Round five and six fixtures of EURO 2020 qualifiers finished on Tuesday, September 10, meaning there are only five more rounds to go before the end of the qualification and we get the list of national teams that will compete at UEFA Euro 2020 between June 12 and July 12.
Being six rounds deep, most of the groups are starting to shape nicely, giving us a glimpse of which teams we can expect to see at Euro 2020 championship. That being said, there are more than a handful of groups, which even now look very open, meaning there is no telling which teams will emerge as number one and two seed.
So let’s check out what happened in each group, how the teams performed, which impressed and which produced underwhelming results and how did those results shape the standings.
EURO 2020 qualifiers – Round 5 and 6 – Results and Recap
Group A did not see many changes in terms of the top two teams. England once again impressed with two solid wins against Bulgaria (4:0) and Kosovo (5:3), to cement themselves as the leaders of group A. Sitting three points behind the Lions, it’s the Czech Republic national team, which suffered a painful 2:1 defeat against Kosovo, but managed to retain their number two spot, where they sit with one-point lead ahead of “Dardanians”. Moving down the standings, we have got Montenegro and Bulgaria, who by now made it clear they will finish nowhere near the top two, as they both managed to accumulate only two points so far.
We have witnessed a slight change in the group B standings, which, to be fair was an expected one. Ukraine remains the undisputed leaders with a 4-1-0 record and 13 points, but are now closely followed by Portugal, who won both of their fixtures against Serbia (2:4) and Lithuania (1:5). Out of the two fixtures, it was the win against Serbia, which was the most important, as it means Portugal has now passed the “Orlovi” and pushed them out of the second place. While there is only one point separating the two sides, that one point could, in the end, decide which team will finish as number two seed and which will be sent packing. As for Luxemburg and Lithuania, there is little to no hope they can reach the top two, as they are too far behind at this point.
Group C is an interesting one, with three teams that are more than capable of finishing top two. Germany sits at the top with a 4-0-1 record and 12 points, tied with Northern Ireland who lost their first fixture of the qualifiers on Monday against Germany. Trailing behind, it’s the Netherlands with nine points, however, they do have one more fixture to play, which will take place in November against Northern Ireland. Should they win that fixture, we will be witnessing a three-way tie at the top, meaning this group is still wide open in terms of who will progress. As for Belarus and Estonia, both failed to impress so far with three and zero points respectively.
Not a lot has happened in group D, meaning we are still looking at a battle for top spots between Ireland, Denmark and Switzerland. All three have a solid chance to finish top of their group, and with no shocking results in last two rounds, with the sole exception of Denmark’s draw against Georgia (0:0), we will have to wait and see how this group plays out in the next two rounds.
Croatia secured number one spot in Group E, with a win and a draw in their round five and six fixtures. While happy with the fact they are on top, the World Cup runners-up disappointed with a 1:1 draw against Azerbaijan on September 9. That being said, they did trash Slovakia 0:4, three days prior, which was enough to secure the top spot. The battle for the second place between Slovakia and Hungary remains open, with the possibility of Wales jumping into the race. They are trailing by three points behind Slovakia and Hungary, but have one more fixture in hand, meaning they could surprise and get into a three-way tie for second place, should they defeat Slovakia in round seven. All in all, a very open group, with little to separate the top four teams. Azerbaijan on the other side remains seated at the bottom with one point.
It should not come off as a shock to anyone Spain are the kings of group F. With a perfect 6-0-0 score and +14 goal difference, they will finish first, which is more or less guaranteed. That being said, the race for the second place is still wide open. Romania dropped down to third place following their loss to Spain (1:2), which gave room for Sweden to pass them and now sit second with one point to spare. Trailing behind, but only just, it’s Norway, who have lost only one fixture thus far, but it’s their three draws that are worrying. In round five and six Norway defeated Malta and grabbed a very valuable draw against their neighbours Sweden (1:1) to get closer to a promotion spot. With only two points separating the three teams, we can expect an interesting race for a second-place finish in the upcoming months.
Out of all the groups, group G produced the most shocking results. Poland, who lead the group with a perfect 4-0-0 score failed to win a single match in round five and six. A loss to Slovenia (2:0), followed by a draw against Austria (1:1), resulted in them dropping valuable points that might cost them greatly. While still the leading group, Slovenia is rapidly approaching with a perfect 2-0 run in the last two rounds and are now only two points short of reaching Poland. Austria sits third with 10 points, making them a threat for the promotional spots, whereas it was North Macedonia and Israel, who are slowly dropping out of the race with eight points each. That being said, the group is still wide open, with all five teams more than capable of competing for the top two spots. In the end, the fixture they will play against each other will decide their fate, meaning there will be some exciting matches on the schedule in the upcoming months.
As far as Group H is concerned, Turkey and France remain the top dogs. Iceland suffered a disappointing 4:2 defeat against Albania that pushed them to third place, three points behind Turkey and France, and possibly out of the race for the top two spots. Moldova and Andorra remain seated at the bottom of the group with no chance of reaching EURO 2020.
Not a lot of notable and shocking results took place in the last two rounds as far as Group I is concerned. Belgium and Russia are the top dogs with 18 and 15 points respectively, leaving Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Scotland and San Marino with no chance to qualify for Euro 2020.
Italy continues its dominant show in group J with a perfect 6-0-0 score. On the other side, we did see Finland lose their second fixture of the group stage, but even that was against Italy. Armenia, who sit third with nine points, still trail Finland by three points and remain the only team that could potentially threaten a promotion spot. Bosnia and Herzegovina once again disappointed, this time with a defeat against Armenia (4:2), which more or less ended their hopes of qualifying for EURO 2020. Greece and Lichtenstein, as the bottom two teams simply did not show anything so far into the qualifiers leaving us to believe they cannot compete with Europe’s best. Lichtenstein did, however, earn their first point against Greece, when they scored their first goal of the EURO 2020 qualifiers.