Sunday, April 21, 2024

EURO 24 Qualifying Play-Offs: Full Fixtures, Key Stories & Best Available Betting Markets

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, European Championships 19 Mar 2024

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While European powerhouses such as England and France might already be planning for this summer’s European Championships, the fate of 12 nations hangs in the balance.

With three ticks to EURO 24 still up for grabs, the likes of Wales and Poland will get their last-ditch qualifying efforts underway on Thursday night.

With UEFA once again electing to use their controversial play-off system for this summer’s tournament, the four top-ranked teams from Leagues A, B and C in the Nations League that did not gain entry to Euro 2024 via qualifying have entered the play-offs.

Ahead of what looks set to be a nervy night of action from across the continent, we have taken a look at some of the standout stories and the best available betting markets for Thursday.

Thursday’s EURO 24 Qualifying Fixture List

  • 17:45 Georgia vs Luxembourg
  • 19:45 Bosnia & Heregovnia
  • 19:45 Greece vs Kazakhstan
  • 19:45 Israel vs Iceland
  • 19:45 Poland vs Estonia
  • 19:45 Wales vs Finland

Page has all of the pressure on his shoulders

While Wales might have fallen short last year in the bid to book another authentic ticket to a major tournament, the Dragons are still tipped as a leading contender to punch a late ticket to EURO 24.

However, although Thursday’s hosts might have largely bounced back from their nightmare start in Group D, it is no secret that Rob Page has found increasing scrutiny over his long-term future.

With many suspecting that Page will be removed from the dugout in Cardiff if Wales suffer more qualifying heartbreak here, it is no secret that Wales have a tremendous amount of pressure on their shoulders here.

Knowing that they could secure a potentially nail-biting showdown against Poland if they come out on top in midweek, the Dragons have lost just one of their previous 15 straight qualifying matchups in front of their own supporters – a run that stems all the way back to March 2011.

Flying out of the traps when opening their qualifying campaign last year after collecting 12 points from their first five Group H appearances, Finland were left frustrated by a real collapse over the final few months.

Despite eventually avoiding what would have been an infamous defeat at the hands of European whipping boys San Marino on November 20th, the Eagles Owls will face a far stiffer examination when they arrive in Cardiff here.

Lewandowski looks to make more history

Although Poland might have opened their EURO 24 qualifying adventure last year tipped as a leading contender to find a route out of Group E, the Eagles have endured a frustrating spell over recent times.

However, turning to new boss Michal Probierz back in September, Thursday’s hosts have certainly been handed a golden opportunity when they return to Warsaw here.

With a potential showdown against Wales or Finland waiting in the wings, Poland will certainly be calling on their record-breaking icon to spearhead their charge in midweek.

Continuing to shine with Spanish heavyweights Barcelona and notching 11 goals across all competitions since opening the New Year, Robert looks set to earn a 147th international cap here.

Although Estonia might have embarked on a famous Nations League flurry 18 months ago, the Blueshirts have only continued to cement their spot as one of Europe’s ultimate whipping boys.

Mustering just a single point from any of their eight Group F appearances last year, Thursday’s guests have also failed to muster a sole European Championship qualifying victory on foreign soil from any of their previous 14 attempts.

Can Georgia cope without Kvaratskhelia?

While Georgia might have opened their EURO 24 qualifying campaign in the midst of an eye-catching boost, Willy Sagnol’s men have largely come crashing back down to earth over the past 18 months.

Last seen signing off 2023 with a routine 3-1 loss at the hands of European giants Spain, the Crusaders have recorded just a single victory from any of their final six Group A showdowns.

Although Georgia might open up their semi-final showdown tipped as a standout contender with the bookmakers, Sagnol’s camp have been handed a major blow as they will be unable to call upon their attacking talisman here.

While Khvicha Kvaratskhelia might once again impressed on EURO 24 qualifying duties last year as he notched four goals in his eight Group A appearances, the Napoli ace will miss out through suspension on Thursday night.

Although Luxembourg might have opened their respective qualifying adventure pencilled in as a real underdog contender in Group J, the Red Lions have gained a reputation for their rugged approach.

Making a real statement during November’s international break as they stormed their way to a 4-1 romp against Bosnia & Herzegovina, Luxembourg lost just a pair of their final eight qualifying showdowns last year.

Thursday’s EURO 24 Qualifying Betting Tips

  • Poland vs Estonia – Poland win to nil @ 7/10 with BetUS
  • Wales vs Finland – Both teams to score – No @ 8/11 with Olympusbet
  • Greece vs Kazakhstan – Anastasios Bakasetas to score anytime @ 9/4 with Luckster

    You can also visit our betting promotions section for the latest enhanced odds promos, accumulator bonuses and more.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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