In the absence of the Premier League and the Championship this weekend, everybody’s favourite international break returns. One man who feels it most is Andy Robertson, who has to go from winning every week with Liverpool, to losing every game with Scotland. Anyway, I’ve picked out 5 of the ‘biggest’ games over the next few days to give you some seriously great tips.
Czech Republic vs England
I watched England dismantle the Czechs at home 5-0 a few months back, and I can’t see anything other than a confident win for Southgate’s side here. Although the defence has been shaky in recent times, are attacking options are either world class or very close to it. (Not you Ross Barkley). England can of course expect a different game in Prague, but a win should see us all but qualified for Euro 2020, as Czech Republic are currently our closest rivals. I think we can expect a game similar to the Kosovo match, where we dominate but defensive mistakes make the game closer than it should be.
Czech Republic 2-4 England
Switzerland vs Denmark
This could potentially be a huge game for the Republic of Ireland, as they look to secure qualification to a national tournament for the first time since… oh wait they were at the last one in 2016. Either way qualification would be huge for them, and their nearest rivals play each other in this set of fixtures. Switzerland and Denmark are both good teams with some decent players in their ranks and they played out a 3-3 thriller the last time they met. Hopefully for anyone who bothers to watch this one, and for the Irish fans, there will be a similar result and scoreline.
Switzerland 4-4 Denmark
Scotland vs San Marino
Oh, Scotland you do make us laugh. Expectations were high when Steve Clarke took the reins, but a less than impressive record including losses to Belgium x2 Russia x2 and Kazakhstan mean it’ll be another international tournament without the Scots. A chance to win the crowd back over perhaps against the only team worse than them at the moment, San Marino. Scotland only managed two goals the last time these two sides met, and that was when they were still slightly hopeful. Now, with all hope lost, I think it will be the minnows of San Marino who steal the headlines this week.
Scotland 1-2 San Marino
Bulgaria vs England
It’s difficult to predict the score of this one before Friday’s game against Czech Republic, but it’s certainly one England fans and players will be expecting to win. Although Gareth Southgate’s side cruised past Bulgaria at home 4-0, it would be typical of us to lose a game like this, with qualification potentially on the line. The home side, however, are yet to win a game in Group A and sit bottom of the group, so realistically we’re going to see a boring England 1-0 win here.
Bulgaria 0-1 England
Ukraine vs Portugal
This is a bigger game than most people will expect in Group B. Ukraine are flying high in the group, having won all their games except the previous one against the favourites Portugal, in which they earned a draw in Lisbon. Ukraine could seriously boost their own hopes of qualifying, plus the chances of other major nations should they beat the holders Portugal, as it would mean we would all manage to escape playing against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva. Although Ukraine are at home and in good form, these are the games which Ronaldo turns up in, when he’s needed most.
Ukraine 1-3 Portugal