The Euro 2016 qualifying campaign might but over, yet for eight countries, whether or not they will be lining up in France next summer remains to be seen. Enter the playoffs.
Following finishing third in their respective qualifying groups, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Bosnia, Republic Of Ireland, Denmark, Ukraine and Slovenia will compete for the remaining four places via the play offs.
The draw/fixtures for these games is as follows:
Norway v Hungary (First leg: 12th Nov, Second leg: 15th Nov)
Odds to Qualify: Norway 8/11 Hungary 11/10
On paper this may look a tough one to call, Norway were only a point away from the automatic places, having won six, drawn two and lost three. While Hungary finished four points short of second place, having won four, drawn four and lost only two. Despite looking reasonably evenly matched on these figures it is the Norwegians who are the favourites and having finished on a solid 19 points in what was a much tougher group than the one endured by their opponents, it would be a surprise if they weren’t to make it through.
Bosnia v Republic Of Ireland (First Leg: 13th Nov, Second leg: 16th Nov)
Odds to qualify: Bosnia 4/5 Ireland 1/1
In sharing a group with both Poland and world champions, Germany, the Republic Of Ireland drew perhaps the shortest straw in terms of qualifying opponents. All things considered, they did pretty well to finish as close as they did. Bosnia on the other hand made hard work of what, in truth, wasn’t the most testing group before finishing four points off second place, Wales. On the form, you’d have to fancy Ireland – having taken four points off Germany and one off a solid Poland team – to get the better of a Bosnia side who looked very lacklustre for the majority of the qualifying process.
Ukraine v Slovenia (First Leg: 14th Nov, Second leg: 17th Nov)
Odds to qualify: Ukraine 4/7 Slovenia 6/4
Having won six, drawn one and lost three, scoring 14 goals and conceding just four – in a group containing Spain and a surprisingly good Slovakia team – Ukraine are arguably the strongest side competing in the play-offs. On the other hand, despite proving a slight nuisance to both England and Switzerland in the group, Slovenia never really looked like qualifying automatically and given their form it would be a surprise if they were to make it past Ukraine and reach the finals in France.
Sweden v Denmark (First leg 14th Nov, Second leg: 17th Nov)
Odds to qualify: 4/5 Denmark 1/1
The Scandinavian derby between Sweden and Denmark certainly is an interesting encounter and a tough one to call at that. Having won five, drawn three and lost only two games in the groups, Sweden acquitted themselves well and were certainly not shamed by finishing third to both Russia and a near flawless Austrian side. Denmark’s group process can be described in a similar fashion, as they too were not disgraced in narrowly missing out to Portugal and Albania. Having faced similarly difficult groups both sides played well throughout and were a little unlucky to not make it through automatically. One factor that leans towards the Danes edging this one is their superior defensive record. Having only conceded five goals throughout the groups they looked solid at the back. On this basis – in a tie that really is too tight to call – it might be worth chancing the Danish, who at the prices look much better value.
Euro 2016 Play Off Betting Tips
Click each game below to view our tips!