Euro 2021 play-offs preview

The play-offs for next summer’s Euros get underway on October 8 as 16 nations battle it out to secure the final four places up for grabs. The qualifying teams were drawn against each other over eight games, with four routes to qualification – route A, B, C and D. The winner of each semi-final in each route will meet in a final, with the winner of that game qualifying for the Euros.

Route A: Can Iceland make the Euros again?

iceland team picture 300x192Bulgaria welcome Hungary to Sofia, with Hungary going into the game as the 13/10 favourites with Unibet to progress to the route A final. The winner of this semi-final will play the winner of Iceland v Romania, who meet in Reykjavik.

Iceland will hope to continue an impressive recent qualifying record and will be remembered for knocking England out of Euro 2016. They are the 7/5 favourites to beat Romania and reach the final.

Route B: Northern Ireland could face Ireland in the final

Northern Ireland have a tough trip to Zenica to face an improving Bosnia & Herzegovina. The Bosnians have got off to a good start in the UEFA Nations League campaign, including a 1-1 draw in Italy, while Northern Ireland recently suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat against Norway. The home side are strong favourites at 10/11 with Unibet to qualify for the final.

In the other route B semi-final, the Republic of Ireland travel to Bratislava to face Slovakia. This looks one of the closer play-off ties, but the Slovaks are slight 7/5 favourites to win the game.

Route C: Who will make it through to face England in the summer?

Norway face Serbia in Oslo with both sides knowing if they win, they have a great chance of reaching the Euros. In what is sure to be a close game, Norway are slight favourites at 13/8 to win the game, whilst Serbia are a 15/8 chance.

Whoever does win will face Scotland or Israel. That semi-final will take place at Hampden Park and the Scots are strong favourites to progress to the final at 10/11 with Unibet. Whoever wins the final in this route will play England at the tournament next summer.

Route D: We will see a new name at the Euros

One of Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia or Kosovo will qualify for the Euros next summer for the first time in their history. Georgia welcome Belarus to Tblisi with the home side slight favourites at 7/5 to reach the final.

Meanwhile, a close game is expected in Skopje where North Macedonia host Kosovo. The home side are slight favourites at 13/8, but Kosovo could spring a surprise and make the final themselves.

Euro 2020 Groups

Each winner of their individual route will be pitted with three other nations who have already qualified. Here is how the draw for Euro 2020 went:

  • Group A: Turkey – Italy – Wales – Switzerland
  • Group B: Denmark – Finland – Belgium – Russia
  • Group C: Netherlands – Ukraine – Austria – Play-off Winner D
  • Group D: England – Croatia – Czech Republic – Play-off Winner C
  • Group E: Spain – Sweden – Poland – Play-off Winner B
  • Group F: Portugal – France – Germany – Play-off Winner A