EURO 2020 Qualifiers: Matchday 3 and 4

EURO 2020 qualifiers enter their 3rd and 4th matchday, which are set to take place between June 7th – 8th and June 10th-11th, featuring 35 national football teams, that will try to improve their performance from the first two matchdays and get themselves in a better spot to reach the ultimate goal, which is to appear in EURO 2020.

If you missed some information regarding this competition, you should check this article before move on: All You Need to Know About European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2020

euro 2020 logo
Image source: UEFA.com

With 10 teams and 35 teams eagerly waiting for the 2nd phase of EURO 2020 qualifiers to begin, let’s check out what is the current situation in each group and which matches are the most anticipated matches going to take place in the upcoming days. If you missed the 1st round of EURO 2020 Qualifiers, you can check the group report on this page.

GROUP A: England, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Montenegro, Czech Republic.

Looking back at the first two rounds of EURO 2020 qualifiers, England managed to get themselves well ahead of the pact with 2 dominant wins over the Czech Republic (5:0) and Montenegro (1:5), which not surprisingly puts them at the top of Group A. They are followed by Bulgaria who drew against Montenegro (1:1) and Kosovo (1:1), who are currently 3rd in the group with only 2 matches played. At 4th, we have got Montenegro who drew against Bulgaria but lost to England and lastly, we have got the Czech Republic with only one match on their record.

Looking towards matchday 3 and 4, we have got an interesting match between Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, who still have a lot to prove after a terrible defeat against England, which left them at the bottom of the table with no points. The two teams met 5 times in history, however not since world cup qualifications in 2013, when a close match ended in a 0:1 win for the Czech. Another match worth mentioning is Montenegro vs Kosovo, which will mark the first time in history the two sides will meet on the football field. Both mentioned matches are set to take place on June 7th.

GROUP B: Ukraine, Luxemburg, Portugal, Serbia, Lithuania

A group that seems still very open, mostly due to a subpar performance from Portugal, who sit at the 3rd place with 2 draws on their record. The former EURO champions surprisingly failed to outperform the group leaders Ukraine and Serbia, who will be their next opponents on Matchday 3, which will the day Portugal will try to get their revenge and climb to the top, where they belong. Surprisingly enough, it’s Luxemburg who joined Ukraine at the top of the group. Despite the fact they lost to Ukraine, Luxemburg managed to grab all 3 points against Lithuania (2:1), which as it stands now, is enough to sit at the 2nd place. Will they remain in the top 2 is unlikely, as they are arguably the worst team in the whole group.

As mentioned, the match we will be looking forward the most will be Serbia vs Portugal rematch, which just might decide whether Portugal finished in the top 2 of the group or not. In the first fixture, Portugal had to be satisfied with only 1 point despite the fact they played much better. This time out, Portugal will hope their hard work will pay off as they cannot afford to lose more points. On the other side, Serbia has a lot of quality themselves, and while we could argue they are not up to par with Portugal, Serbia are more than capable of causing an upset.

GROUP C: Northern Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Estonia, Belarus

An exciting group featuring  Germany and the Netherlands, who both have a lot to prove to the world after their less than impressive results in recent years on the international level. While I marked this group as an exciting one, it really isn’t in the greater picture. The quality of the teams in the group is miles apart, in a sense that Germany and the Netherlands are simply far better than Belarus, Estonia and Northern Ireland. While I could imagine seeing Northern Ireland causing some problems to the two heavyweights, I would not put my money on it.

Just like the last phase of EURO 2020 qualifiers ended, the matchday 3 will start off with a rematch between Germany and the Netherlands, who parted ways with a final score of 2:3 on March 24th, with German players looking much happier. Will this be the case on June 9th is something we can only guess, but seeing how the two teams performed the last time out, we can be sure the fixture will be an exciting one.

Group D: Ireland Switzerland, Denmark, Gibraltar, Georgia

Group D is a group which will most likely result in a fierce fight for the top 2 spots between Denmark, Switzerland and Ireland, who are all more than capable of finishing 1st or 2nd, and even 3rd for that matter. As it stands now, it’s Ireland who lead with 2-0-0 record, followed by Switzerland with 1-1-0 and Denmark at third with only one draw behind them. Who out of the three teams will end up on top is something we can only guess at the moment, but we won’t have to guess for a long time, as we will get served with a Denmark v Ireland matchup in the upcoming days.

Group E: Slovakia, Wales, Hungary, Croatia, Azerbaijan

A group that features not two, nor three, but four teams all tied with 3 points. While it’s true Wales is the only team out of the four that has played only one match so far, it’s interesting to see how Group E is still far from decided, despite the fact it features World Cup runners-up, Croatia. Croatia will enter the matchday 3 and 4 with a disappointing result behind them when they failed to defeat Hungary (2:1) and just barely escaped Azerbaijan (2:1). How will this group play out is yet to be seen, however seeing how there are still 8 more match days to be played, we cannot jump to any early conclusions.

Heading into matchday 3 and 4, Croatian team will only play a one-match which will be against Wales on June 8th. This while seeming like an easy match for the World Cup runners-up will be a crucial one to win, if they are serious of finishing high up the table. Would Croatian lose against Wales, their position in the group will become a real issue they will need to address rather quickly. There is, of course, little to no chance for Wales to win this one on paper, but seeing some questionable performances from Croatia in the previous matches, this fixture will be the one we should not miss.

GROUP F: Spain, Sweden, Romania, Malta, Norway, Faroe Islands

Group F at a first glance seems like it was more or less decided the day it was announced. Featuring Spain and Sweden alongside Romania, Malta, Norway and Faroe Islands, there is no reason to beat around the bush and just say it, Spain and Sweden are a level above all other teams, which they have proven in the first two matches. Sitting comfortably at the 1st and 2nd spot, I do not expect this to change once the group stage ends. We might see some upset wins from other teams, but ultimately, the quality of those two teams will prevail.

Talking about two favourites, Spain and Sweden will meet in round 4, on June 10th, which promises to be a great match to watch. Spain won the last 2 h2h fixtures against Sweden, but being that the last match was in 2008,we cannot give that result too much attention. The teams look completely different now, which just might also mean the result might be different to the 1:2 on June 14th 2008.

Group G: Poland, Israel, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Austria, Latvia

An exciting group, which features teams seemingly all capable of finishing in the top 2. While there is no denying Poland are clear favourites, which they have proven with 2 wins in the first two matchdays, the race for 2nd place is still open and could prove to be a race that will extend into the final days of EURO 2020 qualifiers.

One of the biggest disappointments of the Group G is Austria, who are second to last with 2 defeats on their record. Should they get back into the fight, Austria needs to perform up to par on June 7th against Slovenia, who just like Austria failed to impress with 2 draws to their name. This alongside Macedonia v Poland, taking place on the same day, will most likely be the biggest 2 matches of the Group G in the day 3 and day 4 of EURO qualifiers.

Group H: France, Turkey, Albania, Iceland, Andorra, Moldova

Much like Group F or Group C, there is little to be positive about for all the teams except two, which are France and Turkey. The world champions alongside Turkey, who have always been among the stronger teams are clearly a class above Andorra, Moldova, Albania and Iceland. While we could, of course, like to see Iceland once again causing an upset as they did in the EURO 2016, hoping for that to happen will most likely leave many fans dissatisfied.

The upcoming days will serve us with a clash between the only two unbeaten teams France and Turkey. Facing off against each other on June 8th, the match will decide which of the two will sit at the top of Group H.

Group I: Belgium, Russia, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Scotland, San Marino

There is no doubt in my mind, we will see Belgium at the top of Group I by the end of November. They are simply miles apart from any other team and I would not even be surprised if they finish the group stage with no defeats. Moving down the leaderboard it’s basically only Russia and Scotland that have the best chance of reaching the 2nd place. While it’s true Scotland lost to Kazakhstan 3:0, I firmly believe Scotland is still a team that has better quality and should compensate for that defeat in the days to come.

Group J: Italy, Greece, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Finland, Armenia, Lichtenstein

The last group of the tournament features 6 teams that are split right down the middle, at least quality wise. Italy, Greece and Bosnia & Herzegovina fall into the category of favourites, while Finland, Armenia, Lichtenstein fall into category of underdogs. The categorization of the teams is also clearly seen on the leaderboard, where it’s Italy leading with a 2-0-0 record, followed by Greece and Bosnia & Herzegovina who both won one and drew the match against each other. As it all seems this group will feature a fight between Greece and Bosnia & Herzegovina who will battle it out for the 2nd place.

One of the most anticipated matches in the upcoming days will be Greece vs Italy, which will be the first time the two sides will meet since 2008 when the match ended in a tie. Since then a lot has changed and while it’s Italy who are considered the favourites, we have to ask ourselves if they will really have an easy time against a team that beat them 10 times out of 17 h2h matches between them since 1929.

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