While many teams are playing an international friendly across Wednesday or Thursday night this week ahead of a Nations League, eight teams in Europe will have a much more important fixture to contest. The four Euro 2020 Playoff Finals will take place tonight with the teams competing contesting for the final four places in next summer’s tournament.
The teams have already come through the playoff semifinals which were played last month and which themselves produced a number of dramatic finishes including Serbia’s extra time win over Norway plus Scotland and Northern Ireland earning victory on penalties over Israel and Bosnia-Herzegovina respectively.
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Whichever service you use, tonight’s Euro 2020 Playoff games will attract lots of interest from punters. Let’s now preview each of tonight’s games but before we do, let’s show you exactly what is at stake for the eight teams battling it out in those games.
Euro 2020 Finals Group Draw
The four games tonight will see us finalise the 24 teams who will compete in the Euro 2020 Championships next summer. So far, 20 teams have already qualified for the event from their qualifying groups and the teams have already been drawn into the groups they will contest next summer.
There are four blank spots in the tournament, which his where the winners of tonight’s games will be placed should they win that game and make it through to the finals. The full draw for next summer’s tournament is outlined below with the playoff teams competing tonight shown in italics.
- Group A – Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland
- Group B – Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia
- Group C – Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, Georgia or North Macedonia
- Group D – England, Croatia, Serbia or Scotland, Czech Republic
- Group E – Spain, Sweden, Poland, Northern Ireland or Slovakia
- Group F – Hungary or Iceland , Portugal, France, Germany
As you can see, there are no particularly easy groups for the four qualifiers to join next summer, but the last group for either Hungary or Iceland looks particularly tough with both the current European and World Cup holders (Portugal and France) drawn in that group alongside the perennial superpower in European football, Germany.
Let’s now preview and tip each of today’s big playoff games. Kick off times are 7.45pm apart from the Georgia v North Macedonia game which kicks off at 5pm UK Time.
Georgia v North Macedonia
These two teams will be well used to each other, as they have met back in both September and October, both at home and away, and on both occasions the game finished as a 1-1 draw. This game is much more important than those two Nations League clashes though with a place in the Euro 2020 finals up for grabs for the winner.
As the home side, you would fancy Georgia to perhaps be the favourites here, but as previous results show, these are two very well-matched opponents and in truth, it looks like being another very close game between the two this evening.
As such, I think that this may well be a game that requires extra time or even penalties to decide the winner. Hence, I think the best option is the draw at full time which is a 19/10 shot with bet365 at the moment.
Hungary v Iceland
These two teams met at the finals in 2016 and produced a 1-1 draw back then. Since then, I feel the Icelandic team that reached the quarterfinals has probably just declined a little in quality with the Hungarian team probably improving a little in quality.
However, while the head to head record shows that Hungary have traditionally been the winners when the teams have met, recent history suggests that this is going to be another very close game between the two sides.
That said, I do think that having home advantage is going to be a big plus for Hungary and as such, I am making them the slight favourites to win and progress into the finals. You can back them to win at 6/5 with bet365 Sport.
Northern Ireland v Slovakia
After a dramatic win over Bosnia-Herzegovina in the semifinals, Northern Ireland have earned the chance to take on Slovakia at home for a place in the finals next summer. The teams have met four times previously with Northern Ireland winning once, Slovakia twice with one draw.
In terms of quality, I feel Slovakia just have the extra edge and although Northern Ireland are at home and have landed some big scalps there in the past, I do feel that this could well be a very tough ask for them.
Bet365 still have them as the favourites here, but I think Slovakia will be the team that edge the win and at 2/1 for the win they are my choice here.
Serbia v Scotland
Scotland could qualify for their first major finals since the France 1998 World Cup if they can earn a victory over Serbia in Belgrade, although that looks a very tough ask considering how strong the Serbians are at home usually.
In truth, Serbia’s squad is much stronger than the Scots in terms of quality and experience at the highest level, so it is going to take a huge effort from the Scots to land a win here and their best chance of doing so does appear to be through forcing the game into extra time and penalties.
I don’t think Serbia will let them get that far though and I am backing the home side to come out on top here at 7/10 with bet365.
Let’s hope that our tips for tonight’s game prove to be winners and we can celebrate alongside the four teams that will be competing in next summer’s big football extravaganza.
*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 10am on Thursday 12th November 2020.