European International Football Tips – 7th, 8th & 9th September
It’s a bit weird this one coming to you on a Thursday, but given how the international fixtures are now organised, it kind of does make sense to send out the tips a day or so earlier given that it will give us the best selection of games to pick from.
If you have followed my tips for the last few years then you’ll know I am not the biggest fan of these international breaks. They kind of disrupt the flow of the season, even though I do understand that these games do need to be played.
Only Wales of the home nations do not have a game in this first set of matches with England facing Ukraine on Polish soil, while Scotland head for the sunnier climes of Cyprus to try and keep their superb 100% record in qualifying intact.
Northern Ireland’s qualifying campaign hasn’t been the best so far having lost their last three after a narrow win over San Marino in their opening game and they face a hectic few days, against Slovenia on Thursday and then a long trip to Kazakhstan for Sunday’s clash.
England face Ukraine on Saturday night in a game which if the Three Lions win, should go a long way to securing top spot in the group. They also have a friendly against Scotland lined up for Tuesday night which celebrates the first ever international fixture contested.
Let’s take a look now at the tips I have put together for these qualifying games.
Euro 2024 Qualifiers Tips: Thursday 7th September
Games between these two teams have been much closer than you would expect over the last 30 years or so. Goals are also something of a rarity with two or fewer goals being scored in 11 of the last 13 games between the two teams.
All of this would seem to point to a relatively tight game, but there is a caveat here and that is that the gap between the sides is far wider now than it has been in previous generations of players and as such, I would expect France to be very much the favourites to land a relatively straightforward win here.
Having lost narrowly at home to the French back in March, in a game that was very evenly contested, the fact that this game will take place in France and that the key French players won’t have that World Cup hangover still, means that I think that the visitors could be in for a very tough evening here.
With Kylian Mbappe back now playing and scoring for Paris St Germain, Antoine Griezmann looking back to his best and a wealth of young talent, I am backing this French side to land a relatively comfortable 2-0 win here.
If Northern Ireland felt that they may have had a chance of qualifying for the European Championships from Group H, then they are going to have to start picking up some big results, especially on the road. Thr Irish have only beaten San Marino in this group so far, losing their other three games.
They face a Slovenia side who lie one place above them in the table but who are just two points off the top of the table and who have the same number of points as Denmark, which shows that they are very much in contention for qualification in this group.
With a team that boasts the talents of goalkeeper Jan Oblak, striker Benjamin Sesko and winger Benjamin Verbic, Slovenia are going to be a tough test for the Irish here, especially in front of their home fans.
The Irish have lost narrowly in their three defeats in their group, but they were losses and as such, I think that they could well be on the end of another similar scoreline here. I like the look of the HT/FT market here with a draw at the half followed by a Slovenia win in the 2nd period.
Euro 2024 Qualifiers Tips: Friday 8th September
Scotland’s magnificent start in Group A, which includes a home win over Spain and an away win over Norway, plus two other wins, means that Steve Clarke’s team are in pole position not just to qualify for Euro 2024, but to do so as the group winners.
To achieve that though, they are likely to need to pick up a win here against a Cyprus side that the Scots beat comfortably 3-0 earlier in the year at Hampden Park. That said, this game in Larnaca is likely to be a tougher test for Clarke’s men.
One positive thing for Scotland is that they are coming into this game bang in form, while their hosts are quite the oppositve, having lost all three games in the tournament so far and looking very much like the team that will finish bottom of this group.
With four games remaining, Scotland still have to play three away games, in Cyprus, Spain and Georgia and if they can win two of those three, the first being this game, then they should be huge favourites to qualify from this group.
Euro 2024 Qualifiers Tips: Saturday 9th September
England’s 100% start to the European Championship qualifiers will be tested here in Poland on Saturday night as Ukraine will try to cut the gap on the English side to three points. Despite playing in Poland, the Ukraine will have plenty of support in the stadium from displaced compatriots.
They have also won their last two games, albeit against North Macedonia and Malta, but they did draw 3-3 with Germany back in June. A result all the more impressive given that they actually led Germany 3-1 before two late goals snatched a draw for the home side.
England were comfortable winners when the two sides met and the Three Lions have a solid recent record against the Ukrainian team and Gareth Southgate, with a number of his players in good form such as Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling and James Maddison, shoud be confident of getting a win here.
I am backing England to continue their march towards winning the group by putting in another solid away display and coming away with a 3-1 victory which will put them in a very very strong position in the group and with a great chance of qualifying early for next summer’s tournament.
*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.