The teams that should have won, did win, on Saturday as all but one favorite was able to get the job done in their Euro 2020 qualifiers. The one underdog that won was Malta who beat the Faroe Islands for their first win since 2017. It was not a very exciting day, and not much drama, but there are 10 more games on Sunday sure to bring us some exciting action.
The matchup of the day is the Netherlands hosting Germany in a matchup of on surging country and one potentially on the downswing. Another nice matchup with be Croatia, who escaped an embarrassing draw against Azerbaijan, travels to Hungary who is in good form at home. Israel hosting Austria and Wales hosting Slovakia are also two matchups to keep an eye on.
I had my first losing card, of the Euro 2020 Qualifiers, so time to get back on track with three plays for Sunday.
Netherlands (+140) vs Germany
The 14th ranked nation in FIFA, the Netherlands, welcomes the 16th ranked nation, Germany, in a Group C showdown Sunday. This will be Germany’s first qualifying match as they had a friendly match, a 1-1 draw with Serbia, on Wednesday. Netherlands got their qualifying stage off to a roaring start with a dominating 4-0 win against Belarus. The Netherlands have won four straight games at home that includes a 2-0 win against France and a 3-0 win against Germany. The German team has not won an actual road game since October 2017 as they are currently on a two match losing streak. Netherlands continues their good from at home, so back the Dutch on Sunday.
Draw +275: Hungary vs Croatia
Croatia, who is the 4th ranked team in FIFA, travel to the 52nd ranked Hungary squad off the heels of a 2-1 win over Azerbaijan. It wasn’t pretty, but Croatia got all three points they needed in their qualifying opener. They are on a poor run of form, on the road, with a 2-1 defeat against England, 6-0 defeat against Spain and a 1-1 draw against Portugal in their last three road games. Hungary, who is coming off a 2-0 loss at Slovakia, is on a three game home unbeaten run. In those three games Hungary has pitched two shutouts and have scored two goals in all three games. I think the Croatia road form is real concern, so I like a draw in this one.
Northern Ireland (-133) vs Belarus
Northern Ireland, ranked 36th in the world currently, welcome Belarus, ranked 78th, to Windsor Park Sunday night. Northern Ireland opened up qualifying with a 2-0 home win over Estonia while Belarus is coming off a 4-0 shellacking at the hands of the Dutch. Belarus is in fine form on the road, having compiled a 2-2-1 record, but those two wins came against lowly San Marino and Luxembourg. Northern Ireland are 3-2, in their last five home games, with wins against South Kora, Israel and Estonia. Belarus coming off that 4-0 defeat, plus their own 2-0 win against Estonia, should give Northern Ireland confidence in this one. Back Northern Ireland.
European Qualifiers Record: 6-3