Euro 2020 play-offs preview: Can Northern Ireland and Scotland get the job done?
There could be celebrations up and down households in Northern Ireland and Scotland tonight if both nations can secure their places at Euro 2020.
Slovakia travel to Windsor Park to take on Norn Iron, while Scotland face Serbia. The stage is set but who will join Europe’s elite at next year’s finals?
We’ve got all the odds and teams news you need ahead of these crucial encounters…
Northern Ireland v Slovakia (19:45)
Northern Ireland were drawn in a qualifying group alongside former World Cup winners Germany and big hitters Netherlands but lie just one game away from joining them both at the finals next summer.
The Green and White Army had a taste of what’s to come in France at Euro 2016 and at 33/20 for victory they could be about to do it all over again.
Slovakia are 2/1 to win the game in 90 minutes with a draw that would force extra time at 19/10.
In the team news, only Corry Evans looks set to miss out with injury for the home side. After tinkering with his formation in recent games, it’s anyone’s guess which line-up gaffer Ian Baraclough goes with here.
It may depend on who gets the better of it in midfield with NI’s Steven Davis and Slovakia skipper Marek Hamsik jostling for creative control.
Both Teams to Score is at 23/20, but with so much on the line it could be a low-scoring affair with Under 1.5 Goals at 13/10. Josh Magennis is 12/5 to score first for Northern Ireland, while former Norwich man Ondrej Duda is 15/2 to net first for the visitors.
Serbia v Scotland (19:45)
The Tartan Army can smell the sweet scents of Euro 2020, but what lies between them and their prize is a team intent on re-writing a twenty-year tale of hardship.
In Serbia’s last appearance at the European Championships, there was no global pandemic and they were called Yugoslavia. Zinedine Zidane led France to the trophy at Euro 2000.
It’ll be tough for Scotland in Belgrade who are 5/1 to win in 90 minutes and 12/5 to qualify. But with captain Andy Robertson and the in-form Lyndon Dykes they could spring a surprise.
The away side have only conceded three goals in their last six games in all competitions, with Scotland to win to nil for the third game in a row at 9/4.
Serbia come mob-handed boasting some of Europe’s most talented players, including Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic, though he may not make the starting eleven ahead of Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic. Ajax star Dusan Tadic and Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic will look to pull the strings.
The Balkan side are 2/7 favourites to qualify and 8/13 in the Match Betting. Mitrovic is 21/20 anytime goalscorer, with Jovic at 17/10. Scotland’s Dykes is 10/3 anytime with Oli McBurnie at 7/2.
Elsewhere, will we see the thunderclap return to stadium’s again? Iceland are 9/4 to beat Hungary (27/20) and secure their spot at Euro 2020.
The final game tonight sees Georgia, unbeaten in five matches, at 17/10 to beat North Macedonia (19/10).
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication