Euro football’s Group D gives its verdict tonight, the English and Czech are very close to the knockout stages, while the winner of the Croatia-Scotland match can hope to win their ticket.
Will there be a match at Wembley? Between a stunning Czech Republic and a disappointing England, the temptation to ensure a draw, which of course qualified both teams, is likely to be great. Especially since the opponent in the eighth does not look more economical than the first in the group. On the contrary: France, Germany, Portugal or Hungary for the first; Sweden, Slovakia, Spain or Poland at number two. If two selections have equal marks (4), then their performance does not at all reflect the expectations placed in them. Many expected the Three Lions to bite more, while we may not have handed out the dear checks, yet finished first in the group on the eve of the result. Thus the revelation Patrick Schick (3 goals) will be keen to remain in the race for the title of Euro’s top scorer, while English star striker Harry Kane will finally be looking to unlock his counter.
The second match of the group will be for a place in Glasgow. with equally opposing mobility. Croatia, a finalist of the last World Cup, does not disappoint, but a win will guarantee a pass into the group best third. Scotland, it drew its “fighting spirit” to hook the English (0–0) and even came close to hold-up. This time, he will have to do without his young master to play Billy Gilmour, having tested positive for Covid-19 and therefore confiscated. It is a huge blow to the Scots, who need success against the vice-world champions to have a chance to qualify, especially when the young Chelsea player (20) was dazzling against England. Scoring three points in front of their home visitors tonight will certainly move Scotland to eighth place. A draw, on the other hand, will see neither one nor the eighth.
Denmark and Finland…
Denmark for the sentiment, Finland for the surprise: against Russia and Belgium yesterday, the two Scandinavian nations were expected to get their ticket to eighth. For Belgium, the challenge of this final meeting of the group stage was to secure their first place in their pool and fix minor defensive concerns that surfaced last Thursday against Denmark. For the Netherlands as well, this third match was work to gain momentum: with two successes in two matches and first place in the group already assured, Oranje selections to face modest North Macedonia at home in Amsterdam. Laid off, already ended. There were more uncertainties in the Ukraine-Austria poster, which clashed for second place in group and qualification in Bucharest – with the prospect, for the winner, facing Italy (1st in Group A) in Amsterdam in eighth.
Switzerland at a discount
Italy, who had already qualified for the next round, beat Wales (1–0) on Sunday evening, which had also qualified for eighth, for which Switzerland also finished after eliminating Turkey (3–1). Will apply in favorable discount.
It is a major achievement for coach Roberto Mancini, who brought the Nazionale to its rightful place after the trauma of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. For the Welsh, the defeat is of no consequence: second in Pool A, they will face second in Group B in eighth, with dreams of reiterating their good course until the semi-finals in 2016. Unable to beat Wales (1–1) then subdued by Italy (3–0), Switzerland played huge in their third group match against Turkey, but Granit Xhaka and the others could breathe: their victory in Baku them. The eighth best gives a glimpse of merit as third in the groups.
Euro football Group D made its decision tonight, with the English and Czech very close to the knockout stage, while the winner of the Croatia-Scotland match can hope to secure their ticket. The temptation to ensure a draw, between a stunning Czech Republic and a disappointing England, which of course qualifies both…
Freelance twitter maven. Infuriatingly humble coffee aficionado. Amateur gamer. Typical beer fan. Avid music scholar. Alcohol nerd.