Kevin Doyle has his say on the Euro 2020 qualifiers
Republic of Ireland
It is fantastic that Ireland have made it to the top of the group. However, we have two tough games ahead of us and it is in our own hands. If we can keep that bit of luck on our side, we will qualify but if some things don’t go our way, I can see us finishing third and in a playoff.
Georgia v Republic of Ireland. Saturday 12/10, 14:00 UK time
Heading into this game with the few injuries we have, it worries me who Mick McCarthy is going to replace these players with.
Losing David McGoldrick is a big blow for us. I think Mick will play Scott Hogan even though he has been saying he wants players who are playing regularly for the club. Hogan played well in the last few games I have watched him in, he looked sharp and did a decent job up front for us.
This is going to be an interesting game that I look forward to watching. It could be a difficult game for us, we always seem to struggle with Georgia, especially away but if the team can pull it together with some luck on our side, I am hoping for a hard fought 2-1 away win.
Switzerland v Republic of Ireland. Tuesday, 15/10, 19:45 UK time
After Ireland’s draw result at home to Switzerland, I think the team will be more defensive this time around.
We tried to attack and get the ball forward but doing so left us exposed at the back and Switzerland had plenty of chances. I think this game could go either way but how the team initially set up will depend Ireland’s result against Georgia. A draw away from home would be a fantastic result and I hope we will get it at 1-1.
The England team are young, dynamic, fit and hungry players that seem to be a nice group with big match experience.
They are a team with a lot of passion that have their country on their side. They did very well in the World Cup and seem to be taking the same momentum into this qualifying campaign with Gareth Southgate at the helm.
If I had to choose the first goal scorer in both games, I choose none other than Harry Keane, he does it time after time and is a man for the big occasion.
Czech Republic v England, 11/10, 19:45 UK time
This game is going to be a tougher run out for England compared to their previous 5-3 win against Kosovo. There is a lot of pressure on the Czechs to win especially playing at home as there isn’t high hopes for them qualifying.
I feel England are a strong team and will play with no fear, I predict the game will end in a 2-0 away win to England.
Bulgaria v England. Monday, 14/10, 19:45 UK time
Watching Bulgaria playing Ireland last month they were very poor and didn’t pose much of a threat. Something England need to watch out for is Bulgaria put everyone behind the ball and are happy to sit in their own half defending.
If they don’t break them down early on, Bulgaria may gain some confidence and could make it difficult for England. However, I really don’t see Bulgaria getting the better of them and I see England winning comfortably 0-3 away from home.
I’m hesitant about Wales qualifying for the Euros 2020.
The home game against Croatia is a tricky tie and no doubt they will want to finish the group in style at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Ryan Giggs hasn’t got the team playing as well as they have in the past and will come under a bit pressure soon. However, they do have a game in hand, so if they do happen to win then they are only a point off the top, things can change very quickly after this round of qualifiers.
Gareth Bale may put in one of his star performances and could win them the game. I am going to give the team a chance, so I see the game ending 2-1 to Wales.
Scotland seem to be struggling to get it together at the moment. Facing Ireland previously in Euro 2016, they threw it away with just a few games to go and we passed them out. Steve Clarke is a good manager who knows what he is doing, he just needs to get the team reading off the same hymn sheet.
Watching them going against San Marino this weekend it should be an easy enough game, I can see them winning 3-0.
I would use these coming games as an experiment for a couple of players and hopefully in the future Steve Clarke can get a younger team to the job in the next qualifiers.
I will be back next week with more exclusive tips on my Ladbrokes blog!
My 1-2-Free Predictions for this week are:
Scotland v San Marino: 3-0 Scotland win
Wales v Croatia: 2-1 Wales win
Bulgaria v England: 0-3 England win
Check out the latest Ladbrokes Euro 2020 qualification odds here!
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