March 05, 2020
March 04, 2020
March 04, 2020
March 04, 2020
March 04, 2020
March 04, 2020
With UEFA EURO 2020 play-off qualifiers looming around the corner, twenty of the spots have already been filled through group qualification. However, sixteen teams await further advancement as the draws for play-off draws came out in November. Four teams out of sixteen will go on to compete with the prior-qualified teams.
Group A: Group A saw England and the Czech Republic qualifying with 21 and 15 points respectively, with Kosovo sitting at third place with 11 points. Montenegro was one of the unfortunate teams which did not even grab a single win in all the eight qualifying games that were played. Above all, UEFA qualification results saw their top scorer in Harry Kane from this group. He led the English side with 12 goals to his name, with 4 of them coming from the penalty spot.
Group B: Ukraine topped Group B with remarkable 20 points with the defending champions Portugal trailing by just 3 points. Serbia did not lag in the race much. They were only 3 points away from steering towards a direct qualification. With just one goal shy of being a joint top-scorer, Portuguese and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo got 11 goals to his name.
Group C: Group C saw some comfortable and predicted qualifications with Germany (21 points) and Netherlands (19 points). Northern Ireland sat in third place with 13 points even after failing to win the last four matches of their group stage qualification. Serge Gnabry was the leading goal scorer from this group after netting eight goals.
Group D and E: Group D and E saw some of the closest competitions. Switzerland and Croatia topped their respective with 17 points. Denmark followed Switzerland from Group D and latched second place.
However, Group E gave a few jumps scares during the last game week. Wales managed to beat Hungary 2-0 at Cardiff Stadium, hence latching a direct qualification spot. Wales (14), Slovakia (13), and Hungary (12) were all separated by a single point.
Group F and G: Spain and Poland came out on top of their group after eight qualification games. However, Sweden and Austria came in second place from their groups.
Group H: From the six teams competing for the qualification, only France and Turkey qualified directly for the competition with 25 and 23 points respectively. Only four points separated Iceland from the second spot.
Group I and J: Belgium (Group I) and Italy (Group J) were the only teams to have grabbed maximum points (30). Russia and Finland were the other two teams that qualified from their respective groups sitting in second place.
After the play-off draws, sixteen teams will be competing against one another to get a derivative, second chance of qualifying. Since it is based on Nations League results, a national team could find itself among the qualified despite having catastrophic group stage results. Belarus, for example, had a goal difference of minus 12 with only 4 points. They will be competing against Georgia in the play-off draws that occurred recently.
The teams in path D have a chance of making history since none of them has ever qualified for the European Championships as independent nations.
North Macedonia and Kosovo go head to head against one another for the first time. The hosts have won their last two home games against Slovenia and Israel. Meanwhile, on the other hand, Kosovo has scored 14 goals in the previous six away games. Igor Angelovski has stressed that this is a historic moment for the nation as they have never qualified for a European Championship before. He has assured the fans that their team will fight until the very end to grab a spot in the final of the play-offs.
Georgia and Belarus last met in 2017 during a friendly game. The two teams have shared the spoils in the three times they have met, resulting in 1W, 1D, and 1L. The winners from the fixtures will host North Macedonia or Kosovo.
Unbeaten in their last five games, Norway and Serbia find themselves in a bit of a tight spot. Serbians are in the driving spot for this fixture as they possess ten wins over the opponent while losing just three and drawing two. The two teams last met in Oslo, where the guests won 2-1. Serbian coach Tumbaković said in a presser that Norway is the opponents they wanted the least. Meanwhile, Lars Lagerbäck, Norwegian coach, gives an equal amount of respect to their opponents as he emphasized that if you look at the individual skills, Serbia is probably the best team in the play-offs. The two teams meet in an exciting fixture on the 26th of March 2020.
After the inauguration of the UEFA Nations League in the 2018-19 season, Scotland and Israel went against one another after being drawn in the same group. Celtic star James Forrest scored a thirty-minute hattrick against the guests in a hard-fought 3-2 win. The Scots’ have won four against their opponent while losing only once in their meetings.
The winners of this fixture will compete against the winners from Norway and Serbia.
Path B is the most terrific and mouth-watering paths of all since it possesses an expected clash between both Irish teams.
Slovakia and the Republic of Ireland are meeting for the sixth time in their entirety, where four of these encounters ended in draws. Irish won the first game (1-0) in 2007, with the goal coming from Kevin Doyle’s header.
Northern Ireland has won only one game (against the Czech Republic) in their last five outings. Former Bosnian coach Robert Prosinečki stepped down from the managerial role in November. The immensely-experienced Dušan Bajević will be coaching Bosnia against the Irish.
In their last fifteen meetings, Bulgarians have only won thrice against Hungary. Their last meeting against Hungarians ended in a 1-1 draw in 2017 friendly. Marco Rossi, Hungary coach, is confident about this fixture, but he thinks Bulgaria’s home advantage might hurt them.
Iceland and Romania last met in 1998 during the World Cup qualification. Romania smashed Iceland 4-0 home and away. The winners from these two sides will go on to meet either Bulgaria or Hungary.
The international break for play-offs will occur in March 2020.
Path A: Bulgaria vs. Hungary, Iceland vs. Romania.
Path B: Slovakia vs. the Republic of Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Northern Ireland.
Path C: Norway vs. Serbia (18:00 CET), Scotland vs. Israel
Path D: North Macedonia vs. Kosovo, Georgia vs. Belarus (18:00 CET).
Path A: Iceland/Romania vs. Bulgaria/Hungary
Path B: Slovakia/Republic of Ireland vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina/Northern Ireland
Path C: Scotland/Israel vs. Norway/Serbia
Path D: North Macedonia/Kosovo (18:00 CET) vs. Georgia/Belarus
NOTE: All kick-off times 20:45 CET unless otherwise stated.