Euro 2020 Tips – Friday 18th June
It’s here! The day of the tournament that most England and Scotland fans have been looking forward to the most ever since the Scots confirmed their place in the finals with their penalty win in Belgrade.
Friday night football won’t get any more intense than England facing Scotland at Wembley in a crucial European Championship tie. A win for England puts them into the knockout stage. A win or draw for Scotland would keep their hopes of a place in the next phase alive.
Other games today see the first of the second group matches in Group E with Sweden taking on Slovakia, with both teams having earned good results in their opener, Sweden drawing with Spain and Slovakia beating Poland.
After that it is another crucial game in Group D with the Czech Republic knowing a win over Croatia would confirm them as qualified from the group, with the Croatians needing a win to put themselves back in contention to qualify from the group.
It should be a tense and exciting day of games and here’s my tips for them.
- Group E – Sweden V Slovakia (2pm, Saint Petersburg)
- Group D – Croatia V Czech Republic (5pm, Glasgow)
- Group D – England V Scotland (8pm, London)
*Time in GMT
Euro 2020 Tips: Friday 18th June
I have to admit to being impressed by both these teams resilience in their opening group games. Slovakia fully deserved their win over Poland, despite a slow start to the second half which saw them pegged back but Skriniar’s finish for their winning goal was a fantastic strike to claim a deserved win.
Sweden offered no great surprises against Spain, they were strong and disciplined and as the game wore on, they wore the Spanish team down and in the end, the Swedes probably had the best two chances of the game and could have even snatched the win rather than the 0-0 draw.
I think both managers will be delighted with how things went in those opening games and they will seek to build on that here and I think both teams will, but by sharing the points here.
Sweden need to be more clinical in front of goal as they don’t create many chances, but I think they will grab one goal here, but I also back the Slovakians to grab a goal too which would likely be enough for them to qualify for the next stage of the competition as at least a 3rd place team.
It’s hard to make something of this game. In terms of form, the Czech Republic looked by far the better of the two teams in beating Scotland than Croatia did in defeat of England, but on paper and in terms of the historical record of the two teams, Croatia are clearly the team to pick.
There is no doubt for me that this Croatia team is one very much on the decline with all their best players now well over 30. That lack of energy was evident at times against England, although moments of quality still caused the Three Lions problems.
The Czech’s don’t have the same quality but they took the limited chances they had against Scotland superbly, with Patrick Schick their star with two superbly taken goals, the second an absolute stunner from just inside the Scottish half.
Usually, when I can’t decide between two teams, I tend to go for the draw and I think that is the smart move here too.
A look at the historic record of this most famous international fixture reveals the two teams are pretty close, but going back over more recent history, Scotland have beaten England just once in 11 games since April 1986. A 1-0 win at Wembley in the second leg of a European Championship play-off which England ultimately won on aggregate anyway.
The most recent game at Wembley between the two in November 2016 saw England earn a 3-0 win in World Cup qualifying and that is the kind of performance and result that manager Gareth Southgate would love to see from his team here.
Scotland though know that they probably will need something from this game to stand a chance of qualifying for the next phase of the tournament. They were a little unfortunate not to score against the Czech’s in their last game but this is a big ask for them here.
Sorry to all our Scottish readers, but I am going to go with the form here and take England to land the win, although I do feel that this will be a game where both teams will find the net as has happened in three of the last four games between the teams.
*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.