Euro 2020 Playoff Semifinals Preview, Schedule and Match Tips
Back in March, the Euro 2020 Playoff Semifinals were scheduled to take place, with the finals taking place a month or so later. However, along with the Euro 2020 finals itself, these games had to be cancelled back then and UEFA have now rescheduled them into what is a packed international week of games starting on Thursday night.
In addition to these games on Thursday night, many teams will also face two Nations League games, the first taking place at the weekend, the second on either Tuesday or Wednesday night next week, so it is going to be a very hectic schedule for many teams, hence many international managers naming squads well above the 23 players they usually call up for such weeks.
First up though it is the eight semifinal tie as we start the process of whittling down the 16 teams still in this part of the competition, down to the four that will take part in next summer’s delayed Euro 2020 Finals, played across Europe. And if you fancy a flutter on the game and don’t know where to sign up to best enjoy that, the easiest place to start is with the latest bet365 New Player Bonus offer.
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Let’s now take a closer look at how this weeks eight games are organised into the four different paths, with the winners of these games facing each other in each of the four path finals in November 2020. We can then also project where each path winner will land in the full Euro 2020 group draw, which has already been completed.
Euro 2020 Playoff Semifinals Draw and Paths
Each of the Euro 2020 playoff semifinals and finals are single leg ties, the winner of which will be decided by extra time and then penalties if required. One team will make it through to the finals from each of the four Paths identified by UEFA below and two semifinals have been grouped into each path as shown below:
- Path A – Bulgaria v Hungary, Iceland v Romania
- Path B – Bosnia & Herz v N.Ireland, Slovakia v Rep of Ireland
- Path C – Norway v Serbia, Scotland v Israel
- Path D – Georgia v Belarus, North Macedonia v Kosovo.
So the winner of the Bulgaria v Hungary tie will play the winner of the Iceland v Romania tie in the Pathway A Euro 2020 playoff final in November and so forth for all other pathways. We also know where each of the winners of the four paths will play in the finals.
Euro 2020 Draw
- Group A – Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland
- Group B – Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia
- Group C – Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, Playoff Winner Path A or D*
- Group D – England, Croatia, Playoff Winner Path C, Czech Republic
- Group E – Spain, Sweden, Poland, Playoff Winner Path B
- Group F – Playoff Winner Path A or D*, Portugal, France, Germany
*Group C will be home to the Path D winner unless Romania win through in Path A. If that is the case, Romania will play in Group C and the Path D winners will play in Group F. In all other cases, the Path D winners play in Group D and the Path A winners in Group F.
Let’s now take a look ahead to the eight games coming up this week which will decide the two finalists in each of the four paths to the Euro 2020 tournament next summer.
Euro 2020 Playoff Semifinals Preview and Game Tips
Kick offs all 7.45pm unless stated. Each game is played over one leg with extra time and penalties used to decide who progresses into each of the four playoff finals in November.
- Georgia v Belarus (5.00pm)
With a game against North Macedonia or Kosovo awaiting the winner, Path D will see a relatively unheralded team qualify for Euro 2020 next summer. This game looks well balanced but I think home advantage in these games is key and as such, I am backing Georgia to land a tight win, maybe even by just a single goal. Our Tip – Georgia to win – 6/5.
- Bosnia – Herzegovina v Northern Ireland
This is a very tough draw for the Northern Irish here, who have struggled since Michael O’Neill left to manage Stoke City. Bosnia-Herzegovina are emerging as a decent team in Europe and now is not the best time to play them for the Irish. This should be a solid win for the home side. Our Tip – An easy win for Bosnia-Herzegovina here – 10/11.
- Bulgaria v Hungary
Path A is a tough one to come through with Iceland and Romania being the other two teams involved and as such, I think that makes this game even tougher for these two teams. Hungary are improving, slowly, but Bulgaria I feel are a pale shadow the team that shone at World Cup 1994 and I think they will be eliminated here. Tip – Hungary to land the win – 11/10.
- Iceland v Romania
Two teams who probably feel they have the best chance of qualifying from Path A if they can win this game. Romania are improving and are starting to look a more formidable force after a few years in the doldrums, but I feel this could be the Iceland’s team final hurrah on the big stage in Europe and I am backing them to use the home advantage for the win here. Tip – Iceland to win – 6/4.
- North Macedonia v Kosovo
Both of these teams will feel that a win here will give them a fantastic chance of reaching the finals with either Georgia or Belarus in the final awaiting them. North Macedonia are a decent side but I think Kosovo have a bit more attacking threat and as such, having given England a fright in the group stage, I think the visitors will nab the win here. Our Tip – Back Kosovo to win – 2/1.
- Norway v Serbia
Both these two sides will feel a win here will give them a great chance of qualifying from Path C and I feel both these sides are well matched. Both have potential matchwinners in their team and both do suffer from inconsistency a little. As such, a draw looks the solid bet here with extra time or penalites needed to decide the winner. Our Tip – Take the draw at 21/10.
- Scotland v Israel
Two familiar opponents in recent times are well matched and this should be an intriguing game to watch on Thursday. The Scots are desperate to play in the finals of a big tournament and with England awaiting in Euro 2020 if they get through the stakes could not be higher, I am backing them to make the first step towards that here. Our Tip – Take Scotland to land a narrow win – Evens.
- Slovakia v Republic of Ireland
Two sides who will have had hopes of direct qualification into the tournament meet in what should be a cracking game. Ireland’s form of late has not been that great but neither has Slovakia’s and in truth, there are arguments for both sides winning, or losing this game. As such, I think a draw at 90 minutes is in store here and it could mean penalties decide who progresses. Our Tip – Take the draw at 90 minutes at 21/10.