The latest round of action for the fight to get to the European championships gets underway over the coming weekend, and the competition is certainly heating up as the draw for the main competition draws ever closer. Some sides will feel like they have already got one foot in the group stages of the Euros, while teams such as Portugal who are struggling the group stage will have their Nations League success back in June to fall back on.
Here are some of the more interesting fixtures that will be taking place over the first international break of the season.
Group D- Ireland vs Switzerland (Thursday 5th September)
One of the most interesting fixtures to be taking place this week will see the Nations League semi-finalists travel to Dublin to take on the table-topping Irish. Ireland have played two more games than the Swiss and have a six-point lead at the top of Group D. A win for Ireland here could see a significant three points towards their target of qualification to next summer’s event.
However, Switzerland aren’t ranked as the eleventh best side in the world for no reason. They did excellently in reaching the Nations League finals after beating Belgium and have proven quality in the forward areas. Xherdan Shaqiri could be the crucial player on the pitch for this fixture, but the home fans could have a pivotal part to play in ensuring the Irish make the most of their chance to extend their lead.
Tip: Ireland to win at 2.82 with BetXChange.
Group E- Slovakia vs Croatia (Friday 6th September)
It will be a tense evening in Trnava on Friday as Croatia come to town looking to get their qualification back on track after only winning twice in their three fixtures. Slovakia boasts the same record as their illustrious opponents, but it would be a huge embarrassment if the World Cup finalists are unable to make it through to the Euros next summer.
The form, and possibly age, of their best stars such as Mario Mandzukic and Luka Modric, has seen a sudden fall from grace for Croatia. They were relegated from their Nations League group earlier in the year, with a 6-0 defeat against Spain the distinct standout moment from this campaign. However, the Croats still have a lot of quality, and they should have too much for their Slovakian opponents on Friday.
Tip: Croatia to win at 1.14 with BetXChange.
Group C- Germany vs Netherlands (Friday 6th September)
The biggest match of the weekend, which is brimming of global talent will see the Netherlands travel to Germany. This fixture has been played more than any other in Europe over the past year with the two teams going head to head in their Nations League campaign. It was the Netherlands that would come out on top on that occasion, with the Dutch reaching the finals and the Germans relegated.
There is a sense that this is a huge fixture for Germany as they will be looking to show that this new era of young talent can compete with the world’s best. Players such as Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Serge Gnabry are now the leaders of this German side, and all three of them have started the new Bundesliga in fine form. Werner, in particular, could go on to become one of the best strikers in the world and it will be interesting to see how he performs against Virgil van Dijk. The Germans should make home advantage count in this fixture.
Tip: Germany to win at 1.01 with BetXChange.