Euro 2020: everything you need to know about the situation in the groups
The September matches of the national teams within the framework of qualification for Euro 2020 have already passed. You can read about these matches on https://football-heroes.net/, leaving hope and joy for some, and longing and disappointment for others. But, one way or another, it is time to count the chickens, i.e. the points gained. After all, in almost every qualifying group have already outlined those who will surely play at the continental championship next year. However, as well as those who will definitely not play there.
First of all, a little bit about the selection regulations. Recall that of the ten qualifying groups direct tickets to the European Championship will get two teams from each group, finishing in first and second place. Four more tickets will be played from March 26 to 31 next year in a playoff with the participation of 16 winners of the group tournament of the League of Nations. If any of the Nations League group winners have already made it to the Euros through the qualifying cycle, their ticket to the knockout rounds will go to the next best team in the division. If the league does not have the required four teams, the vacant spots will be filled by teams from the divisions below, taking into account the overall ranking in the Nations League. The winners of the Nations League groups are: England, Switzerland, Netherlands, Portugal, Ukraine, Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Scotland, Finland, Norway, Serbia, Georgia, Belarus, Kosovo, North Macedonia.
England are the clear favorites in this group. Southgate’s team has not lost tournament points yet, and, to all appearances, it is unlikely to do so in the future. Although its calendar is not the most favorable. But the battle for the second direct ticket has been fierce. And if seeing the Czech Republic in the favorites is a common thing, in general, then the Kosovo national team, which has one point less than the Czechs after five rounds, is the main sensation of the group. The Czechs and Kosovars will play each other for the second direct ticket to the Euros. Everything may be decided in their head-to-head match on November 14. In addition, if Kosovo ends up third, it will still have a chance to qualify for the Euros through the playoffs. But the seemingly solid Bulgarian and Montenegrin teams, with only two points each, have only a slim chance of taking one of the top spots.
It is nice to look at the standings of this group. After all, it is led by the Ukraine national team. In order for Andriy Shevchenko’s team to qualify for the Euros, it needs to fulfill the minimum task – to beat Lithuania in the next round. In the remaining two matches, the Ukrainians may lose, but with less than 0:5 from the Serbs. If in the games against Portugal and Serbia the Ukrainians will score at least one point, they will finish not lower than the second place. Portugal has almost equal chances with our team. Apart from the game with the Ukrainians, the European champions have two matches against Luxembourg and one against Lithuania. It is unlikely that anything will prevent Ronaldo and company from getting their way. And the publicized Serbs can get a direct ticket to the Euros only thanks to a miracle. But it is unlikely that the Ukrainian national team is ready to make a miracle to the maximum. Nevertheless, Serbia will have a reserve airfield in the form of playoffs.
In this group, four teams have a chance to qualify for the Euros. So far, Germany and Northern Ireland are leading the group, but the third-placed Netherlands have no lower chances – they have just played one less game. In the next round, Koeman’s team can catch up and overtake the British in a home match. The Northern Irish will also have a trip to visit the Bundesti, so the team is unlikely to stay in the top two. But Belarus, which is competing with Estonia for the “honorable” fourth place, will definitely get its chance at the Euro in the knockout rounds.