UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying: Which Home Nations will reach the finals?

Euro 2020

Odds for Home Nations to qualify for Euro 2020 available

After the thrills of the 2018 World Cup and the intrigue of the brand new UEFA Nations League, qualifying for another major international tournament is set to begin. Euro 2020 is just over a year away and nations begin the qualifying campaign looking to reach the finals next June.

The tournament will be slightly different to previous incarnations of the European Championship. With it being the 60th anniversary of UEFA's flagship international event, the competition will have 12 host nations instead of just one.

The 12 cities that will host matches are London, Glasgow, Dublin, Rome, Baku, St Petersburg, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Bilbao, Munich and Budapest.

There are 10 qualifying groups for the tournament, but what are the Home Nations chances of reaching the Euro 2020 finals? We have taken a look at who each of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland face in their groups and their odds of qualifying.

England huge favourites to qualify for Euro 2020

In terms of England, it looks almost guaranteed that they will successfully qualify for Euro 2020. Gareth Southgate's side have already secured themselves a place in the play-offs due to their strong performance in the UEFA Nations League, but looking at their qualifying group they should be able to progress directly from that.

There is a lot of positivity around the England team at the moment with an exciting group of young players performing to a high standard. They have real quality within their ranks such as Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Dele Alli, Harry Maguire and Raheem Sterling which will strike fear into all of their opponents.

The Three Lions take on the Czech Republic, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Kosovo in Group A and on paper looks a relatively straight forward task for England to qualify. The bookmakers agree with this, with Paddy Power offering odds as low as 1/8 to win the group whilst Sky Bet have England just to qualify priced at 1/500.

Southgate and his men begin their campaign at Wembley against the Czech Republic, before heading to Montenegro next week.

Wales also look certs for Euro 2020 qualification

Another of the Home Nations who the bookmakers heavily fancy to qualify for Euro 2020 are Wales. They of course enjoyed a brilliant Euro 2016 campaign under Chris Coleman where they reached the semi-finals, beating the likes of Belgium and Russia en-route and will hope to qualify and aim for a repeat in next summers competition.

Ryan Giggs is now the man calling the shots for the Welsh, and he has a decent pool of players to choose from with the likes of David Brooks, Ben Davies, Aaron Ramsey and of course Gareth Bale at his disposal. Their group on paper looks challenging, but one that they would also be confident of progressing from. They will face World Cup finalists Croatia in what is certainly their toughest fixture, but their other matches will be against Slovakia, Hungary and Azerbaijan.

Wales are 1/8 to qualify for the tournament, suggesting that they are heavily fancied but unlike England the bookmakers do not believe that they will win their group. Indeed Unibet are offering the best price on Wales to win Group E which is 5/1, with Croatia the odds-on favourites at 1/3 with Betway.

Wales kick off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a tricky test against Slovakia, but with it being at the Cardiff City Stadium they will fancy their chances of opening up with three points.

Can Scotland qualify for a major tournament?

The Scottish national team has been struggling for years. Indeed they haven't qualified for a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup, but can they finally end that barren run by qualifying for Euro 2020?

Bookmakers appear to believe that they will do just that, with Sky Bet offering odds of 8/15 for the Scots to reach the finals next summer. They have been handed a fairly kind group in truth and whilst they do have to face Belgium's 'golden generation' the other nations in with them are definitely beatable.

They look unlikely to finish ahead of Belgium, who currently top the FIFA World Rankings, and the odds reflect this with bet365 offering 20/1 for them to win the group. Second place looks more achievable however and Russia could prove to be their only direct competition.

Cyprus, Kazakhstan and San Marino the other three nations in Group I, all of whom you would expect Scotland to beat. This is therefore definitely their best chance of qualifying for the European Championship for the first time since 1996.

Which Irish team is most likely to qualify?

Looking at the qualifying groups for Euro 2020, it is definitely Northern Ireland who have the trickiest task to reach the finals. Michael O'Neill's side have both the Netherlands and Germany alongside them in Group C and you would expect those two sides to secure the two automatic qualification positions. The manager himself even described it as "possibly the worst draw" they could have got.

Northern Ireland failed to achieve a play-off place via the Nations League too leaving them in a tricky position. Their best hope may well be to get as many points as possible in Group C and hope that it is enough to make them one of the teams who get a play-off place should one of the four teams from League B of the Nations League already assured of a play-off place qualify automatically. Alternatively, more play-off places could also become available should the majority of League A nations qualify automatically, with their slots then moving down to League B.

Despite a tough draw, Sky Bet still have Northern Ireland at 4/5 to qualify so possibly expect them to grab a play-off place.

As for the Republic of Ireland, they should have actually been in Group C instead of Northern Ireland but were forced to move into Group D as there cannot be more than three host nations in one qualifying group.

They therefore have a slightly easier group, but it will be extremely competitive with both Switzerland and Denmark in there alongside them. They both have more recent experiences of qualifying for major tournaments and it will be interesting to see if the Republic can finish ahead of one or both of them.

The other two sides in their group are Georgia and Gibraltar, you would expect them to win twice against the latter but Georgia away has been a tough game for a few of the other Home Nations in recent years.

Bookmakers do not think that Mick McCarthy's side will win Group D, pricing them at 6/1 with both Denmark and Switzerland ahead of them in the market. You would have to argue though that they have a better chance of a top two finish in this group than Northern Ireland do against Netherlands and Germany. The odds reflect this with the Republic priced at 4/6 to qualify, shorter than Northern Ireland's.

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