Hi gang! This week I’m focusing on qualifiers for the European Championships, as well as an exciting friendly. I got eight out of ten Match Tips correct last week – let’s see how I get on here. You can bet on these games and more here.
Turkey 1 v 0 Iceland – Thursday 14 November – Euro 2020 Qualifiers – Turkey Win (1.75)
Turkey are in a very comfortable position as they only require one more point to guarantee a place at Euro 2020. They have won six game out of eight so far in qualifying and are on a six-game winning streak on home soil. Iceland have become a regular fixture in summer tournaments lately and even reached the quarter finals in 2016. However, they need to win both of their remaining games if they are to automatically qualify for Euro 2020. The bad news is that they have lost two of their three away qualifiers so far. Even though they beat Turkey 2-1 in June, I’m backing a Home Win here.
England 3 v 0 Montenegro – Thursday 14 November – Euro 2020 Qualifiers – England Win and Over 2.5 Goals (1.30)
Other than a defeat to the Czech Republic, it’s been very easy for England so far in qualifying. The Three Lions have won five of their six game so far, having scored 26 goals – only two teams have scored more. It’s no surprise, though, as they have won their last 17 home qualifiers (for the Euros and the World Cup). Opponents Montenegro have not won a game in qualifying yet and lost 5-1 to England when they met in March. I can only see a big Home Win here.
Portugal 3 v 1 Lithuania – Thursday 14 November – Euro 2020 Qualifiers – Portugal Win with 0:1 Handicap (1.10)
Reigning champions Portugal have not had it all their own way in qualification for next year’s tournament. They cannot finish top of their group since they are too far behind Ukraine, and the fact that they are only one point above Serbia, means that they need to win this. That said, they have four wins in their last five games (three of which have been on the handicap). In contrast, Lithuania have lost five games in a row. Four of those have been by a margin of two goals and more, including a 5-3 defeat to Portugal in September. I don’t think they’ll cause the hosts many problems here.
Brazil 1 v 1 Argentina – Friday 15 November – Friendly – Under 2.5 Goals (1.60)
Brazil are in great form. They have only lost twice in the last two years. We shouldn’t expect them to score many goals here though. In the past 12 months they have played ten friendlies, seven of which have seen Under 2.5 Goals. Neymar will also be missing too. Arch-rivals Argentina are unbeaten in their last five games and will welcome back Lionel Messi for this game. These sides only met as recently as July, when Brazil ran out 2-0 winners at the Copa America. I’m backing a Draw this time and I expect Under 2.5 Goals – it’s happened in four of the past five meetings.
Bosnia-Herzegovina 1 v 2 Italy – Friday 15 November – Euro 2020 Qualifiers – Both Teams to Score (1.65)
Italy have already qualified for next year’s tournament after winning all eight of their games to date. In fact, they have only lost one of their last 15 games. I expect them to extend their winning run here, but I doubt it will be straight-forward. Although they have lost all of their away games in qualifying, Bosnia-Herzegovina are unbeaten in their last seven home games. They need to win their last two remaining qualifiers and hope that Finland lose twice. I don’t think it will happen though.