By Pete O'Rourke | | 6 mins
UEFA Euro 2020 Betting Odds & Tips: Qualifying Stage
The English Premier League takes a breather for a couple of weeks as attention turns to the international stage to see who qualifies for Euro 2020 next summer in the final round of qualifiers.
England requires just a point to secure qualification as they prepare to take on Montenegro and Kosovo in their final two qualifiers. Wales need to win their final two qualifiers to have any chance of a top two finish, while Northern Ireland face the stiffest task to secure automatic qualification ahead of games against the Netherlands and Germany. Scotland are already planning for next year's playoffs after a disappointing campaign, but we hope we have found some value picks from these latest qualifiers.
UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying Best Bets
|Harry Kane 2 Goals vs Montenegro||+180 |
|Cyprus-Scotland Over 2.5||+115 |
|Wales over Azerbaijan & Both Teams Score||+330 |
|Netherlands over No. Ireland & Both Teams Score||+250 |
All odds are current as of publication and subject to change.
PICK 1: Harry Kane Scores 2 Goals vs Montenegro
England can book their place at Euro 2020 with victory over Montenegro at Wembley and I fully expect Gareth Southgate's men to comfortably pick up the three points. The build-up to the game has been overshadowed by the row involving Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez with the Manchester City attacker being left out for this game as a result of his behavior.
However, Sterling's absence should not be felt too much by England as they have proved in qualifying they are head and shoulders above their rivals. England have scored goals for fun in this qualification campaign (26 in total), averaging five goals in each of their five wins, including a 5-1 victory in Montenegro earlier in the campaign.
Harry Kane has scored eight goals in this group and the England captain will fancy his chances of adding to that tally against a Montenegro side that are winless in qualifying and have lost by at least three goals in three of their four defeats. There is no value in backing England in any of the outrights so I am looking at Kane to continue his fine form for his country and score at least a brace for some better prices.
PICK 2: Cyprus-Scotland Over 2.5 Goals
Scotland takes on Cyprus this weekend with hopes of automatic qualification to Euro 2020 long gone, but they can still reach the finals via the playoffs. Scotland boss Steve Clarke needs to build some momentum for those playoffs next March, after a disappointing qualifying campaign with just three wins from eight games in Group I.
Clarke began his reign as Scotland manager with a hard fought 2-1 win over Cyprus last June and I expect another difficult game in Nicosia. The Cypriots are actually a point ahead of Scotland in the group and victory will confirm third place in the group for the home side. Cyprus have lost their last three games, while Scotland have won just one of their last four games and that was against group whipping boys San Marino.
With nothing at stake but pride in this game I am expecting an open, entertaining encounter and with that in mind goals looks to be the best play in the betting as it is hard to trust either side in the outright.
Over 2.5 goals has landed in every Scotland game Clarke has been in charge of and it has also come up trumps in Cyprus' last three games so with that in mind that is my pick for this qualifier.
PICK 3: Wales over Azerbaijan & Both Teams Score
Wales travels to Azerbaijan knowing they must win to keep alive their hopes of reaching Euro 2020. Ryan Giggs' side need to win their last two qualifiers to have any chance of a top-two finish in Group C and I expect them to get the job done against basement dwellers Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan have yet to win in qualifying and have picked up just one point from their six qualifiers, but that draw did come at home to group leaders Croatia. Wales scraped past Azerbaijan 2-1 at home earlier in qualifying and they will know they will provide stiffer opposition on home soil as Azerbaijan normally have a goal in them when at home.
Much of Wales' hopes will rest on the fitness of star player Gareth Bale who has not played since their last game against Croatia last month because of a calf problem. If Bale is fit to play he is likely to prove the difference for Wales and I think they can take qualification down to the final game by picking up a valuable win in Baku. Looking for a bit of better value than backing Wales just on the outright I will go for the Dragons to win and both teams to score in a high-scoring encounter.
PICK 4: Netherlands over Northern Ireland & Both Teams Score
Northern Ireland takes on Netherlands in a crucial game for both countries' hopes of reaching Euro 2020. Northern Ireland need a win to keep alive their hopes of a top-two finish and automatic qualification for next summer's final, while victory for Holland will confirm their qualification.
Northern Ireland will be hoping to sign off Michael O'Neill's tenure in charge of the country in style after deciding to return to club management with Stoke with these two qualifiers likely to be his last two games as Northern Ireland boss. Northern Ireland gave the Netherlands a scare last month when going in front in Rotterdam before the Dutch turned things around with three late goals to secure victory.
Ronald Koeman has helped restore the Netherlands to a European powerhouse after missing the last two major finals and they will be determined to secure qualification to Euro 2020. The Dutch have real momentum now after reaching the Nations League final last summer and they should have too much quality for a battling Northern Ireland side.
Northern Ireland are no pushovers at Windsor Park and they will make things tough for the star-studded Dutch, but I am betting on a Netherlands win and both teams scoring like what happened just a month ago in their first meeting.
About the Author
Pete O'Rourke is an experienced football journalist who has worked for the Press Association, Sky Sports, ESPN and others across three decades in the industry.