Our football writer previews selected EURO 2020 fixtures which kick off on Friday 11 October 2019.
The international break is upon us again, this time, with so much more on the line as teams look to book their place in next year’s Euro tournament. Portugal have the most favourable fixture as they host Luxembourg, while the likes of England, France and Spain have it all to do away from home.
Photo Credit – Steve Haag Sports
Friday 11 October
Czech Republic 57/10
England will hope to maintain their perfect European Championship qualification record when they travel to the Sinobo Stadium for a meeting with Czech Republic. The Three Lions are top of Group A with a perfect 12 points from four matches and are three points clear of the Czechs in second.
Gareth Southgate has recalled Chelsea hotshot Tammy Abraham after his eye-catching goalscoring form in the Premier League, while club-mate Fikayo Tomori is included in the England squad for the first time. Southgate’s side thrashed Czech Republic 5-0 in March with Raheem Sterling scoring a hat-trick. I’m backing another comfortable win for England – for value, back them on the (-1) Handicap at 12/10.
Friday night’s action continues in Montenegro as both nations claw their way up the standings in Group A. Both sides have been struggling thus far, failing to win a game yet. In their previous encounter, the pair locked horns and cancelled each other to a 1-1 scoreline in Sofia. A defeat for either side will rule them out of contention to progress, so its make or break. Personally, I’m backing a draw here at 22/10.
Portugal will be overwhelming favourites when they host Luxembourg this Friday. The 2016 Euro champions are hoping to build on to their back-to-back victories as they look to condemn the visitors out of contention, should they lose in Lisbon.
Portugal’s record against Luxembourg is very impressive, winning 13 times in 15 games. Cristiano Ronaldo scored four in his last outing for Portugal and should continue his fine form. Over 3.5 Goals seems the way to go at 8/10.
It may seem straightforward on paper, but France’s trip to Iceland this Friday will by no means be a walk in the park. France did beat the Icelanders 4-0 at home back in March, but the hosts are unbeaten in nine EURO qualifiers at home, and also trail France by three points in the group.
Having said that, Les Bleus have also never lost to Iceland, winning 10 and drawing four of their 14 matches played. Didier Deschamps’ side have been struck with a few injuries, but at 4/10, I’d still fancy them to get the job done.
Albania will be hoping to reach their second successive Euro tournament, but in their way, lie a fiery Turkey side. The hosts have won all five of their home encounters in 2019 and currently top the standings in Group H as they boast a better head-to-head record over France, which should speak volumes. Turkey also beat Albania 2-0 in Shkoder back in March. The home win should be a banker here.
Saturday 12 October
Georgia will be out of contention should they lose at home to Ireland. The hosts lie second from the bottom with just one win in five games. Ireland, meanwhile, sit atop the standings, winning three of their five encounters. The Irish haven’t been too prolific in front of goal, but their rock-solid defence has saved them in ensuring the points they needed. Ireland won the reverse tie 1-0, and should do the double over Georgia here at 12/10.
Denmark and Switzerland meet again in Group D as both sides look to go one better from their previous 3-3 stalemate. The Danes actually came from three goals down in the last six minutes in that tie, ensuring that Switzerland’s winless run over Denmark continued from 1984. Just a point separates these two sides, but the Swiss do have a game in hand. Once again, my money is on a draw.
Bosnia & Herz. 11/10
Finland are on course to make their debut at a Euro tournament as the Finns lie second in Group J. Its been a fairy-tale campaign thus far as Finland have also kept four clean sheets in six matches. The hosts are four points adrift of their challengers here and were beaten 2-0 when they previously met in June. Teemu Pukki has been in superb form for Finland, while Edin Dzeko continues to live up to his name for Bosnia. My money is on Both Teams to Score at even money.
Norway face the unwanted task of hosting Spain this Saturday. The Norwegians have only beat Spain once in their history, which came way back in Euro 2000. This time around, Robert Moreno has done a superb job since taking over Spain as he managed to keep their 100 percent win record intact. They’ve won six from six and could progress with a win in Norway. At 5/10, its an absolute gift – get on!
Italy will be hoping to wrap up qualification with a win over second from bottom, Greece. The Italians have won all six of their encounters thus far including an emphatic 3-0 win in Greece, back in June. The Greeks must win to be sure of staying in contention after claiming just one victory in six matches. Italy are unbeaten in their last nine matches against Greece. I’d fancy Italy on the (-1) Handicap at 6/10.
TREBLE @ 11/2
England (-1) Handicap 12/10
Bosnia vs Finland BTTS 1/1
Spain Win 5/10