Tuesday is Group D D-Day at 8pm as England take on table toppers Czech Republic at Wembley while Scotland and Croatia will battle for qualification at Hampden Park.
Many onlookers were disappointed with England’s bore draw on Friday night when they did not move the ball quick enough, weren’t very creative and arguably were lucky to come away with the point.
Southgate may well shuffle his pack despite being seemingly happy with the position the Three Lions find themselves in, with qualification all but assured with a game to spare. He has confirmed that captain Harry Kane will start despite just six touches in opposition penalty areas this tournament and being subbed against Scotland. The pre-tournament Golden Boot favourite is 5/2 to score the opener and evens to get his first of Euro 2020.
A yellow card for Phil Foden would see him miss a last 16 tie so Jack Grealish may get a start, to the delight of a large swathe of England followers. The Aston Villa star is 15/2 to open the scoring and 7/2 to net anytime in the game.
England are 4/7 for the match and Czech Republic a big looking 13/2 considering they beat England 2-1 in Prague just over eighteen months ago during qualifying for this tournament. England were 5-0 winners at Wembley seven months earlier though.
Victory for either side will see them top Group D while a second stalemate for both, priced at 13/5, will mean Czech Republic heading through as group winners. Is Gareth Southgate taking a risk in playing for second and an easier passage in the knockout phase? Victory on Tuesday will see them face group F runners-up, either France, Germany, Portugal or Hungary at Wembley in the last 16 while second place in the group means Sweden, Slovakia, Spain or Poland in Copenhagen with a potential quarter-final against the aforementioned Group F table toppers.
The draw does look overpriced at 13/5 considering England’s lack of goals and creativity in 180 minutes, but with none of the Group F giants looking unbeatable so far, England must be focused on three points.
The Czechs have a settled squad and expect they will name the same XI that drew against Croatia. Patrik Schick leads the scoring charts alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and is 7/2 for a fourth goal of the competition. They have however conceded in twelve of their last fifteen internationals which should give England hope of finding a way through.
For those who like a short one, 10/11 for England to score two or more goals appeals as they aim to put on a show for the fans who booed them off the pitch on Wednesday night. That brings England to win to nil (11/8) and England to win by two or more goals (7/4) into the equation as they have conceded just twice in their last fifteen international fixtures.
After Scotland in Euro ’96, they put four past the Dutch in a 4-1 win. Here is hoping history repeats and they turn on the style on Tuesday.
Talking of Scotland, they must win to keep their Euro campaign alive against Croatia at Hampden Park and have been rocked by the absence of Billy Gilmour who has tested positive for Covid-19. The diminutive midfielder impressed on Friday versus England and will be a big blow to Steve Clarke in the middle of the park.
To stay alive, Scotland will need to do something they have not so far in two games, and that is score. Che Adams has looked lively in one and a half games and is 5/2 to score and 6/1 for the first of the game.
Although Scotland do need to play on the front foot searching for goals, the same can be said of Croatia as a draw will not be enough for the World Cup runners-up to qualify. They have been well backed into 11/10 to win the match, Scotland 9/4 and the draw, which is of no use to either side, is 11/4.
The players may have taken a chance on the goals markets with over 2.5 goals priced up at evens. This may be due to just one goal being scored between them so far, but it has to be an open game with plenty of chances as both sides will be going home if it’s level after 90 minutes.
Scotland are 2/1 to qualify and it is 11/10 that Croatia are playing knockout football this weekend.