- Matchday 8 of the Euro 2020 qualifiers has arrived
- Wales reach crunch time against Croatia in Group E
- Read below for our analysis and predictions for Sunday
It’s now Matchday 8 of Euro 2020 qualifying and we’re picking three of Sunday’s top fixtures to see if we can find some value for the bettors.
UEFA 2020 Group E – Wales vs Croatia Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total||Odds to Win Group E|
|Wales||-2.0 (-108)||-526||O 3.0 (-105)|
|Croatia||+2.0 (-112)||+1200||U 3.0 (-115)|
*All odds taken on October 11, 2019
Welsh on the Brink
Wales’ 1-1 draw in Slovakia kept alive their hopes of qualification but now it’s crunch time for Ryan Giggs’ team as they face the group leaders in Cardiff. A win will take them a significant step closer to qualification for next summer’s finals, but anything less will leave their chances hanging by a thread.
For Croatia, a draw will be more than enough to keep their qualification on track.
As things stand, the Welsh have a game in hand on the three teams above them – Croatia, Slovakia and Hungary – but while the Croatians appear out of sight, to win that game-in-hand would put Giggs’ men firmly in the mix for second-place. The point in Slovakia could prove crucial, especially if they can build on it on Sunday night.
They also have the prospect of playing host to Hungary in their final group game, but will need to stay in touch with the pack in order for that game to be meaningful, so everything boils down to Sunday night’s game. Giggs needs big performances from, in particular, Gareth Bale and Dan James.
Croatia’s Old Guard in Final Fling
Croatia’s 3-0 win over Hungary on Thursday was confirmation of their place as the group’s outstanding team – both goals coming in the first half from Bruno Petkovic – and it’s a positive that the Croatians have started to evolve the ageing team that made it to the World Cup final.
But some of the old guard remain and with this being their final chance of glory, there’s a determination in this Croatia squad to deliver again on the big stage.
The Welsh will need to be at their very best but with Croatia needing only a point the value here is with the draw.
Pick: Wales and Croatia to draw (+520)
UEFA 2020 Group I – Scotland vs San Marino Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total||Odds to Win Group I|
|Scotland||-5.0, -5.5 (-111)||-10000||O 5.5 (-106)|
|San Marino||+5.0, +5.5 (-109)||+8000||U 55 (-114)|
It’s been a miserable campaign for Scotland, who lost 4-0 in Russia in midweek, and they come into the game off the back of two successive home defeats. Their only home win to date came against Cyprus, and aside from that the only points they have earned were from the away game in San Marino.
This is simply one the Scots dare not lose or even draw. To do so would be nothing short of a disaster and would see Scottish international soccer stoop to a new low. San Marino are yet to find the back of the net in any of these group games and have conceded a staggering 37 in seven.
A Tetchy Hampden
With a defense as leaky as San Marino’s, even Scotland should be able to find a way through although the longer the game stays goal-less the more tetchy the Hampden Park crowd will get. If the Scots slip up, a toxic atmosphere awaits, but their superior quality should come through and while it won’t be a demolition, I see the Scots winning comfortably.
Pick: Scotland to win 3-0
UEFA 2020 Group C – Belarus vs Netherlands Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total||Odds to Win Group C|
|Belarus||+2.0 (-123)||+1150||O 3 (+101)|
|Netherlands||-2.0 (+103)||-476||U 3 (-121)|
Netherlands travel to Belarus looking for their fourth straight win in Group C. Thursday night’s win over Northern Ireland was vital as it took them to the top of the group but, crucially, it remains a three-way tie at the top with Germany and the Irish. This one has turned into the proverbial ‘group of death’.
Belarus are out of the reckoning with one win, one draw and four defeats but are a proud nation who would love nothing more than to throw a spanner in the works of Ronald Koeman’s plans. They also have some good technical players who are capable of causing problems for the Netherlands, especially on home soil.
The Dutch are good travellers though and after suffering a 3-2 home defeat to Germany back in March, they went and won the reverse fixture 4-2, crucially giving them the advantage in the head-to-head record.
A win on Sunday night for the Dutch would put them in a strong position as they head into their final two matches and, while it may not be plain sailing, they have enough to achieve a solid win.
Pick: Netherlands to win 2-0