Another round of European championship qualifying wraps up today with teams needing wins to stay secure their bid to make Euro 2020.
Yesterday’s European Championship Qualifying Matches
Today at St-Mary’s stadium, England take on Kosovo with a chance to pull away in Group A of the European Championship qualifiers. This game is actually more important for Kosovo who will most likely come into this one defending for their lives. After only three games played, England have racked up an impressive fourteen goals. Meanwhile they’ve only conceded one goal which does not bode well for Kosovo.
At the same time Kosovo must have an eye on the Czech Republic result who with a win combined with a Kosovo loss would move into second place in Group A. If Kosovo manage a draw in this one, they play the Czech Republic at home in the next round of qualifying games. Of course England won’t be concerned with any of that. They will want to take care of business at home today. In their last match, England got a hat trick from Harry Kane and another goal from Raheem Sterling. With Sterling’s current form, it’s hard to see England not getting a goal in this one.
Portugal Desperately Need to Start Winning
At the moment, Portugal sit in 2nd place with no chance of catching the Ukraine in 1st unless they get their act together. After three matches played, they only have one win and two draws. Luckily for them they’ve played two less matches than the rest of Group B. They also face the worst team in the group, Lithuania, in their next match. Portugal has a history of struggling to qualify for major tournaments and this edition of European Championship qualifying has been no different.
In their last match they picked up their first win away at Serbia. It was an impressive performance against the only other team in the group that can challenge them for second place. Portugal still do have a chance to finish in first but they will most likely need to win out the rest of their games. If they beat the Ukraine on October 14th, their remaining matches are against Luxembourg and Lithuania.
Germany and the Netherlands Heading in Different Directions
The biggest match of this round was Germany at the Netherlands. The German national team has not looked good since the last World Cup and that trend continues as they lost 4-2 to an up and coming Dutch national team. German coach Joaquim Lowe has changed his side’s formation and switched to a back three. That didn’t seem like the right call against a Dutch team that plays a very attacking formation with three at the back themselves.
Whatever is going on it isn’t good and depending on the result at Euro 2020, this is probably the end of the Joaquim Low era with the German national team. Meanwhile the Dutch resurgence seems to be in full effect. Their young players now form the backbone of their side. With Matthijs De Ligt and Virgil Van Dijk in defense, they have possibly the best defensive pairing in world soccer at the moment.