The much improved Luxembourg took the lead at home to Ukraine through Turpel in the thirty-fourth minute, but Tsygankov equalised for Ukraine before the interval. The game looked as it was going to end all square heading into the final minute, until Rodrigues scored a stoppage time own goal to hand Ukraine all three points when a draw would probably have been the fairest result. Serbia’s Tadić enjoyed the best season of his career in 2018/19 and he put the visitors in front from the penalty spot in Portugal, after just seven minutes. Danilo Pereira equalised for the hosts before the break, but despite seeing more of the ball and creating the better chances in the second half the hosts were unable to carve out a winning goal and the game ended 1-1.
The head to head record between these two countries and their form and performances heading into Friday’s game, all points towards under 2.5 goals being scored and the game ending in a draw. Under 2.5 goals have been scored in three of the four previous encounters between these two countries, while under 2.5 goals have also been produced in four of Ukraine’s and four of Serbia’s last six matches. Ukraine have only lost one of their last six internationals, while Serbia head into Friday’s match unbeaten in their last six internationals. Ukraine have drawn three of their last six matches and Serbia have drawn three of their last five, which is why we’re backing a low scoring draw between the pair on Friday.
It’s been 16-years since Norway and Romania last met and that match was also a qualifier for the European Championship and ended in a 1-1 draw. Heading into Friday’s Euro 2020 qualifier, both teams have proven themselves hard to beat, losing just one of their last six matches, so we’re expecting a tight, tense, and competitive ninety minutes.
Norway established a two-goal lead in their last qualifier at home to Sweden in March, thanks to goals from Johnsen and King, but the visitors started their comeback in the seventieth minute when Claesson made it 2-1. An own goal from Nordtveit looked to have handed Sweden a share of the spoils four minutes from time, but the visitors scored again in stoppage time to make it 3-2. Amazingly, with their final attack of the match, deep into stoppage time Norway managed to equalise through Kamara and the game ended 3-3. Romania cruised to three points at home to the Group F whipping boys Faroe Islands last time out, where they lead 3-1 at the break thanks to a goal from Deac and two from Keșerü. Another goal in the sixty-third minute from Puşcaş concluded the scoring and saw Romania claim a comfortable 4-1 win.
The head to head record between these two countries and their performances since late 2018, suggest that under 2.5 goals will be scored on Friday and that the most likely result is a draw. Each of the four previous encounters between these two countries have produced under 2.5 goals, and two of those four meetings have ended in 1-1 draws. Under 2.5 goals have also been scored in four of Norway’s last six and two of Romania’s last five matches. Both countries have only lost one of their last six international matches, which is why we’re backing Friday’s game to end all square at one goal apiece.
Sweden and Malta both picked up 2-1 victories in their first qualifying matches of Group F, against Romania and Faroe Islands respectively, but Sweden then added a point to their tally courtesy of a dramatic 3-3 draw in Norway, while Malta were beaten 2-0 at home by former World and European champions Spain.
Sweden went 2-0 down away at Norway in March, but Claesson pulled a goal back with twenty minutes left on the clock and four minutes from time an own goal from the unfortunate Nordtveit appeared to have rescued the visitors a point. However, Sweden then took the lead in stoppage time through Quaison only to see Kamara score a dramatic equaliser for the hosts with virtually the last kick of the match, as the game ended 3-3. Malta were dominated by Spain in their own backyard, with the visitors having 80% of the possession and having sixteen shots to the hosts two during the ninety minutes, but the scoreline remained respectable. Álvaro Morata scored a goal in each half to help Spain on their way to a 2-0 win, but they were positives, from a defensive point of view, for Malta to take from the match.
The head to head record and performances of both sides since the latter stages of 2018, suggests that Sweden will win, but that under 2.5 goals could be scored. Sweden have won all of their eleven matches against Friday-s guests, and Malta have only scored two goals against Sweden in their eleven meetings since 1972. Under 2.5 goals were scored in three of Sweden’s last six and three of Malta’s last five matches, but the hosts have won three of their last six matches and their guests have lost three of their last six. Malta have failed to score in two of their last four international matches, but showed defensive strength against Spain, which is why we’re backing a narrow 2-0 win for Sweden on Friday.
Luxembourg sit second in Group B after picking up three points from their opening two matches, beating Lithuania 2-1 in their only qualifying match so far. It’s going to be a tough ask for either of these countries to finish outside of the bottom two in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, as Ukraine, Portugal, and Serbia make up the rest of the five teams in Group B.
Lithuania were held to a goalless draw away at another of the improving nations Azerbaijan in their last match back in March, where despite the game being a friendly, a clean sheet on the road will have been a major positive for the Lithuanians. Luxembourg also drew their March friendly at home to Madagascar, playing a mixed starting eleven of experience and youth. The hosts needed two stoppage time goals to rescue a draw after Thill had given Luxembourg the lead only to see the visitors move 3-1 in front shortly after the hour mark. Selimovic scored on his Luxembourg debut to make it 3-2 in the ninety-first minute and under sixty-seconds later captain Jans equalised to spare the home sides blushes.
The head to head record between these two countries and their performances since the latter stages of 2018, all point towards both teams scoring and over 2.5 goals being produced, with the most likely result being a draw. The last two meetings between these two countries saw both teams score and over 2.5 goals, with Luxembourg wining two of those three three, but this is the time the pair have clashed in Lithuania. Lithuania have lost five and drawn one of their last six matches, while Luxembourg have won two, drawn two, and lost two of their last six. Both teams scored and over 2.5 goals were produced in four of Lithuania’s last six and each of Luxembourg’s last three matches, which is why we’re backing Friday’s game to end in a 2-2 draw.
Latvia have the home advantage in Friday nights Euro 2020 qualifier, but have only beaten Israel once in six previous encounters, and head into the match in the midst of a ten game winless run. Israel look like they could qualify for their first ever European Championships as they sit second after two games with four points to their name and have a balanced squad.
Latvia only had 31% of the possession in their last qualifier away at Poland, but still managed to have thirteen shots during the ninety minutes. In the end though, the host’s pressure told as Poland scored twice late on through Lewandowski and Glik to claim a 2-0 win. A early goal from Arnautović saw Israel fall behind at home to Austria last time out, but a Zahavi brace ensured the hosts lead 2-1 at the interval. Zahavi claimed his hat trick and with it the match balled ten minutes into the second half to increase Israel’s lead, and Dabour made it 4-1 in the sixty-sixth minute. Arnautović pulled another goal back to make it 4-2, but it proved too little, too late for the Austrians.
The head to head record between these two countries and their form and performances since the back end of 2018, all point towards both teams scoring on Friday and Israel claiming the three points. Israel have won four of their six matches against Latvia, and four of the six encounters between the pair have seen both teams score. Latvia are without a win in their last ten international matches, while Israel have only lost one of their last six. Both teams have scored in three of Latvia’s and four of Israel’s last six matches, which is why we’re backing the visitors to claim a 3-1 win on Friday and maintaining their unbeaten start to qualification.
Valērijs Šabala provides the main source of goals for Latvia, with the 24-year old netting twelve times in fifty-one appearances for his country, and is someone the Israeli defence will be more than aware of heading into Friday’s match. Israel are without their main striker Tomer Hemed through injury, so there is more pressure on the likes of Ben Sahar and Eran Zahavi to put the finishing touches to any attacking moves on Friday. We’re confident that Israel will win and both teams will score, and have predicted a final scoreline of 3-1. The visitors have a great record against their hosts and have started qualification positively, while Latvia are without a win in their last ten matches and wont be expected to challenge for one of the top two qualifying spots.
The Danes and Irish have become well acquainted over recent years, while they’re set for another meeting on Friday. The two met in the playoffs for the 2018 World Cup, while they shared another two clashes in the Nations League. Now the Irish head to Copenhagen to face Denmark for the fifth time in 20 months. However, this time they’re led by Mick McCarthy, after he replaced Martin O’Neill late last year. Can he inspire the Irish to a result in this clash with Denmark to keep their Euro 2020 hopes on track?
Denmark made it to the World Cup off the back of that win over the Irish, while they went on to make the last 16. They’re on course for another major championship, having won their UEFA Nations League group. That has put the Danes into a playoff for the Euros, regardless of what happens in their qualifying group. It seems to be a three-way fight for the top two here, with Denmark and the Irish joined by Nations League Finalists Switzerland.
The Irish head here as the underdogs, despite leading the way early on. While Switzerland and Denmark kicked off with a 3-3 draw, the Irish were able to win both of their opening games to move top. However, this is their first real test following victories over Gibraltar and Georgia. Despite that, McCarthy can be pleased with how well his side defended – something which O’Neill failed to produce from the same squad in the final days of his reign.
While O’Neill has had his reputation as an international boss tarnished, his record against the Danes is nowhere near as bad as made out. While he made huge mistakes in the 5-1 defeat at home to them in the World Cup playoffs, that was one major error. In three of the four meetings between the two, the Republic of Ireland were able to come away with a clean sheet. One other achievement which carries through to today was their improved away displays.
O’Neill’s side were unbeaten on the road in World Cup qualifying, which included a 0-0 draw with Denmark. Improving their solidity on the road has boosted Ireland’s chances of qualifying, which is something which sets McCarthy up well here. Now the Irish meet a Denmark side who have drawn three on the bounce, failing to win either meeting with the Boys in Green last year. With that in mind, we see value in backing the visitors on the Double Chance market here.
Gibraltar provides Friday’s hosts with the perfect opportunity to get off the mark.
Not only have Georgia lost each of their first two qualifiers, but their performances have been very displeasing. Against Switzerland on match-day one, the Georgians failed to get involved offensively, as they mustered just a single shot on target and accumulated only 0.38 expected goals for. In contrast, they shipped eight shots on target and conceded 2.36 expected goals. They did do better when losing 1-0 against Ireland, though their attacking efforts were still weak, as they clocked just 0.58 expected goals for. They surrendered 1.16 on that occasion.
Fortunately, Georgia performed well at home against lowly opposition during the UEFA Nations league, as they won three out of three on their own patch, beating Latvia, Andorra and Kazakhstan, averaging 2.0 goals for and 1.36 expected goals for. They conceded an average of just 0.33 goals and 0.62 expected goals. Such numbers bode well ahead of a match against Gibraltar.
Gibraltar may have only lost by a goal to nil at home to Ireland in their only previous EURO 2020 qualifier, but they were slightly flattered by the result, as they clocked only 0.61 expected goals for and conceded 1.9.
As well as failing to get seriously involved against Ireland in their most recent competitive game, Gibraltar were poor on the road in the UEFA Nations League. They did beat Armenia away from home, though they lost against both North Macedonia and Liechtenstein, conceding six goas and scoring none in the process.
On their travels in the Nations League, Gibraltar surrendered an average of 2.16 expected goals, while they averaged just 0.57 for. They also conceded a rather worrying average of 27 shots, whilst averaging only 5.67 at the other end.
From a betting point of view, ‘Georgia -3 Asian Handicap’ stands out. For all the hosts haven’t thrived in EURO qualifying, their home efforts against lesser sides in the Nations League suggest that they can really get at Gibraltar, who found it very tough to keep teams at bay when playing away from home in that competition.