The summer set of qualifying matches for Euro 2024 continue on Saturday when the groups which were not in action on Friday night play another set of fixtures over the course of three different kick off times.
Some of the bigger nations are away this week at the Nations League finals but we still get the likes of Belgium and Portugal to watch over the course of Saturday and a number of other teams who want to enhance their qualification hopes.
Spain are away competing at the UEFA Nations League finals this weekend so there is the chance for the other four teams in the group to take advantage and one of those will be Scotland, who got the better of the Spanish in their last game to move top of the table. They travel to Norway to take on Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard et al. The campaign didn’t begin well for Norway so that is a match they need to win. The other two sides in the group both have a game in hand of the other three and they can get themselves up and running points wise when Cyprus welcome Georgia to what you would think is a must-win game for both.
The Czech Republic came out of the blocks well in the opening leg of the qualifiers in Group E and they will be looking to stay ahead of the pack when they make the trip to the Faroe Islands on Saturday evening. Albania lost their only match in the group so far but with Poland also in this section they will know they can’t afford any slip ups when they host Moldova in the other game in this group on Saturday.
The top two in Group F meet on Saturday evening when both Belgium and Austria put their perfect early record on the line. With Sweden also hovering in this group both will know they need to keep winning so we should be in for an entertaining encounter here. Azerbaijan and Estonia have lost all the matches they have played in this group and you would imagine their meeting in the other match is purely the first half in determining who will finish bottom of the section.
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The leaders Serbia are not in action in this round of matches so the other four teams have the chance to draw closer to them. The action for the day gets underway in this group when Lithuania host Bulgaria in the early kick off before the two bigger teams on show on Saturday do battle when Montenegro take on a Hungary side who were qualifiers for the last Euros and probably need something from this match if they are going to be there next summer.
The only group with three matches taking place on Saturday is Group J which is the one which Portugal are in early control of. They face the trickiest test of the section so far when they play host to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other match of note in this group sees second placed Slovakia making the journey to Iceland while in the much earlier kick off the two lower teams in the group as far as the rankings are concerned meet when Luxembourg take on Liechtenstein.
I’ll go with the one bet on the Saturday matches. I’m not really going to go too big on these qualifiers this week because we are at the end of a season which for a number of players began 11 months ago and there is only so many times players can go to the well and give of their best. We saw a number of higher scoring matches on Friday night and I suspect that is a trend which might continue over the course of Saturday’s play too.
One such match where I think there will be goals is the one between Belgium and Austria. Belgium have plenty to prove after a disaster of a World Cup earlier in the season and their inability to reach the latter stages of the Nations League. They still carry plenty of firepower at their disposal though and might find perfect dance partners in the form of an Austrian side who have already conceded to Azerbaijan and Estonia in this campaign. There is attacking intent and quality in this Austria side though so I expect to see more than 2.5 goals in this one.
Back Belgium vs Austria – Over 2.5 goals for a 3/10 stake at 1.75 with Ladbrokes