The European Football league is on a small recess due to international football but as we are all aware, football is all-round the calendar year, so this week we shall be focusing on the qualifying series for next year’s European Championship (Euro 2020).
GERMANY v NETHERLANDS
Unbeaten Germany faces a massive test against the Netherlands in Hamburg on Friday night. Jogi Loew’s team sit second in the group table and are behind surprise leaders Northern Ireland who have four wins from four matches. The situation leaves both giants with very little margin for slip-ups. The Netherlands are in need of a victory more but haven’t managed to beat their host in any of their last three visits to Deutschland.
VERDICT: Expect an exciting game that should produce goals; Both Teams to Score in Hamburg.
SLOVAKIA v CROATIA.
World Cup finalist Croatia will aim to avoid a second defeat on the road having lost to Hungary last March. Both teams are level on points (six each) but are behind leaders Hungary in the battle for a qualification spot. Slovakia needs to make the home advantage count because its record on the road is average. However, the Croats will travel to Trnava believing they can get something having not lost on their last 2 trips to Slovakia. This has a stalemate written all over it.
ENGLAND v BULGARIA.
This is a top versus bottom game in Group A; it’s all about the Three Lions consolidating their position at the top of the group. Bulgaria has played four matches; losing two and drawn two while England has played only two and executed both games marvellously beating the Czech Republic and Montenegro with a combined score of 10-1. VERDICT – The Three Lions will be backed by a vociferous crowd at Wembley and should get another 3 points.
VERDICT: 3-0 (England)
SERBIA v PORTUGAL.
Portugal travels to Belgrade with the aim of securing their first win in this qualifying series. The Euro 2016 champions are already eight points behind leaders Ukraine although they’ve played two games less. They need points on board if they aim to make the next championship and defend their crown.
Both teams played a draw in the reverse leg in Lisbon last March and the host would be confident of getting something at home. However, Portugal defeated them on their last visit and I think they would do same this time.
VERDICT: 2-1 (Portugal)