After an exciting month of club football, international football returns this week, as teams look to move closer to qualifying for Euro 2024. Friday night sees encounters in Group A, D, and J, with European heavyweights Spain, Croatia and Portugal all in action, and we have a 2/1 accumulator for your consideration that covers plenty of the major games. Our Thursday Euro 2024 accumulator was one leg away from landing and we’re feeling good about Friday’s kickstarting the international break.
Both Portugal and Scotland will be hoping to continue their perfect records in the competition when they visit Slovakia and Cyprus respectively. A win for Spain will see them leapfrog opponents Georgia to move into the top two of Group A. In Group D, Turkey’s encounter with Armenia looks set to be a goal-fest and Croatia look in a strong position to comfortably beat Latvia. In Group J, Iceland’s visit to Luxembourg should be very close, with the home side hoping to remain in with a chance of qualification.
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Friday’s Euro 2024 Qualifying Accumulator Tips
Spain v Georgia
Amid the crisis surrounding the position of Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales, the Spanish men’s national team will visit Georgia on Friday evening as they return to their hunt for Euro 2024 qualification.
Spain’s opening two outings in the qualification stage of the competition were very contrasting, as a comfortable 3-0 win against Norway was followed by a shock 2-0 defeat in Scotland. Luis de la Fuente’s side currently sit fourth in Group A; however, they are only one point behind second-place Georgia, who have played an additional game. Spain will undoubtedly be confident of qualifying for next summer’s competition, although Scotland’s winning streak has piled on the pressure, making the game against Georgia one that they must win. The manager has again selected a young squad, with the most notable amendment being the inclusion of sixteen-year-old wonderkid Lamine Yamal, who has started three times for Barcelona already this season.
Georgia have exceeded expectations in their opening three games, picking up four points from a possible nine. Ajax’s new frontman Georges Mikautadze has been the side’s main goal source, scoring against both Cyprus and Norway. Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will also look to threaten the Spanish defence.
Despite picking up some respectable results thus far; Georgia lack consistency in quality across the field. This is the complete opposite for Spain, evidenced in their Nations League success this summer. Spain will be disappointed with anything less than three points against Willy Sagnol’s Georgia.
Cyprus v Scotland
Group A leaders Scotland will be hopeful of continuing their winning run as they visit Cyprus, who currently sit at the bottom of the group with zero points.
Steve Clarke’s Scotland have been on fire in their qualification games so far, winning four on the bounce. The most notable result came as a brace from Manchester United’s Scott McTominay saw the Scots stun Spain, to a 2-0 scoreline, at Hampden Park. McTominay has been influential for Scotland in the competition, netting five times. The midfielder has not yet started for his club this season; however, he will be ready to make an impact in Cyprus. Key players John McGinn, Andrew Robertson, and Billy Gilmour have looked good for their clubs and will be looking to bring their form into the international break.
Cyprus have had a miserable start to their qualifying campaign and it is looking increasingly likely that they will not be playing in Germany next summer. The Cypriots have shown their defensive weakness, conceding eight goals in three games, also demonstrating their little attacking threat by scoring only twice.
The last time the sides met, Scotland effortlessly overcame Cyprus in a 3-0 win. Should Scotland play anywhere near how they played in that encounter, there will be little hope for Cyprus. The visitors have a huge chance of making it five in five.
Slovakia v Portugal
Portugal have a perfect record in the qualification stage so far, yet to concede in all four of their matches. Roberto Martinez’s side will be looking to continue this winning streak as they travel to Slovakia.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, and Bruno Fernandes have been in fine form, contributing to 13 goals between them in the games against Iceland, Bosnia, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. The trio will be available for selection again, having been included in a very strong squad. Portugal’s strength lies not only going forward, demonstrated by their outstanding defensive record. Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo and Diogo Dalot will all be available for the upcoming fixtures. The experienced Pepe is unavailable due to injury; however possible replacements Antonio Silva and Goncalo Inacio have impressed in their two appearances in the competition.
Slovakia are arguably Portugal’s toughest competition in the group and currently sit second in the table, unbeaten in four games. The biggest change to Francesco Calzona’s squad is the loss of captain Marek Hamsik, following his decision to retire in June. This will be a huge blow for Slovakia as the midfielder hardly showed his age, and was influential in their recent wins against Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Beating Slovakia will not be a straightforward task for Martinez’s men; however, Portugal definitely have the firepower to do so and will be confident of continuing their impressive winning streak in Bratislava.
Luxembourg v Iceland
Luxembourg will be looking to put pressure on Portugal and Slovakia when they welcome Iceland on Friday night.
Besides a game in which they were thrashed by Group J leaders Portugal, Luxembourg have impressed in the qualifiers to this point. In the most recent round of fixtures, Luc Holtz’s side picked up wins against both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Liechtenstein, leaving them still in the mix to qualify for next summer’s tournament. Forward Danel Sinani has been Luxembourg’s biggest threat going forward, scoring twice for his country. Borussia Monchengladbach’s Yvandro Borges Sanches netted against Bosnia and will be available to provide an attacking threat alongside Sinani.
More than seven years on from their remarkable performance in Euro 2016, Iceland look completely different and are unlikely to qualify for Euro 2024, having only picked up three points from four games. Iceland put seven past Liechtenstein; however, Age Hareide’s team have lost to Bosnia, Slovakia and Portugal. In the games against Slovakia and Portugal, Iceland did put up a fight, only losing by one goal in both games. Although they were beaten 3-0 in Bosnia.
It is likely that this game will be a tight affair; however, recent results suggest that Luxembourg should have the edge. However, there is a chance that Iceland will test Luxembourg; therefore, backing a Luxembourg win or a draw seems a sensible bet.
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Written by an Andy verified content writer
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