It’s very easy to confuse the Euro qualifiers and the UEFA Nations League together. That’s why you may be wondering why a country like Scotland is playing three times in this international break.
The UEFA Nations League is a tournament on its own, as is the race to qualify for the next European football championship. The postponed Euro 2020 tournament, now scheduled for 2021, still has some slots available to be filled.
This week, eight sides will battle it out for the remaining slots. It’s the continuation and culmination of the Euro Playoffs which resumed last month. Eight teams are in contention for a spot in a tournament set to be hosted across 12 cities in Europe:
- North Ireland
- North Macedonia
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In the semi-final of this Euro qualification playoffs, Hungary were the biggest winners, putting three past Bulgaria. Of the eight games played, four dragged well past normal time into extra time, with some needing penalties.
Being a one-legged affair, these games have to produce a winner.
When Georgia takes on North Macedonia, it will be a third meeting between both sides this year alone. Drawn in the same UEFA Nations League group, both sides have played twice in the last three months. But those games never produced a winner, although both games finished with at least one player getting sent off.
Which of these four final games will see both teams score?
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Scotland have not lost a game in their last eight. They take on a Serbia side that has failed to keep a clean sheet in their last three games; a side they have failed to defeat in their last two attempts.
The game between Hungary and Iceland is one between friendly foes. Both sides are no strangers to each other having met four times in recent history. Iceland have never defeated Hungary while all four games have finished with at least two goals scored.
Another side that will be facing a familiar foe is Northern Ireland.
Playoffs are largely unpredictable because of what’s at stake for the sides involved. The North Irelanders head into this clash with this and a history of never defeating Slovakia. In their last three meetings, they have lost twice and scored just once.
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This is a chance for them to rewrite history and also play alongside Europe’s finest.
Eight teams will be fighting for the same goal later this week. Only four can make it through. For all sides involved, it’s time to go big or go home. Which of these four teams do you see qualifying for the Euro 2020 – now Euro 2021 – tournament? Drop your comments below and join the conversation.