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We now move onto day 2 of this round of international fixtures, and our European experts have concocted a 7/2 accumulator.
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Friday’s Euro 2024 Qualifying Accumulator Tips
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Austria v Belgium
Austria have been in fine form in this competition, unbeaten in their five games so far, with Ralf Rangnick’s men only dropping points against Belgium in a 1-1 draw. Austria have scored 12 goals in five games. The majority of these have come from their attacking options of Michael Gregoritsch, Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic, with the trio scoring nine goals between them. Marcel Sabitzer and David Alaba have also looked strong for the Austrians. It would take a real shock for Austria to miss out on qualification with fixtures against Azerbaijan and Estonia to follow; however, before those games, they must face a strong Belgium outfit.
Like Austria, Belgium are unbeaten after five games in this competition and their record is even more impressive, having scored 13 and conceded only once. Belgium’s all-time top goalscorer Romelu Lukaku has been incredible so far, netting eight goals. The talisman has hit the ground running at Roma, scoring five goals in five starts, and should he carry this form into the international break he will likely add to his already impressive tally. Manager Domenico Tedesco has plenty more attacking quality at his disposal, with the likes of Lois Openda, Jeremy Doku and Yannick Carrasco available.
Belgium look in good shape to win; however, the last time the pair met, Austria held Belgium to a draw. Backing Belgium to either win or draw seems a sensible bet.
Netherlands v France
Two European heavyweights will go head-to-head on Friday as the Netherlands meet France at the Johan Cruijff Arena.
Netherlands still have some work to do to ensure that they finish in the top two of Group B. Ronald Koeman’s side currently sit level on points with Greece, but they have played one less game. Since taking charge after the World Cup, Koeman has implemented an expressive play style which has seen his team look strong offensively, but at times weak defensively. Across their last six games, Netherlands have scored and conceded 12 goals. The likes of Cody Gakpo, Memphis Depay, and Wout Weghorst have been amongst the goals, with the creativity coming from a slightly surprising source in Denzel Dumfries, as the wing back has chipped in with five assists.
France have a perfect record in Group B, winning all five of their games without conceding. Les Bleus are all but qualified and a win on Friday could seal their spot in Germany this summer depending on results elsewhere. Didier Deschamps’ men have scored 11 goals across their five games and as expected, Kylian Mbappe has been the main man up top, contributing to six goals. Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele will also provide firepower going forward.
France have a perfect defensive record but none of their games so far have been as difficult as a trip to Amsterdam. Based on Netherlands’ impressive offensive record, we expect them to breach the French backline and the World Cup finalists to also take advantage of their opposition’s defensive frailties.
Portugal v Slovakia
Portugal will welcome Slovakia to the Estadio do Dragao on Friday night, as the hosts look to extend their lead at the top of Group J.
Portugal’s qualifying record so far is flawless, with the hosts winning all six of their games, scoring 24 goals and conceding none. 11 players have got on the scoresheet in qualifying, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva scoring 12 between them. The likes of Rafael Leao, Diogo Jota and Goncalo Ramos have also provided threats in the final third. Defensively, Roberto Martinez’s men have been impossible to break down and Ruben Dias has been key to this.
Slovakia currently find themselves in a qualification spot at this stage of the campaign, three points ahead of Luxembourg. The visitors’ record is decent and their only loss came when they hosted Portugal, losing 1-0. Francesco Calzona’s side have been decent defensively, however, goals have been hard to come by and that cost them in their 0-0 draw with Luxembourg. It is evident that Slovakia lack a prolific goalscorer, with none of their strikers contributing to their goal tally.
Portugal have scored an average of more than five goals per game at home in this campaign and will be hungry for more as they look to close in on qualification. When the two nations met last month Portugal won 1-0, and Roberto Martinez will be seeking a similar outcome on home soil, but in more emphatic style.
Iceland v Luxembourg
Iceland will host Luxembourg in Reykjavik on Friday night, as both nations try to put pressure on second-placed Slovakia.
Iceland’s hopes of qualifying for next summer’s competition are hanging by a thread, with Age Hareide’s side winning two and losing four of their six games. Goals have been flying in across Iceland’s games, with a total of 19 goals. Midfielder Aron Gunnarsson and forward Alfred Finnbogason have scored five of Iceland’s ten goals. At times, Iceland have defended well, only conceding once against Portugal, however, they have occasionally crumbled, conceding three goals against both Bosnia & Herzegovina and Luxembourg.
Luxembourg will believe they have a chance of finishing in the top two of Group J, sitting only three points behind Slovakia. Luxembourg were thrashed twice by group leaders Portugal, losing 6-0 and 9-0, and these results have massively affected their goal difference. In the last international break, Luxembourg beat Iceland but they did fail to keep a clean sheet against ten men in that match. Luxembourg’s offensive record has been improving with Luc Holtz’s men scoring seven in their last four outings. Danel Sinani and exciting talent Yvandro Borges Sanchez have scored five goals between them.
Two or more goals have been scored in Luxembourg’s last five competitive matches and in four of Iceland’s last six. With both sides demonstrating defensive weaknesses on multiple occasions, whilst showing their potential going forwards, goals should be plentiful in this encounter.
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