- Group F’s spread plays are interesting, with both Sweden (-2.5, -110) and Romania (-1.5, -126) road favorites against Malta and the Faroe Islands respectively
- First Scandinavian away test for Spain (-192) sees the group leaders visit fourth-place Norway (+500) in Oslo
- Group D leaders Ireland (+135) pay a visit to Georgia (+215) in a game with varying levels of importance for the two nations
Euro 2020 Qualifying continues with a slate of eight matches on Saturday, the best of which features Denmark (2-3-0, 2nd in Group D) hosting Switzerland (2-2-0, 3rd in Group D) in a battle of two teams that have already assured themselves of at least a playoff spot via the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League.
That competition makes for an interesting dynamic in UEFA’s straight-up qualification competition for the 2020 Euro, as some teams in groups have already guaranteed at least a playoff — regardless of their actual performance in qualification — based on their Nations League performance.
Group D is a perfect example, as leaders Ireland (3-2-0) sit atop the evenly-contested group with Denmark and Switzerland one and two points back respectively; the latter two have already clinched a playoff berth, while Ireland is dependent on finishing in the qualifying group’s top two. Interesting.
Georgia vs Ireland Odds
|Georgia||+0.5 (-115)||+215||O 1.5 (-128)|
|Ireland||-0.5 (-105)||+135||U 1.5 (+108)|
*All odds taken 10/11/19
Georgia, to put it politely, are not great.
At 1-1-3 — and with their lone win coming against minnow Gibraltar (3-0) — Saturday’s hosts are unlikely to mount much of anything in Tbilisi against the Group D leaders.
But as the low goal total indicates, Ireland’s hosts could be a tough nut to crack: Switzerland managed a 2-0 win in this fixture, while Denmark drew 0-0 against the feisty Georgians. It’s not as though Ireland has overly impressed in attack, averaging 1.2 goals per game including a 2-0 win against the aforementioned group whipping boys Gibraltar.
Expect a defensive affair.
Pick: U 1.5 (+108)
Norway vs Spain Odds
|Norway||+1 (-105)||+500||O 2.5 (-118)|
|Spain||-1 (-115)||-192||U 2.5 (-102)|
There’s no doubt Spain (6-0-0) have been on cruise control thus far in Group F play: La Roja have not dropped points since Roberto Moreno was named manager, and are averaging better than a two-goal win thus far in qualification.
Saturday, however, marks their first trip to Scandinavia in a group that has otherwise been fairly tame as the Spaniards visit Norway (2-3-1).
Longtime Sweden and Iceland manager Lars Lagerback is in charge of the hosts, who have had a middling start to qualifying. Luckily, they already have a playoff berth guaranteed thanks to their first-place effort in the third tier of UEFA’s Nations League last season.
Expect Spain’s talent to show through against an inconsistent Norwegian team.
Pick: Spain (-192)
Faroe Islands vs Romania Odds
|Faroe Islands||+1.5 (+106)||+875||O 2.5 (-120)|
|Romania||-1.5 (-126)||-385||U 2.5 (EVEN)|
Are the Faroe Islands (0-0-6) a footballing powerhouse? No.
Did the Faroe Islands lose to fellow sad sack Malta back in March, and do they sit bottom of Group F? Yes.
But, they may be a value play on Saturday against a Romania (3-1-2) squad.
The Faroes are in the midst of a terrible stretch — six-straight losses and eight of their last 10 — but played to a respectable 2-0 defeat to Norway at home back in June.
It’s also no longer the 1990s, and thus Romania is far from an automatic to qualify for Euro 2020; Cosmin Contra’s team still face Norway (H), Sweden (H) and Spain (A) down the stretch and will need results to qualify.
Also worth considering: Perhaps Saturday’s Nordic hosts will have a little extra defensive resolve with the memory of a 4-1 thumping in Cluj back in March.
Pick: Faroe Islands +1.5 (+106)
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