By News Team
Last Updated: 14th November 2019
The Premier League takes a back seat as we head into another international break, with six consecutive days of Euro 2020 qualifiers on offer for us to dig our teeth into starting from Thursday.
All four home nations are in action across the coming days – we take a look at what they have to do to book their place at next summer’s tournament.
Scotland preparing for play-offs
A tough qualifying campaign for Scotland in Group I has seen them lose five games from eight. Steve Clarke was brought in to steady the ship in May and in his side’s latest game they put six past San Marino.
While Scotland can no longer qualify for Euro 2020 from their group, they are already assured of their place in the play-offs as a Nations League group winner. This gives them another chance to make the cut, and Clarke will be hoping his team can round off the group stages with two wins away at Cyprus and at home to Kazakhstan on Saturday and Tuesday respectively as the perfect preparation for the play-offs in March.
England on verge of qualification
Gareth Southgate’s side sit on the cusp of qualification for Euro 2020, needing only a point to confirm their place in next summer’s tournament. If England get a draw against Montenegro on Thursday, or Kosovo lose to Czech Republic, then the Three Lions can pack their bags. They will get another chance if that fails against Kosovo on Sunday.
England have only lost one game all qualification period in Group A, a surprise 2-1 loss away to second-placed Czech Republic, scoring an impressive 26 goals in just six games.
Northern Ireland face uphill battle
Remarkably, in a group involving Netherlands and Germany, Northern Ireland still have a chance of qualifying automatically for next year’s tournament.
They have beaten Belarus and Estonia twice, and given both Netherlands and Germany real scares, but being three points back of the two heavyweights in third in Group C, and with both of them still left to play, they face an uphill battle – likely needing two wins from those games if they are to have a realistic chance. They host Netherlands on Saturday, with a trip to Germany on Tuesday.
Northern Ireland are, however, currently in position to advance to the play-offs, giving them a second chance of qualifying in March.
Wales chasing back-to-back wins
Group E also remains very close with only one team, Azerbaijan, unable to qualify. Wales have upcoming games at bottom-placed Azerbaijan and at home to second-placed Hungary on Saturday and Tuesday respectively; winning both would see them qualify, unless Slovakia win away at Croatia on Saturday.
Ryan Giggs’ side, however, also currently occupy a play-off spot, so could also potentially qualify for Euro 2020 via that route as well.