With what results the first qualifying matches ended and what surprises, in the opinion of football experts, Euro 2020 qualifications can be presented to European football fans in the future - we will talk about all this in our sports review.
European Championship Qualifiers - 2020: UEFA Qualification Rules
The qualifying tournament, preceding the main football championship of the Old World, is an obligatory stage in which teams participating in the final part of Euro 2020 will be determined.
According to the UEFA official regulation, under the auspices of which the qualifying tournament takes place, 55 national teams representing 12 European football associations take part in the group qualification round.
Contestants of candidates for reaching the final of the European Championship are held according to the scheme of home and away matches. According to the results of the confrontations (the number of points scored), the winners of the baskets are determined, which are the two teams that have taken the top positions in their tournament tables. They get direct tickets to the European Championship.
National teams that took third places in their baskets will continue to fight for access to Euro 2020 as part of the playoffs (butt matches), which will also be held in home and away arenas from March to November 2019.
Another ticket to the European Championship 2020 will go to the winner of the League of Nations 2018 - 2019 - the international tournament established by UEFA in 2015. The championship is now at its final stage. The first semifinal match between the Portuguese and Swiss national teams will be held on June 5, 2019. The second semi-final with the participation of the Netherlands and England will be held a day later - on June 6, 2019.
Groups and results of the first rounds of the qualifying round
The first matches of the group stage of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualification took place in March 2019. By the number of points scored, the teams settled in baskets as follows:
- England - 6 points (two wins);
- Bulgaria - 2 points (two draws);
- Kosovo - 1 point (1 draw);
- Montenegro - 1 point (1 draw, 1 loss);
- Czech Republic - 1 point (1 draw).
- Ukraine - 4 points (1 win, 1 draw);
- Luxembourg - 3 points (1 victory, 1 loss);
- Portugal - 2 points (2 draws);
- Serbia - 1 point (1 draw);
- Lithuania - 0 points (1 loss).
- Northern Ireland - 6 points (2 wins);
- Germany - 3 points (1 victory);
- Netherlands - 3 points (1 victory, 1 loss);
- Estonia - 0 points (1 loss);
- Belarus - 0 points (2 losses).
- Ireland - 6 points (2 wins);
- Switzerland - 4 points (1 win, 1 draw);
- Denmark - 1 point (1 draw);
- Gibraltar - 0 points (1 loss);
- Georgia - 0 points (2 losses).
- Slovakia - 3 points (1 victory, 1 loss);
- Wales - 3 points (1 victory);
- Hungary 3 points (1 victory, 1 loss);
- Croatia 3 points (1 victory, 1 loss);
- Azerbaijan 0 points (1 loss).
- Spain - 6 points (2 wins);
- Sweden - 4 points (1 win, 1 draw);
- Romania - 3 (1 win, 1 draw);
- Malta - 3 (1 win, 1 loss);
- Norway - 1 (1 draw, 1 loss);
- Faroe Islands 0 points (2 losses).
- Poland - 6 points (2 wins);
- Israel - 4 points (1 win, 1 draw);
- Northern Macedonia - 4 points (1 win, 1 draw);
- Slovenia - 2 points (2 draws);
- Austria - 0 points (2 losses);
- Latvia - 0 points (2 losses).
- France - 6 points (2 wins);
- Turkey - 6 points (2 wins);
- Iceland - 3 points (1 victory, 1 loss);
- Albania - 3 points (1 victory, 1 loss);
- Moldova - 0 (2 defeats);
- Andorra - 0 (2 defeats).
- Belgium - 6 points (2 wins);
- Russia - 3 points (1 victory, 1 loss);
- Kazakhstan - 3 points (1 victory, 1 loss);
- Cyprus - 3 points ();
- Scotland - 3 points ();
- San Marino - 0 points (2 losses).
- Italy - 6 points (2 wins);
- Greece - 4 points (1 win, 1 draw);
- Bosnia and Herzegovina - 4 points (1 win, 1 draw);
- Finland - 3 points (1 victory, 1 loss);
- Armenia - 0 points (2 losses);
- Liechtenstein - 0 points (2 defeats).
It is worth recalling that for the first time since 1976, drastic changes have occurred in the rules for selecting teams for the main European football tournament. In the 2019 - 2020 season, none of the teams will receive an automatic ticket to the championship by the right of the host side. Considering that Euro 2020 will be held in the territory of 12 countries of the European Union, absolutely all teams that are members of the UEFA Association will take part in the qualification.
Qualifying tournament of the Russian national team: how do professional experts assess the chances of the domestic team?
Immediately after all members of Group I became known, many sports analysts voiced professional forecasts regarding the likelihood of the Russian team getting into the final of the 2020 European Championship.
Most experts call the national team of Belgium the sole favorite of the basket. And this is quite logical. The experts put forward three factors as the main arguments in favor of the wards of Roberto Martinez: the current composition, the good form of the players and the excellent performance of the team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The debut match with the “seeded” team of the qualifying group showed that the Russians have quite serious problems both in the attack and in the defense line, and it is unlikely to count on the first place in the group of the national team.
However, not everything is as hopeless as it might seem at first glance. The winning match in Kazakhstan was a clear indication that the Russian team has not only excellent gaming potential, but also a desire to win. Taking into account the fact that the rest of the rivals in the group are inferior to Russia in the class, Cherchesov’s team is quite capable of competing in the second position in the standings and reaching Euro 2020 through the playoff stage.
The Belgian national team or the Russian national team: the opinion of professional bookies
Do not doubt the participation of the Belgians in the group stage of Euro 2020 and most reputable bookmakers. This confidence is expressed in the corresponding figures. Currently, bets on the exit of the "Red Devils" from first place in group "I" are accepted with a coefficient of 1.34. At the same time, the chances of the Russian team to get around Azara and Company are estimated at 6.0.
Who else claims to win the qualification?
Assessing the chances of success of the rest of the Euro 2020 qualifiers, bookmakers and professional experts prefer the national teams of England (group "A"), Portugal (group "B"), Germany (group "C"), Switzerland (group "D" "), Croatia (group" E "), Spain (group" F "), Poland (group" G "), France (group" H ") and Italy (group" J ").
Specialists “prophesy” the entry to “Euro 2020” through the stage of playoffs (butt matches) by the national teams of Ukraine, the Netherlands, Iceland and Sweden.