Euro 2020 Qualifications – Round 7 and 8

October is here and with it the continuation of EURO 2020 qualifiers which will take centre stage all across the Old Continent. Featuring 55 national teams who will continue their group stage campaign as they look to earn a ticket leading into the EURO 2020 tournament, set to kick off on June 2020. If you missed one of our previous articles, you can read here everything you should know about EURO 2020 Qualifiers.

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Image source: UEFA.com

Euro 2020 Qualifications – Round 7 and 8 – Groups and Fixtures

Group A

Friday, October 11:

Czech Republic v England

Montenegro v Bulgaria

 

Monday, October 14:

Bulgaria v England

Kosovo v Montenegro

 

Following a humiliating 0:5 defeat in mid-March, the Czech Republic will once again clash with the group leaders England, who have impressed so far and earned a perfect 4-0-0 record. Their second meeting will take place at Sinobo Stadium in Prague, where the Czech national team will look to produce an upset, which would put them in a very strong position to finish top two. Taking place three days later (Monday, October 14) Kosovo will clash with Montenegro in what promises to be an exciting fixture between the neighbouring countries of Kosovo and Montenegro. While fixture between them tends to be exciting on its own, this one will have added pressure of being a must-win match for both sides, if they wish to catch up with the Czech Republic and contest the second seed in group A.

Group B

Friday, October 11:

Portugal v Luxembourg

Ukraine v Lithuania

 

Monday, October 14:

Ukraine v Portugal

Lithuania v Serbia

 

Ukraine leads group B with a 4-1-0 record, yet their record will be put to a tough test on Monday when they face reigning European champion Portugal, who have started their climb to the top of the group. The match will be played in Ukraine, meaning the Yellow-Blue squad will enjoy a slight advantage, however they will have to be on top of their game to derail the fiery Portuguese squad. On the same day, another exciting match will be played, between Serbia and Lithuania, which will be a must-win for the Eagles, who are currently sitting third in the group with 2-1-2 record and seven points.

 

Group C

Thursday, October 10:

Netherlands v Northern Ireland

Belarus v Estonia

 

Sunday, October 13:

Belarus v Netherlands

Estonia v Germany

 

Group C proved to be one of the most entertaining groups to follow, seeing how Northern Ireland impressed everyone and earned a 4-0-1 record, which means they are tied in points with the football titans Germany. That being said, they have already suffered a 0:2 defeat against Germany and they have another tough match ahead of them this week when they face off with the Netherlands on Thursday. Another defeat would push them to third place, meaning a win is a must if they are serious about finishing top two. Sadly, the same can be said for the Netherlands, who desperately need to win here. Belarus and Estonia will meet with each other on Thursday in what won’t be a ground-breaking fixture no matter how it ends, seeing how they are both sitting at the bottom of the group, meaning their dreams of finishing top two are long gone.

 

Group D

Saturday, October 12:

Georgia v Republic of Ireland

Denmark v Switzerland

 

Tuesday, October 15:

Switzerland v Republic of Ireland

Gibraltar v Georgia

 

On Saturday, October 12, Ireland will meet with Georgia which should be an easy win for the group leaders, who can’t afford a slip-up if they are serious about finishing top two in the group. That being said, the most exciting fixture of the day will take place in Denmark where Åge Hareide’s men will host Switzerland in what could be the fixture that will decide which of the two national teams will earn the second seed. Denmark are currently second in the group, but hold only one point lead ahead of Switzerland, who already proved they can be deadly in their first meeting that ended 3:3.

Following their meeting with Denmark, the Swiss squad will host Ireland at the home ground on Tuesday, hoping they can improve upon their 1:1 draw in Ireland.

 

Group E

 

Thursday, October 10:

Croatia v Hungary

Slovakia v Wales

 

Sunday, October 13:

Hungary v Azerbaijan

Wales v Croatia

 

Croatia resides at the top of Group E with a 3-1-1 record and 10 points, however, they are far from safety, considering both Slovakia and Hungary are close behind with nine points each. With that in mind, the “Vatreni” cannot afford to make another mistake and lose to Hungary on Thursday, which would push them in an unenviable position and possibly threaten their chances of finishing top two. Talking about must-win fixtures, Croatia will travel to Wales on Sunday, hoping they can repeat their success against Wales national team, who already kneeled down to Croatia on June 6, 2019 (2:1).

Slovakia, who remains a strong contender for a top-two finish will meet with Wales on Thursday and while the “Repre” are considered favourites, they have already slipped against Wales (1:0) and will hope they can avoid another such result.

 

Group F

 

Saturday, October 12:

Faroe Islands v Romania

Norway v Spain

Malta v Sweden

 

Tuesday, October 15:

Sweden v Spain

Romania v Norway

The Faroe Islands v Malta

 

Spain enter round seven as group leaders with a perfect 6-0-0 scored and +14 GD, making it clear they are the top dogs of the group and we can’t argue with that. To be fair, it was expected for the Spanish national team to finish as the first seed in their group and they did not disappoint so far. They will meet with Norway and Sweden in the upcoming two rounds, which will be by no means easy fixtures, seeing how they will both be played up north. While Spain is still a strong favourite to win both, we can’t exclude the chance of them slipping up and giving up points.

While Spain remains the dominant team of group F, we have Sweden (11), Romania (10) and Norway (9) as three strong contenders for the second seed. With that in mind, the Romania v Norway match on Tuesday will be a crucial one for both sides, as losing could mean they will drop down to a very tough spot to come back from, whereas a win would put them in a very promising position to grab the second seed.

 

Group G

 

Thursday, October 10:

Latvia v Poland

Austria v Israel

North Macedonia v Slovenia

 

Sunday, October 13:

Poland v North Macedonia

Slovenia v Austria

 

Tuesday, October 15:

Israel v Latvia

 

Group G is quite possibly one of the most exciting groups of this years’ EURO qualifiers, seeing how there is barely three-point separating Slovenia who sit second and Israel who are fifth. Poland will enter week seven as group leaders, but seeing how they dropped points against Slovenia (2:0) and Austria (0:0) in the last two rounds, they do not come off as strong as many would have expected. With that in mind, they need to prove their worth in upcoming fixtures, when they face off with Latvia and North Macedonia. While we talk about teams that need to prove themselves, Slovenia impressed with a run of three straight wins, which catapulted them to the second spot. Nonetheless, their venture is far from over, as they still need to derail Austria on Sunday if they wish to establish themselves as main favourites to win a ticket to EURO 2020.

Group H

 

Friday, October 11:

Iceland v France

Turkey v Albania

Andorra v Moldova

 

Monday, October 14:

France v Turkey

Iceland v Andorra

Moldova v Albania

 

Group H belongs to Turkey, France and Iceland, who proved to be the only three real contenders for a top-two finish. That being said, it’s Iceland who slightly dropped out of the race with their 4:2 defeat against Albania, meaning they are now trailing both France and Turkey for three points. They will, however, get a chance to bounce back with Friday’s fixture against France, which as expected won’t be an easy one, yet a very important one for Iceland to win. On Monday, we will also get to see France v Turkey fixture, which will be the highlight of round eight and a chance for France to avenge their defeat against Turkey at the start of June (2:0).

 

Group I

 

Thursday, October 10:

Kazakhstan v Cyprus

Belgium v San Marino

Russia v Scotland

 

Sunday, October 13:

Kazakhstan v Belgium

Cyprus v Russia

Scotland v San Marino

Belgium and Russia remain the top dogs of group I and we can’t see that changing. Belgium will meet with San Marino, which should be an extremely easy fixture for the home side, whereas Russia will have to work slightly harder for their sixth win of the group stage against Scotland. As far as Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Scotland and San Marino, they are more or less out of the race for a top-two seed.

 

Group J

Saturday, October 12:

Bosnia and Herzegovina v Finland

Italy v Greece

Liechtenstein v Armenia

 

Tuesday, October 15:

Liechtenstein v Italy

Greece v Bosnia and Herzegovina

Finland v Armenia

 

Italy will enter round seven with a perfect 6-0-0 record to their name and looking at their fixtures, we can safely assume they will walk away from the next two rounds with an 8-0-0 record. Showing such dominance, it’s safe to say Italy will be the champions of group J, whereas the race for second seed is still wide open. Finland seems to be in the best position to snatch the second ticket for EURO, however, they need to keep an eye on Armenia, who are trailing Finland by three points. With that in mind, Tuesday’s fixture between Finland and Armenia will be the one who will most likely determine which of the two will finish as the second seed. Should Armenia slip up they are done, whereas a win would put them in a tight race for the second seed?

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