The Norwegians will face a tough task when they meet Serbia on Thursday in the EURO 2020 playoffs. Photo by @nff_landslag (Twitter).
- Two decisive matches will take place on Thursday with a spot in the remaining eight on the line
- Norway and Serbia will clash, while Scotland and Israel will also meet
- We take a look at the best bets and preview for these Path C EURO 2020 qualifying fixtures below
With four spots left in EURO 2020, the playoffs will feature 16 countries, who will all get their chance at qualifying for this summer’s prestigious tournament.
On Thursday, we have two intriguing fixtures ahead. Erling Braut Haaland and Norway will take on Serbia, while Scotland meets with Israel in Glasgow. The winner of these two matches will face each other in mid-November. Whoever comes out on top in that fixture will book their ticket to EURO 2020, which is now happening next year in 2021.
Norway vs Serbia Odds
|Norway||pk (-123)||+150||Ov 2.5 (+130)|
|Serbia||pk (+103)||+200||Un 2.5 (-167)|
All odds taken Oct 5 at Bet365
Pick 1: Norway vs Serbia
The Norwegians haven’t made a European Championship since the year 2000. To boot, they’ve suffered defeats in all four playoff matches to date. History is certainly not on their side coming into this tough clash against the Serbians, but their recent form should give them confidence.
Lars Lagerback’s side has lost just three times in their last 22 appearances and their recent victory was a convincing 5-1 thrashing of Northern Ireland in the Nations League, where Dortmund phenom Erling Haaland hammered home two goals. The youngster also has plenty of attacking prowess alongside him with Norway in Leipzig striker Alexander Sorloth and Bournemouth’s Joshua King.
Serbia has featured in two of the last three World Cups, but just like their opponents this Thursday, they haven’t appeared in the European Championships in 20 years. The Eagles have also been in solid form, going 8-5-3 in their last 16 matches dating back to September of 2018.
Their last outing was a scoreless draw against Turkey in the Nations League, where they fought hard to grab a point after Alexsandar Kolarov was handed a red card early in the second half. Fulham star Aleksandar Mitrovic has been Serbia’s primary goal-getter, netting 12 times in his last nine appearances.
These two sides have played just once ever, tying 0-0 in an international friendly back in 2006. They both head into this huge clash in good form, but I believe the Norwegians are going to come out on top. Haaland will once again get on the scoresheet just like he has many times over the course of the past year for club and country. He’ll lead his side to a two-goal win, with the Serbs also bagging a goal.
Pick: Norway (+150)
Scotland vs Israel Odds
|Scotland||-0.5 (-108)||-106||Ov 2.5 (+125|
|Israel||+0.5 (-112)||+300||Un 2.5 (-163)|
Pick 2: Scotland vs Israel
It’s been a long time since the Scots appeared in the Euros. 24 years to be exact when they were knocked out in the group stage. They’ve appeared just twice in the tournament, losing on two separate occasions in the playoffs as well. Scotland will face a familiar foe on Thursday in Israel, who has appeared in the same Nations League group as them in the last two campaigns.
Steve Clarke’s men are coming off an impressive 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic last month with Ryan Christie netting the winner from a spot-kick. Scotland has lost just once in their last six fixtures, but they also haven’t faced the toughest opponents, beating the likes of Cyprus and San Marino.
In three meetings with the Israelis, each side has won once, with the latest clash ending in a draw. Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn has been Scotland’s most productive player in the final third, scoring seven goals and tallying two assists in eight qualifying matches.
Israel has never qualified for a European Championship, but their results in the group stage have given them the opportunity to pull off the unthinkable and advance. PSV Eindhoven striker Eran Zahavi has been deadly in the final third for his country, scoring 11 goals in ten Euro qualifying matches. This side is arguably the biggest underdog of the 16 teams left, but given their previous results against the Scots, anything is possible.
On paper, nothing has separated Scotland and Israel. They’ve looked incredibly even in recent clashes, but I think the hosts will advance here. After beating a side of the Czech Republic’s quality last month, I don’t see them losing on Thursday. It’s going to be a close game, but the Scots will win by a goal and move on to the last eight.
Pick: Scotland (-106)
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.