Will Two Wins This Week Be Enough to Qualify England for Euro 2020?
Gareth Southgate’s England have made an impressive start to their qualifying campaign for Euro 2020. Heavy wins over the Czech Republic, Montenegro and Bulgaria, allied to an entertaining if helter-skelter 5-3 win over Kosovo means that England top Group A by three points, having played a game less than the other teams in the group.
This week, the Three Lions face arguably their toughest task in the group, when they face two away games in the space of three days. They start off on Friday evening in Prague taking on the Czech Republic and then this is followed on Monday night when they head to Sofia to take on a struggling Bulgaria side.
In this article, we are going to take a closer look at both games and give you England’s chances in each, as well as bringing you the best bets we feel are worth backing for each game, together with the odds for those bets from bet365, where they are available.
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England Results so far
- England 5-0 Czech Republic (Sterling 3, Kane, Kalas OG)
- Montenegro 1-5 England (Keane, Barkley 2, Kane, Sterling)
- England 4-0 Bulgaria (Kane 3, Sterling)
- England 5-3 Kosovo (Sterling, Kane, Vojvoda OG, Sancho 2)
- V Czech Republic (A) (11th Oct)
- V Bulgaria (A) (14th Oct)
- V Montenegro (H) (14th Nov)
- V Kosovo (A) (17th Nov)
Euro 2020 Qualifiers Group A
- England* – 12 points
- Czech Rep – 9 points
- Kosovo – 8 points
- Montenegro – 2 points
- Bulgaria – 2 points
*England have played four games compared to the five played by the other four teams.
England need just two wins this week to secure qualification from Group A as the winners of the group. Four points should be enough for them to ensure qualification as either the first or second placed team in the group, although this does depend on how the results in other games taking place on Friday and Monday go.
England Squad for the Fixtures with Czech Republic and Bulgaria
- Jordan Pickford (Everton)
- Dean Henderson (Sheff Utd) – Called up to replace the injured Tom Heaton (Burnley)
- Nick Pope (Burnley)
- Danny Rose (Tottenham)
- Harry Maguire (Man Utd)
- Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)
- Michael Keane (Everton)
- Ben Chilwell (Leicester(
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
- Joe Gomez (Liverpool)
- Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)
- Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea)
- Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
- Ross Barkley (Chelsea)
- Declan Rice (West Ham)
- Harry Winks (Tottenham)
- Mason Mount (Chelsea)
- James Maddison (Leicester City)
- Fabian Delph* (Everton)
*Fabian Delph withdrew from the squad due to an injury. A replacement was not called up.
- Raheem Sterling (Man City)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham)
- Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
- Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)
- Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
- Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)
Friday 11th October
Czech Republic v England
England have a pretty decent record against the Czech Republic. In the three games that they have played, England have won two and drawn the other, with all matched taking place at Wembley Stadium. This will be England’s first trip to Prague to face the Czech Republic.
However, when the Czech Republic was part of Czechoslovakia, they did manage to beat England twice on home soil, once in 1934 and once in 1975, both by a 2-1 scoreline. England though have by far the strongest record between the two teams.
Having lost to England 5-0 at Wembley, the Czech’s will want revenge for that loss and performance, and they have some talented players, notably the Red Bull Leipzig striker Patrick Schick, who used to play for AS Roma, plus the captain of the country is Hertha Berlin’s midfield dynamo Vladimir Darida.
However, in terms of the depth and strength of each squad, England have a far better squad and team on paper and it would be a surprise if they could not follow up their devastating win at Wembley with another big win on the road here.
- England to win – 1/2 with bet365 Sport
- England to win 2-1 – 13/2 with bet365 Sport
- Harry Kane to score anytime and England to win 2-1 – 10/1 with bet365
Monday 14th October
Bulgaria v England
England continued their excellent record against Bulgaria last month with a 4-0 win at Wembley. In the 11 meetings between the two teams since 1962, there have been just four draws, the last one coming in 1999, with England winning all seven of the other games. Indeed, in all those games, Bulgaria have managed to score just two goals against England (both coming in 1-1 draws).
It’s fair to say that this Bulgarian team is nowhere near as talented as the great teams that they have had in the past, notably the one that reached the semifinals of the World Cup in the USA in 1994. A player of that era, Krasimir Balakov, is the current manager but his current squad is nowhere near as talented as that fabulous Bulgarian team.
As a result, Bulgaria have struggled and are yet to win a game in the group and it seems unlikely that even at home against England, they are going to end that run here.
The teams last met in Bulgaria in 2011, when England emerged as comfortable 3-0 winners and I am expecting a similar outcome this time around for Gareth Southgate’s men.
- England to win – Odds not yet available
- England to win 3-1 – Odds not yet available
- Raheem Sterling to score and England to win 3-1 – Odds not yet available
Odds for this game will be available with bet365 after the conclusion of the Czech Republic v England game on Friday night.