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Saturday is day 3 of this round of international fixtures, and our European experts have been working hard to put together a 6/1 accumulator.
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Saturday’s Euro 2024 Qualifying Accumulator Tips
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Bulgaria v Lithuania
The National Stadium Vasil Levski will host this bottom of the table Group G match between Bulgaria and Lithuania.
Bulgaria are currently ranked 78th in the FIFA World Rankings, 65 places above their opponents who are languishing in 143rd alongside the likes of Ethiopia and Burundi. That tells you all you need to know about the gulf between these sides and despite both being in really poor form, Bulgaria quite rightly start as favourites.
Mladen Krstajić’s team are arguably more efficient when playing in front of home support, something that is represented in their last nine fixtures (W4 D2 L3).
Lithuania are a side in woeful form at present and they’ll need something extra special in this one just to be competitive. During their last 30 international matches, the away side have an uninspiring record that reads W3 D5 L22, although interestingly, one of those victories did come against Bulgaria.
However, that was on home soil and it’s been almost three years since their last competitive victory away from home, when they beat Kazakhstan in a Nations League match all the way back in November 2020.
Edgaras Jankauskas is now in his second spell as manager of the national team, and he’ll be hoping for better fortunes this time around having only collected three wins and four draws from the 26 matches he oversaw between 2016 and 2018. With two draws and two defeats since his return, a first win may well prove to be an improbable task for the former Porto striker, especially against a Bulgaria side determined to secure their first win of the campaign.
Playing in front of their own fans, and given how the reverse fixture played out, Bulgaria should have just enough to beat a lacklustre Lithuanian side. Backing a home win is the sensible selection in this one.
Slovenia v Finland
Group H is incredibly tight as Slovenia face Finland in a crucial fixture that could ultimately decide who qualifies and who doesn’t.
Slovenia currently sit top of the group with four games remaining and are firmly in the hunt for Euro 2024 to mark their first appearance at the Championships since 2000. However, in an incredibly tight group just one point separates four teams, all of which are vying for qualification.
This home game against Finland represents the first of four cup finals for Matjaž Kek’s side as they face rivals Denmark and Kazakhstan in the last two games, following Tuesday’s trip to Northern Ireland. Slovenia will be seeking revenge as the visitors are the only side to get the better of them during the qualifiers, securing a 2-0 win in Helsinki back in June.
Atletico Madrid’s number one Jan Oblak provides a solid defensive foundation for the hosts while they also have plenty of attacking options in forward areas, not least RB Leipzig forward Benjamin Sesko who has scored two and provided two assists for his country during the campaign. Encouragingly Slovenia have only lost two of their last 19 games.
Finland are looking to qualify for their second consecutive finals having appeared for the first time in their history in 2020. The away side arrive off the back of some really good form having won four of their six group matches, losing the other two against Denmark.
Those four matches were all won to nil with ten goals scored, albeit six of those were at home against San Marino, so it probably looks more impressive than it really is. However, with that said, a really solid defence has been the basis for their recent success and they will be confident of qualification with a favourable run-in.
Finland finish up with a home game against Northern Ireland and an away tie against the aforementioned San Marino during the November international break. It’s therefore likely that they’ll set up to avoid defeat as opposed to going all out for the win, and we could see Markku Kanerva opt for a more defensive lineup as a result. Expect a tight game with so much on the line for both sides. This could be a cagey affair.
Slovenia could prove to be too strong for Finland in this encounter and there is every chance the home side register a comfortable victory. However backing them draw no bet is our preferred choice.
Hungary v Serbia
The Puskás Aréna in Budapest will stage the Group G match between Hungary and Serbia as the top two go head to head.
Hungary are in pole position to qualify for next summer’s Euros as they sit joint-top alongside Serbia with a game in hand. During the previous round of qualifiers in September, they leapfrogged their opponents into top spot as Marco Rossi’s side came from behind in Belgrade to secure a 2-1 victory.
That win will be fresh in the minds of both sides ahead of this clash and may just give the home side a psychological advantage. Hungary also arrive in really good form and haven’t tasted defeat since losing to Italy in the Nations League last September, a run which has seen them score 13 goals in eight games.
There are plenty of attacking options available to Rossi, including Liverpool’s Dominik Szoboszlai who has enjoyed an excellent start to life on Merseyside. Ferencvaros forward Barnabas Varga has also been outstanding this season scoring 15 goals in 13 matches. The home side should have plenty of opportunities to score and will look to solidify their standing in the group.
Serbia arrive in Budapest looking to avenge their recent 2-1 defeat against the hosts, and in doing so take further strides towards what would be their first ever appearance at the Euros as an independent nation. In fact, Dragon Stojković’s side probably won’t get a better chance in a favourable group where they are the highest ranked team according to the FIFA World Rankings (28th), especially with the added safety net of the play-off route following a successful Nations League campaign.
Montenegro are the other nation with a realistic chance of qualifying from this group, and they are up next for Serbia who must address this game before turning their attentions to that one. Now playing his football in Saudi Arabia, goal machine Aleksandar Mitrovic will spearhead the attack having scored a first half hat-trick against Lithuania last time out. Flanked by Dusan Tadic and Dusan Vlahovic, Serbia have enough in forward areas to really trouble a Hungary defence that has conceded in their last two qualifiers.
This one should be a compelling tie for the neutral, with lots of attacking play and goalmouth action at both ends. Both sides are fancied to find the back of the net as they did in the reverse fixture.
Denmark v Kazakhstan
Copenhagen is the destination for Kazakhstan as they travel to Denmark in this fascinating Group H clash.
Denmark reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and will be hoping for a similar run at Euro 2024 this summer. However, qualification is by no means guaranteed as they fight it out with Finland, Slovenia and the visitors in this one, Kazakhstan. This is a hotly contested group and Kasper Hjulmand’s side will have to be right at it if they are to make yet another appearance in the competition having qualified for eight of the last ten editions.
The 1992 winners are prolific on home soil and have won all three qualifiers in Copenhagen, something that should provide them with plenty of confidence ahead of the match. Wolfsburg striker Jonas Wind has been impressive this season, scoring eight goals in eight starts for his club whilst also bagging a couple of goals and assists for the national side. He’s likely to be supported by Andreas Skov Olsen of Club Brugge and Rasmus Hojlund, who has settled in well at Manchester United. That attacking front three is sure to cause lots of problems for the opposition defence.
Kazakhstan meanwhile are assured of at least a play-off berth following a really successful Nations League campaign. However, it’s obvious that they would prefer to get the job done by qualifying directly through the group, especially given how well they have performed to put themselves tantalisingly close to their first ever major tournament.
This situation almost grants them a free hit in what is their most difficult game on paper, an away trip to the favourites for the group in the shape of the Danes. However, spirits should be high following their recent meeting as Magomed Adiyev’s side rallied from 2-0 down, scoring three late goals to win the game 3-2 in dramatic fashion.
Abat Aymbetov is a man to watch, the FC Astana striker came off the bench to score the winner in the reverse fixture and could get an opportunity to start the game this time around. Although, he could well replicate his heroics and provide an impact from the bench late on in the game as the Danish defence tires.
We should see plenty of action with both sides eager to claim the points that would see them take another step towards qualification. That should make for an open game and over 2.5 goals is the way to go.
Italy v Malta
The Stadio San Nicola, home of Bari, will host this Group C match between neighbours Italy and Malta.
Former Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti took over from previous boss Roberto Mancini during the summer and is unbeaten in his first two matches, a 1-1 draw away at North Macedonia and a 2-1 victory over Ukraine. However, those performances flattered to deceive and Italy will look to show their ruthlessness against group minnows Malta, especially as they prepare for a crucial showdown with England at Wembley on Tuesday evening.
With the reverse fixtures against qualification rivals North Macedonia and Ukraine still to come, Italy will look to win this one, and win it comfortably in order to improve their slender goal difference advantage. Goals have been hard to come by at home of late (failing to score more than one in five of their last seven) and Spalletti will have his players fired up to thrash a Malta side that have conceded 11 in their five qualifiers so far. Expect the home side to be on the front foot in this one, netting a few goals before resting some key players.
Malta have never made it to a major tournament, and that’s not going to change this time around. However, the away side are not without a chance and it’s not inconceivable that they could spring a real surprise. In their last two visits to Italy, they have only been beaten by slender margins, a 2-0 loss in 2012 and then a more than credible 1-0 defeat in their latest encounter back in 2015.
In fact, on the road the visitors perform much better than most would imagine and have not lost by more than a one goal margin since a 2-0 defeat to Russia in a World Cup qualifier almost two years ago. Michele Marcolini’s side will look to draw on this good feeling to really put a dent in Italy’s bid for qualification and blow the group wide open. However, they are coming up against a side keen not to miss out on another major tournament having failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, and a very long evening could be in store, especially if they concede early on.
Italy should have enough firepower to win this one comfortably, and if they are to improve their goal difference, they’ll need to be ruthless in the final third. Italy to win and over 2.5 goals makes a lot of sense.
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