Having made a very solid start to the qualification campaign for Euro 2020, England sit at the very top of Group A having netted ten goals in their two games so far and with at least one game in hand on the teams below them. It is a comfortable position for Gareth Southgate, especially as this new and expanded Euro 2020 competition will have more qualifiers than any tournament preceding it.

In short, two wins from their next two home games this week against Bulgaria at Wembley and then Kosovo at St Mary’s in Southampton, would provide England with an almost certain route through to the finals next summer and it would allow Southgate a little flexibility in his team selections over the remainder of the tournament, giving him the opportunity to look at some fringe players.

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Let’s now take a look at how things stand in England’s Euro 2020 Qualifying Group.

Euro 2020 Qualifying Group A

Pos Team Pl F A Pts GD
1 England 2 10 1 6 +9
2 Czech Republic 3 5 6 5 -1
3 Kosovo 3 5 4 4 +1
4 Bulgaria 4 5 7 2 -2
5 Montenegro 4 3 10 2 -7

Previous Games

  • England 5-0 Czech Republic (Sterling 24, 62, 68, Kane 45, Kalas OG 84)

Once Raheem Sterling gave England a lead in the first half, England were in full control of this game against a lacklustre Czech side that didn’t really pose England too much of a threat defensively. Harry Kane’s penalty just on half time have England a two goal lead and in the second half two Sterling strikes completed his hattrick before a late Kalas own goal handed the Three Lions an easy win.

  • Montenegro 1-5 England (Keane 30, Barkley 38,59, Kane 71, Sterling 80)

This game didn’t start so well for England as Marko Vesovic handed the home side a 17th minute lead, but goals from Michael Keane and Ross Barkley handed England a 2-1 advantage at the interval and in the second half, Barkley again, Kane and Sterling rounded off a fine performance by England against tricky opponents in Podgorica.

Over the summer, England were beaten 3-1 by the Netherlands in the finals of the Nations League in Portugal, where some woeful defending cost them dearly against the Dutch. However, they did finish third in the tournament when defeating Switzerland on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

Forthcoming Games

England v Bulgaria

  • Date – Saturday 7th September
  • Venue – Wembley Stadium
  • Kick Off – 5pm

Bulgaria’s Group Results

  • V Montenegro (H) – D 1-1 (Nedelev 82)
  • V Kosovo (A) – D 1-1 (Bozhikov 39)
  • V Czech Republic (A) – L 1-2 (Isa 3)
  • V Kosovo (H) – L 2-3 (Popov 43, Dimitrov 55)

Key Stat

  • Allthough their recent form is poor, Bulgaria have beaten both the Netherlands and Sweden during qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Possible Teams

England – (4-3-3) – Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Keane, Maguire, Henderson, Lingard, Maddison, Sterling, Kane, Sancho

Bulgaria – (4-3-3) – Mihaylov, Popov.S, Goranov, Bozhikov, Nedyalkov, Nedelev, Kostadinov, Popov.I, Kraev, Isa, Ivanov

I think Gareth Southgate will go with a more experienced side for this game to ensure that England get this second part of the qualifying campaign off to a good start. As such, I think Lingard will start in midfield, while I can see the impressive form of James Maddison earning himself a place in the starting line up ahead of the likes of Mount, Barkley and Oxlade Chamberlain. I think strong early season form will see Alexander Arnold and Chilwell also named as the full backs.

Our Tips for England v Bulgaria

Bulgaria have never beaten England in any of the ten meetings between the teams previously (they have managed four draws) but they have only scored two goals in those ten games. Therein lies the big problem facing Krasimir Balakov’s team at Wembley.

England have scored plenty in their first two qualifiers and I think they are likely to do the same here and as such I would back the following bets

  • Correct Score – England to win 4-0 (11/2 with bet365)
  • Anytime Scorecast – Harry Kane to Score and England to win 4-0 (7/1 at bet365)

England v Kosovo

  • Date – Tuesday 10th September
  • Venue – St Mary’s (Southampton)
  • Kick Off – 7.45pm

Kosovo’s Group Results

  • V Bulgaria (H) – D 1-1 (Zeneli 61)
  • V Montenegro (A) – D 1-1 (Rashica 24)
  • V Bulgaria (A) – W 3-2 (Rashica 14, Muriqi 64, Rashani 90+2)

Key Stat

  • Kosovo are unbeaten in their last 13 games ahead of their tie on Saturday against the Czech Republic in Pristina.

Possible Teams

England – (4-3-3) – Pickford, Trippier, Rose, Keane, Maguire, Henderson, Mount, Oxlade Chamberlain, Sterling, Kane, Rashford

Kosovo– (4-2-3-1) – Muric, Kololli, Vojvoda, Rrahmani, Aliti, Halimi, Voca, Celina, Zhegrova, Rashica, Muriqi

I can see Southgate making a couple of changes here, most likely in the full back areas to freshen things up and to ensure that there’s plenty of energy in those key wide positions. I also can see the likes of Mount and Oxlade Chamberlain coming in here to freshen up in midfield, while I would expect Rashford to start at least one of the games as a front three with Kane and Sterling, most likely this one.

Our Tips for England v Kosovo

While I don’t think either of the games this week will be unduly concerning for England, I do feel that this will be the tougher of the two given Kosovo’s excellent recent record. However, I think that they could come unstuck here against an England side that has looked very sharp in qualifying and I do expect the home side to run out comfortable winners.

As such, here’s my tips for this game. Odds are not yet available at bet365 but should become available on these bets after the game with Bulgaria has been completed.

  • Correct Score – England 3-0 Kosovo
  • Anytime Goalscorer – Raheem Sterling