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Euro 2020 Qualifier Tips: 21st-23rd March
by David Lenton
I can’t really complain about the international break this time around as it has been a long time since we’ve had one…
Which has been great!
I am not happy with how my tips turned out last week and I’m hoping that this weekend will provide me with some additional profit. I much prefer the weeks when the bookies are handing me cash over, rather than the other way around.
This week’s tips are based on the Euro qualifiers taking place from Thursday to Saturday.
I’ll provide you with another set for the matches on Sunday through to Tuesday.
Euro 2020 Qualifier Tips: Thursday 21st March
March 21, 2019
March 21, 2019
Scotland gained promotion to League B in the Nations League after successive wins over Albania and Israel, their last two games.
Kazakhstan have lost just one of their last six games, away to Georgia and they have beaten Moldova and Andorra at home in that period.
Astana is a tricky place to go and the last team to beat Kazakhstan at home was Georgia on the opening matchday of the Nations League.
This will be the first time the two national teams have met in a fixture. The teams also have Belgium, Russia, Cyprus, and San Marino as part of their Group.
I have the feeling that this may well be a very tough game for Scotland. Kazakhstan have been improving of late and their teams domestic record against Scottish teams (won three, drawn two, lost three) suggests that this could be a closer game than certainly the bookies expect.
This is also exactly the type of game where Scotland have come unstuck in the past, as while the Scots have traditionally raised their game against the top sides, they have often fallen down when it comes to beating lesser opponents.
However, I think this Scotland side is young enough not to be stigmatised by the past results of the team and I also feel that they have enough talent and confidence after their Nations League finish to come into this game feeling that they can win it.
I don’t think it will be an easy afternoon for Scotland at all, but I do feel that they have just enough quality to perhaps steal a win and a vital three points in their qualifying campaign.
After three defeats, England have drawn one and won three of their last four games & reached the Nations Cup Semi-finals.
The Czech Republic did the double over neighbours Slovakia in the Nations Cup, but lost home and away to Ukraine and are out.
England have played the Czech Republic twice previously, both at Wembley, earning a 2-0 victory in November 1998 and a 2-2 draw in August 2008.
Declan Rice has earned his first call up for England after deciding to play for the Three Lions instead of the Republic of Ireland. He will likely make his debut in this game.
Following on from losing their last two World Cup games, England then lost their Nations League opener to Spain but then managed to land the results necessary to emerge as the surprise winners of their group and to move on to the semifinals in June in Portugal.
The Czech’s didn’t improve their lot any in the Nations League losing out to the Ukraine but finishing ahead of Slovakia but they are a tricky team who boast some talented players, including Roma’s Patrick Schick and midfielder Ladislav Krejci.
That said, with so many qualification spots available for Euro 2020, the pressure isn’t really on this game as much as other qualifying campaigns, so I am expecting England to earn the victory, although the way the defence has looked at times, I feel that the Czech’s may well be good for a goal at Wembley.
However, with Harry Kane back to spearhead the attack and Raheem Sterling in the form of his career for Manchester City, I would expect England to earn a comfortable win on home soil to start the campaign off in style.
England to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £40.00
Portugal are unbeaten in their last six games in this tournament, with three draws and three wins over that period. They are the current European Champions.
Ukraine have lost just one of their last ten games, albeing a 4-1 thumping in Slovakia. They haven’t won away since beating the Czech Republic in September.
The teams have met just twice previously, both in World Cup qualifying, Portugal losing 2-1 away in Kiev in Oct 1996 and then winning 1-0 in the return a month later.
Cristiano Ronaldo could be set to return to the Portugal squad after a fine run of form for Juventus. He hasn’t played for Portugal since the World Cup in 2018.
The Ukrainians will prove a test for Portugal after they won their Nations League group to earn promotion into League A for the next tournament, where they could well find themselves lining up against Portugal depending on how the draw for that tournament pans out in a couple of years.
Portugal qualified from their group for the semifinals and will face Switzerland at home in June with a chance to add this trophy to the European Championship one they won in France last time out, Holland and England are the other teams contesting the other semifinal then.
Both teams are in good form and I think Portugal’s chances hinge on whether Ronaldo returns to the squad. I can see the Juventus star being recalled given the sensational form he has been in of late for his club.
With Ronaldo in the team I am very confident of a Portugal win, even without him, I think they are strong enough defensively to keep the Ukraine out and to secure a narrow win in their opening match of Euro 2020 qualification.
Sweden come into this game on an unbeaten run of four games, drawing with Russia and Slovakia before earning wins over Turkey away and then Russia.
Romania are unbeaten in their last 12 and their last defeat was away to Montenegro in September 2017. They have defeated Chile and Sweden in that run of games.
Sweden hold the edge in the head to head record having won five of the ten matches played between the teams, Romania winning three with two draws.
The other teams in Group F alongside Sweden and Romania are favourites Spain, plus Norway, Malta and the Faroe Islands.
These teams last met back in 2018 and it was Romania who emerged as the 1-0 winners on home soil. Indeed the eastern European side have been on a fine run of form of late, having gone 12 games unbeaten and they will certainly give this Sweden team a test.
It’s fair to say that Sweden are in something of a period of rebuilding as the top players in their squad are now pushing beyond 30. They do have some talented younger players, such as Albin Ekdal and Emil Forsberg, but they are yet to shine at the top level as yet in the way Swedish stars have done in previous eras.
What we do know about both these teams is that they are usually both very tight defensively and I cannot see either team racking up a huge amount of goals in this game. In fact, I think the most likely result is going to be a 0-0 draw, although I could also see how the game would end 1-1. As such, the draw for me is the sensible option to back here.
David 'the Cheeky Punter' Lenton is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has also worked for a number of top bookmakers including Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. With such a long time spent dedicated to the gambling industry no one is better placed when it comes to advising punters. Follow on Twitter @thecheekypunter