Two nations clinched their qualification groups during the weekend and we have the first certain participants in European Championship 2020.
Belgium ran havoc over San Marino, as expected. King Baudouin Stadium in Bruxelles saw the host blast nine goals against the minnows, only one goal short of their record win. Belgium went through winning all seven games, with a total goal difference of 28 to 1. San Marino, on the other hand, has failed to score in seven of their qualifiers and indeed, scored only three goals in their last 30 international fixtures. Their goal difference from Euro 2020 qualifications is not-too-flattering 0-37 on top of seven losses.
The other team through is Italy, who beat Greece comfortably 2-0 in Stadio Olimpico in Rome. They sit on top of group J after seven games and can’t be caught by third placed Armenia anymore. Second in the group, Finland went on to lose in Bosnia & Herzegovina so the second qualification spot is still anyone’s game. Italy has been impressive in their qualification campaign, winning all seven of their games so far with a total goal difference of 20 to 3.
Belgium and Italy featured in Euro 2016 as well, playing in the same group. Both also made it to quarterfinal stage, losing then to Wales and Germany respectively.
The other hopefuls for clinching their spot still have something to play for. Spain was held to a draw in Norway and still need one win to make sure they’re in. Ukraine is all but certain, with Serbia nine points behind and three games to go. England suffered a humiliating defeat in Prague against Czech Republic and still have their work cut out for them despite leading their group.
Dafabet sponsored Wales national team is preparing for their second fixture during this international window. Group leaders Croatia visit Cardiff on Sunday the 13th. Wales is still three points behind second placed Slovakia and six behind Croatia, but they have one game in hand – namely against the weakest team in the group, Azerbaijan. Last time Wales faced Croatia, the Croatians prevailed at home 2-1. For Ryan Giggs and his men it would be crucial to secure at least a point against the World Cup finalists.
Wales vs Croatia (1×2): 3.15 – 3.15 – 2.40