As hard as it is to take, there are plenty of exciting fixtures to come over the rest of the weekend and that should more than make up for it – especially with a number of teams around Europe still sweating on whether or not they will make it to the Championships.
Germany take on Georgia knowing that a victory will seal their place as winners of their group, which is a decent achievement given their struggles over the course of the campaign – losing to Poland, losing and drawing to Ireland, and being pegged back twice by Scotland before going on to scrape victories against them. Georgia, who lost every game of the campaign besides two victories against Gibraltar and one against Scotland, are unlikely to offer too much resistance to the German juggernaut, who will be determined to win their last competitive match before next summer’s championships, where they are likely to go in as tournament favourites. I really fancy Germany to bounce back from their defeat to the Irish with a comprehensive victory here, and therefore am backing Germany -2 at odds of 1.65 with Bwin.
Lithuania take on England in the last match of their group, with England hoping to make it 10 wins from 10 in another highly successful qualifying campaign – and they really should, particularly against a Lithuania side who have won just 3 matches all campaign (two against San Marino, and one against Estonia), and who have nothing to play for, knowing they cannot make third place in the group due to their inferior head to head record with Slovenia. England, who will know too well how crucial the ranking points that come with a win can be, will play a strong side, like they did against Estonia, going for the victory, and once more, they should have too much for their opponents. Back an England win at odds of 1.47 with BetBright.
Ukraine take on a Spain side who have won every match of their qualification campaign besides an early away loss to Slovakia – since then, they have incredibly scored 16 goals and not conceded a single goal. Ukraine are joint on points with Slovakia, in the group and will need to better their result to overtake them; but with Slovakia facing Luxembourg, that outcome is unlikely, and Ukraine are most likely going to have to accept that their best hope of making the European Championships is through the playoffs, as I can’t see them getting any more than a draw against a superb Spain side. I’m backing Spain Or Draw (double chance) at great odds of 1.50 with Bet365.
Finally, Poland take on the Republic of Ireland with the two sides joint on 18 points – in the event of a draw, Poland will take 2nd spot in the group, so the Republic of Ireland have nothing to lose by going for a victory here. In my opinion, however, that will leave what is a steady but not spectacular Irish backline exposed to an attack-minded Polish side, who have scored the first goal in 8 of their 9 Qualifying matches so far: that is no coincidence, as they have gone for the attack from the off in their matches, looking to stifle their opponents, and it is a tactic that has worked for them so far. Back them to stifle Ireland by scoring first at odds of 1.67 with SkyBet.
Put these four selections in an ACCA and it pays 5.45!