Every game in qualification is important – just ask Scotland, who were on course to at least make the play-offs before their defeat by Georgia left things in the balance – but these games now have an added weight of importance, with teams knowing a defeat can end their hopes of qualifying altogether. With that in mind, any country harbouring serious ambitions of making the tournament will know that they have to guard against any upsets and be at their best to see of their rivals.
Tonight’s early kick off sees Denmark travel to minnows Armenia who have lost 9 of their last 10 fixtures, with their only victory since 2013 being a narrow friendly victory against UAE (who still managed to score 3 against them). Denmark are very much in the hunt for qualification, just a point behind group leaders Portugal, and with third placed Albania level on points with them, they will know a win here is vital to their hopes of automatic qualification. Denmark have been impressive on the road this campaign, recording a win against Serbia an drawing with Albania – they will certainly fancy their chances of recording a victory here, and so do I, backing them at odds of 1.95 with Totesport.
Also tonight, Gibraltar, who have conceded the most out of any team in qualification, with teams scoring an incredible 38 goals in just 7 games against them, face an ominous trip to Warsaw against a Poland side who will be looking to put as much distance as possible between themselves and Scotland and Ireland in their group. Poland won 7-0 in the reverse fixture away from home, and it’s difficult not to see a similar scoreline this time round, with all the attacking talent Poland have in their ranks. I’m backing Poland to win and Over 5.5 Match Goals at best odds of 1.72 with Bet365.
England take on Switzerland on Tuesday evening, and despite having already qualified with a victory in every single match so far, the impetus is there to continue winning and also for Wayne Rooney on a personal level to become England’s top goalscorer in history. Having beaten the Swiss away from home, you have to fancy England to get a result at Wembley too. England to win at odds of 1.79 with MarathonBet are good against any team they play at Wembley, but against the Swiss it is even better value and I am certainly taking it.
Finally, Slovakia face Ukraine at home, having tasted defeat – in fact, having tasted not winning – for the first time this campaign away to Spain on Saturday. Ukraine have already secured a spot in the top 3 of this group, and may be looking to usurp Slovakia into the top two; however, Slovakia haven’t lost at home in any competition since 2013 (and have only lost one match overall since then), and will be looking to ensure their good work in getting to this position does not go to waste. I’m backing Slovakia, Draw No Bet at best odds of 1.88 with MarathonBet.