- Fri 6th September – Scotland v Russia – Euro 2020 Qualifier
- Mon 9th September – Scotland v Belgium – Euro 2020 Qualifier
The Scots started this qualifying campaign dismally with a thumping defeat against Kazakhstan in Astana, a result which has very much left them up against it in a group where Belgium and Russia were always likely to take the top two spots.
A third place finish was not beyond the Scots though and qualification from there was possible, but now they need to pick up points in difficult games and with their two games being at home this week, Steve Clarke would love his team to do precisely that here.
Of the two games, I feel the Scots have more chance to earn a point against Russia, but I feel they will just miss out on that and I think they do not have the quality to cause a very strong and talented Belgium team any real problems, which means it could be a bit of a disappointing week for the Scots fans.
- Scotland 1-2 Russia
- Scotland 0-2 Belgium
- Friday 6th September – Wales v Azerbaijan – Euro 2020 Qualifier
- Monday 9th September – Wales v Belarus – Friendly
Wales have had the misfortune to have been draw in one of the toughest qualifying groups with four teams who will all feel that they have a real chance of progressing and an Azerbaijan team that can be tricky to beat, especially at home in Baku.
However, with a big home game against the Azerbaijani’s, I expect Wales to pick up a much needed three points to keep them in contact with the three teams above them. Anything less than a win, and a decent win here, would be a poor result for Ryan Giggs men.
The game with Belarus that follows will be interesting as I expect Giggs to give some of his younger and fringe players a game and I think that gives Belarus a chance of a goal, but even so, I still expect Wales to take the win, especially if Gareth Bale can continue his very decent early season form that he has shown for Real Madrid.
- Wales 3-0 Azerbaijan
- Wales 3-1 Belarus
- Thursday 5th September – Northern Ireland v Luxembourg – Friendly
- Monday 9th September- Northern Ireland v Germany – Euro 2020 Qualifier
Northern Ireland have played all four of their games against the minnows in Group C, Belarus and Estonia, which now leaves them with four remaining games, two each against the big two teams the Netherlands and starting this week at home to Germany.
The game against Luxembourg won’t really give Northern Ireland much specific Germany preparation so I expect a run out, some fringe players to get a game and the Irish to earn a comfortable if unspectacular victory.
However, the Germany game looks incredibly difficult and if the Irish could get a point from this game, they would be thrilled. Germany have bounced back after a difficult period to start to look very dangerous again, but they will miss Leroy Sane, who is absent through injury.
As much as I would love Northern Ireland to sneak points at home against the big two, I can’t quite see it happening and I do feel Germany will win here and that the dozen points the Irish have now, may well be the total number of points they get in total in the group.
- Northern Ireland 2-0 Luxembourg
- Northern Ireland 1-3 Germany