Croatia or Wales will be the last direct participants in the European Football Championship after the matches of the last qualifying round on Tuesday, and Monday has three treats in store, in all three groups on the program, the competitors for the second place will play directly.
In Latvia, Croatia secured a 0-2 victory over Italy, while England has secured first place in their group and is visiting North Macedonia. The evening derby was played at BayArena in Leverkusen, where Ukraine welcomed Italy and could once again send it to the hell of play-offs. Italy and Ukraine are tied on points, but as hosts must go for the win. Bookmakers give them only a 20 percent chance.
One of the most pleasant surprises of these qualifications is Albania who will play in a major competition for the second time after Euro 2016. They secured their place with a draw against Moldova on Friday and are now just one victory away from qualifying for the final tournament. Despite being ranked 157th on FIFA’s world ranking system, behind Andorra, Malta, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein and San Marino, Moldova can reach Euro without play-offs. Bookies give them an 8.5 percent chance to qualify for Euros through this route with a draw being enough to secure their spot.
Kazakhstan is another team that is coming alive after winning six victories out of nine games so far during these qualifications. They defeated Denmark at home twice and Finland away with their impressive performance on field becoming more noticeable by each game passing by. However they need one more win against Slovenia to secure their spot at Euros next year. Slovenia spilled their first match point against Denmark but they are still very much alive with another point up for grabs that they cannot miss if they want to secure their place at Euros next year with Kazakhstan having no other chance than this one as bookies give them an 89 percent chance of making it to Euros if they manage to draw against Slovenia while failing otherwise going to play-offs where they can also catch up with Croatia.
Finally we have Moldova who has already lost every chance to reach Euros despite being currently ranked higher than countries such as Andorra and Malta who have already been eliminated from contention earlier this week as bookies give them only an 8 percent chance of making it through play-offs if they fail to qualify directly.
It’s looking like we’ll see some exciting finishes in Group C and D as teams fight for second place which will guarantee them direct participation into next year’s European Football Championship while Group B looks set with France leading Portugal by two points leaving Spain struggling to keep up