Another round of matches in the qualifying competition for Euro 2024 gets underway on Sunday when the groups who were on show on Thursday evening are back in action over the course of a busy day of action.
We are entering the second half of the competition for most of the teams on show now so each game is beginning to have extra significance placed upon it. Serbia and Netherlands are among the bigger nations looking to take advantage of the chance for three points.
The leaders France are not in action in this round of matches so the chasing pack have the chance to close the gap while pushing on for second spot themselves. The Netherlands put themselves in pole position when they beat Greece on Thursday evening and they will look to maintain that position when they head to Dublin to take on an Ireland side who are in must win territory. Greece will be looking to bounce back in the other game in this group when they host Gibraltar in a game the home side will be expected to win and win well.
Group E is another section where the leaders are not in action which means that the other four sides can look to take advantage. The big game is the one which pits second against third when Albania play host to Poland. If there is a winner of that match they will end the international break in top spot. The other match comes in the earlier kick off where the bottom two sides will meet when the Faroe Islands host a Moldova side who could get themselves right in the qualifying picture with a win after they beat Poland last time out.
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As with the other two groups, the leaders Hungary are not on show on Sunday so the other four teams have the opportunity to take advantage. Serbia are the highest ranked of those and they will be expected to come away from their trip to Lithuania will all three points. The other match in this group takes place in the early kick off when Montenegro look to keep up their challenge when they take on Bulgaria in a game they really need to come out on top in.
The other group on show on Sunday is Group H where four teams are in contention for the two spots at the finals. Kazakhstan have the chance to put the pressure on the others when they open up the action on the day. They host a Northern Ireland side who are just playing for position ahead of the next World Cup qualifying campaign. Two teams deep in the qualifying picture meet in the second match of the day when Finland host Denmark in what could be a key clash for both sides. Slovenia will be expected to do a job away to San Marino and keep themselves very much in the qualifying picture.
Ireland went down 2-0 to France on Thursday night but I saw enough to suggest they could cause the Dutch problems going forward. Ireland actually got into the French territory on a few occasions but just lacked the composure to put the ball in the back of the net but on home soil and in a match they have to win I would expect the Irish to get a few more men forward. They are also a big threat at set plays too which makes me think we’ll get some goals in this one.
The Netherlands showed on Thursday night that they can score goals even without Memphis Depay and Ireland came away from the France loss with Enda Stevens injured so the potential matchup with Denzel Dumfries down that side could be very much to the Dutch advantage. Ireland know they have to win this game but the Netherlands will lose control of second place if they don’t win so I’m expecting an open and entertaining match where over 2.5 goals lands.
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