Wag returns with a massive THIRTEEN picks for Saturday’s UEFA European Championship 2020 soccer qualifiers.
Another set of games are set to kickoff Saturday as we continue Matchday 3 of the 2020 UEFA European Championship Qualifiers. There are more recognizable countries featured for Saturday. World Cup winners France visit Turkey as the French look to be 3 points ahead in Group H. The Germans are visiting Belarus for their second game of the qualifiers as they aim for second place with a game in hand in Group C. Belgium will be looking to be in complete control of Group I as they host Kazakhstan, and the Italians visit Greece for the battle of the Ionian Sea, and I guess for first place too. It’s a Sea between the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Professor Wag has got your back!
Getting back on topic here, the most exciting game that is a must watch for Saturday is when Croatia host Wales. Any international game featuring two Real Madrid players, in this case Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, always provides excitement. How am I supposed to make the Russia versus San Marino game more interesting you ask? Over and Under’s baby.
Iceland 2:1 Albania
Iceland are looking to shock the world again for the European Championship in the Summer of 2020, just like they did in 2016 when they managed to beat England in the last 16. Iceland had a rough outing against the French World Cup winners but managed to bring 3 points home from Andorra. Albania and Iceland both share 3 points, however, Albania managed to score 3 goals on Andorra instead of Iceland’s 2. That probably doesn’t mean shit for this game. Either way, here is what I’m going to win with
PICK: Iceland Money Line at (-155) with SugarHouse
Croatia 0:1 Wales
The most exciting game on Saturday will be played at the Gradski VRT in Croatia. Teammates Modric and Bale will bring in a lot of insight on each other as all eyes will be on the two. Wales has never beaten Croatia and their last meeting was 6 years ago for the 2014 World Cup Qualifying as Croatia sealed the victory 2-1. Croatia are in bad form as they struggled to beat Azerbaijan in convincing fashion, but also suffered a loss to Hungary in the 76th minute resulting in a 4-way tie for first place in Group E. Wales is amongst Croatia for the first-place tie. Wales beat Slovakia and did better than expected in the Nations League. Plus, this will be a big summer for Gareth Bale as he will try to prove his worth to other clubs. I’m riding the underdog in this matchup and the Under because I don’t think too many goals will be scored!
PICK: Wales Money Line at (+535) AND the UNDER (2.5) at (-162) with SugarHouse.
Armenia 4:1 Liechtenstein
I know as little about these two countries as the next guy, but that doesn’t stop me from betting on it because gambling is the steroid for sports. Except for the Gunner Henrikh Mkhitaryan who is from Armenia. These two nations were in the same group in the UEFA Nations League in the Fall of 2018. Armenia beat Liechtenstein 2-1 in their first meeting and then couldn’t be separated in their second meeting scoring two goals apiece. Armenia has been by far the better team in those matches but fail to take advantage as Liechtenstein prove to have a well-organized defense. Armenia are HEAVY favorites coming into this game at (-625), so to be less dull and boring I’m going to be the Over!
PICK: Over 2.5 at (-159) with SugarHouse
Estonia 0:2 Northern Ireland
This is Estonia’s and Northern Ireland’s second meeting in these European Championship Qualifiers with Northern Ireland winning their first meeting 2-0. McGinn and Steven Davis found the back of the net for Northern Ireland to collect their first 3 points of their qualifying campaign. Northern Ireland found gaps in the midfield to put pressure on Estonia’s defense as they came away with 19 shots, 7 were on target. These type of small nation games are tough to predict because the home team can come up as winners, even in the most shocking turn of events. With Estonia having the worlds cleanest air, that air will be populated by Northern Irishmen when they visit on Saturday and want to bring 3 points back home.
PICK: Northern Ireland Money Line at (-106) with SugarHouse
Moldova 0:0 Andorra
The tiny independent Principality nation of Andorra travels to the east as they visit Moldova. Andorra has never beaten Moldova and was shutout by Moldova in their last two meetings. This is most likely the biggest games for both these teams as they both look to not finish their group in last place. Moldova did manage to score a goal against France as Andorra are still looking for their first goal. As lazy and uninteresting of analysis this is it will transfer over to the game thus ending in a stalemate. “Oh mama, there goes that boy again.”
PICK: Tie at (+315) with SugarHouse
Russia 5:0 San Marino
Before I started planning my preview for this matchup, I had to look at the odds, and as a recent degenerate gambler, I have never seen so many zeroes allocated in the odds. Russia is favored to win this game at -10,000 and San Marino is at +8000. I’m just going to put a $1 bet on San Marino JUST in-case I am wrong about Russia winning this game. That would be an awesome payout. But regardless of the fact that Russia will win this game, it’s going to come down on how many goals they feel like scoring. Russia has scored 5 goals in their first 2 games, but one of those was a loss to Belgium 3-1. But that shows that the Russians have their shooting boots on and are ready to roll over San Marino.
PICK: Under 5.5 at (-115) with SugarHouse
Azerbaijan 1:3 Hungary
Azerbaijan is the only team in Group E without a point. This would only be their second ever meeting with Hungary as Azerbaijan hosts them in Baku. Azerbaijan prove that they mean business after almost beating Croatia and want to be featured in their first ever international tournament. Hungary beat Croatia proving Hungary are a tougher opponent than Croatia, however, Hungary was playing at home. The oddsmakers don’t make this game any easier to predict as the odds are fairly neck and neck. So, I ask myself would I bet on the home team that historically wins more in these qualifying matches, or do I simply flip a coin? The coin landed on Tails which means Hungary is going to win this game.
PICK: Hungary Money Line at (+110) with SugarHouse
Finland 2:1 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Finland hosts Bosnia for their third game in this European Championship Qualifiers. Finland took care of business in Armenia but couldn’t do too much damage against a strong Italian side. Bosnia also beat the Armenian’s but tied Greece in their second game. At least two goals have been in 1 of each of their games, whether they scored or were scored against. With little knowledge and not that convincing analytics from my standpoint, which is the degenerate part of me, will double down on this game.
PICK: Finland Money Line at (+190) AND the Over 2.5 at (-180) with SugarHouse
Belgium 4:0 Kazakhstan
The new Madrista man Eden Hazard and the golden boys of Belgium host Kazakhstan Saturday as Belgium look to take a six-point lead in Group I. Belgium haven’t fully bounced back from their 5-2 defeat to Switzerland in the Nations League. They beat Russia and Cyprus in unconvincing fashion, however, good thing they don’t play another hefty opponent like Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan had a very successful outing against the Scottish but got smacked upside down by the Russians 4-0. There is no doubt in my mind that Belgium will win this game with flying colors, but the question is ‘are they going to score 4 or more goals? Yes.
PICK: Over 4.5 at (-175) with SugarHouse.
Greece 0:2 Italy
Ahhh finally! The Battle of the Ionian Sea that we learned about 5 minutes ago. In all seriousness, Greece will have their hands full on Saturday as the Italians continue to find their identity. The Italians have kept a clean sheet in both of their qualifying games and scored a combined 8 goals. Youngster Moise Kean has continued to show promise as he has scored in both of Italy’s games. Greece are looking for their second win of their qualifying campaign which will be a tough task to complete successfully. Their recent friendly loss to Turkey doesn’t boost much morale for the Greeks. But all in all, the oddsmakers are giving us a gift.
PICK: Italy Money Line at (-107) with SugarHouse
Scotland 2:1 Cyprus
Scotland host Cyprus for their third qualifying campaign as they look to start a winning streak. After a horrific loss to Kazakhstan, Andy Robertson and the Scottish managed to bring 3 points home from San Marino. Of course, Scotland will be without their captain Robertson as he is resting after successfully winning the Champions League. Cyprus also beat San Marino, but by scoring 3 more goals than Scotland and San Marino is the worst team in this group, or ever. I have a feeling Cyprus could have a few tricks up their sleeves and I have this strong feeling a desire to pick them to win this game. But they are playing in Scotland where I’m sure the home supporters wouldn’t be too keen seeing their team lose to both Kazakhstan and Cyprus in the qualifiers making this a Must Win situation.
PICK: Scotland Money Line at (-210) with SugarHouse
Turkey 1:3 France
World Cup Winners France are looking to take control of Group H as they face off with joint leaders Turkey on Saturday. Both teams are in great form as Turkey hasn’t lost in their last 5 games and the French have only conceded 2 goals in their last 4 matches. The two nations have
not played each other in 10 years making this a somewhat unique matchup. France crushed Island who are another ‘threat’ to the group and Turkey has only played Albania and Moldova but took care of business in their previous two friendlies. Although Turkey is at home and has some of the craziest supporters in the world, I do believe the French will take control of Group H. Mbappe, Griezmann and Giroud have been extremely effective for the French continuing their scoring extravaganza.
PICK: France Money Line (-182) with SugarHouse.
Belarus 0:2 Germany
I’ll be honest with my German heroes; I haven’t watched a German international game since watching them lose to South Korea, in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, to knock us out of the World Cup. I’m choking while typing that run-on sentence. But some new faces and new title opportunities is what brings me back. The Germans are still trying to figure out their DNA as they continue their European Championship Qualifiers visiting Belarus. The Germans managed to beat the Dutch 3-2 through Nico Shulz’s 90th-minute winner in their first game were as Belarus lost to the Dutch by four goals. There is not much about this game besides predicting how many goals the Germans will score. According to my calculations, if the Germans play like they do and pass the ball around 500 times before making a forward pass, then this should be a low scoring game.
PICK: Under 2.5 at (+140) with SugarHouse