Euro 2020 qualifier previews: England host Bulgaria whilst Republic of Ireland face Switzerland


Republic of Ireland v Switzerland - September 5 - 7.45pm

The Swiss go into this clash ranked 11th in the world, above the likes of Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Conversely, Mick McCarthy’s Irish side are ranked 32nd by FIFA, below the likes of Iran, Venezuela and Tunisia.

The odds reflect this. Switzerland are as short as 23/20 with GIVEMEBET to take the three points in Dublin, with the Irish at 27/10 to make it four wins out of five qualifiers. 

The hosts have a decent record against the Swiss, winning half their 16 meetings, including a 1-0 friendly win three years ago. Their last four clashes have only seen a total of five goals, though, and it is fair to expect another low-scoring match on Thursday.

McCarthy’s team have only scored five goals in this campaign so far, despite meeting Gibraltar twice. Indeed, there has only been seven goals in their seven games over the past 12 months.

For the game to have under 2.5 goals it’s 20/43. Both sides have already drawn with Denmark in Group D and it would be no surprise to see another stalemate in Dublin which sits at 21/10 with GIVEMEBET.

It says a lot about the paucity of Irish attacking options that Shane Duffy is their only player to score three goals in the past two years. Even worse, only one other player has more than one. The Brighton central defender is always a threat at set pieces and he’s 20/1 to open the scoring at the Aviva and 13/2 to get one at anytime.

England v Bulgaria - September 7 - 5pm

There’s no faulting Gareth Southgate’s record in qualification matches. Since taking over from Sam Allardyce in 2016, he’s won nine and drawn two World Cup or European Championship qualifiers, netting 27 goals and conceding just four in the process.

Their Euro 2020 campaign has got off to an impressive start, seeing 5-0 and 5-1 wins against the Czech Republic and Montenegro respectively. Saturday’s meeting with Bulgaria should prove another formality, as the 1/15 odds on a home win suggest. Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s campaign hasn’t started too well – earning just two points from their opening four games. They have scored in each game, although they’ll find the Three Lions defence a lot more formidable than those of Kosovo, Montenegro and the Czech Republic .

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Their record against England isn’t exactly inspiring either. They’ve failed to win any of their 10 clashes, drawing just four. Indeed, England won their last two meetings to nil and by at least three clear goals. We expect a similar outcome here. A home win to nil is 20/59, but England could quite comfortably win both halves at 4/13

Raheem Sterling has netted in both qualifiers so far, including a hat-trick against the Czechs, and the Man City star is 4/5 to get another goal at Wembley. In terms of penalties, Harry Kane has already converted one in these qualifiers and has scored six out of seven for England. For a penalty to be scored on Saturday it’s 14/5.

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