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Belarus v. Slovakia – Borisov, Belarus
Belarus has another home match, and it’s again against a top Group C team. Slovakia is fresh off a defeat of Spain, and they’ll want to keep that momentum going. We can see Belarus getting a point out of this, as they played Ukraine tough, but Slovakia should show their class in the end and come out on top.
Prediction: Belarus 1 – Slovakia 2
Luxembourg v. Spain – Luxembourg, Luxembourg
We were pulling for Luxembourg, but they couldn’t hold onto their lead at Macedonia. It would’ve been something if they were able to score 3 road points. Now they host an angry Spain team who is in serious danger of ending up in the 3rd place playoff. Spain is the better team here, and they know that anything less than 3 points would be a colossal failure. They should get the job done.
Prediction: Luxembourg 0 – Spain 3
Ukraine v. FYR Macedonia – Lviv, Ukraine
Ukraine has vaulted up our rankings lately. They could be in the conversation among the best in the world. There is no team in our rankings that has a higher Margin of Victory than Ukraine. We expect them to unload on a Macedonia team that is clearly inferior. Macedonia almost lost at home to Luxembourg. In a group with Spain and Slovakia, you can’t afford to blow opportunities like this. Ukraine will get the job done.
Prediction: Ukraine 4 – FYR Macedonia 0
We project over 12 points between 3rd and 4th in the group, but it’s very close at the top. We like the big 3 to all win Sunday. Slovakia’s win over Spain vaulted them to projected #1.
- FYR Macedonia
Estonia v. England – Tallinn, Estonia
Don’t expect a big blowout like against San Marino. Estonia is a decent team, and they’ll want to make a statement against one of Europe’s best in their home venue. They’re surely disappointed they weren’t able to leave Lithuania with a share of the spoils, but their friendly confines should prove to serve them much better. Ultimately, we think England will come out on top, but the scoreline should be low.
Prediction: Estonia 0 – England 2
Lithuania v. Slovenia – Vilnius, Lithuania
Our rankings are very questionable here. Lithuania has proven over and over again to be a tough out at home. And Slovenia lost their first road match at Estonia. We think that Slovenia is overall the better team, but the home advantage could sway things. Lithuania currently tops Group E on 6 points, but they haven’t yet played the top 3 teams in the group. If they can get something out of this one, they’ll still be in it.
Prediction: Lithuania 0 – Slovenia 2
San Marino v. Switzerland – Serraville, San Marino (Tuesday)
Switzerland will finally get off the schnide here. They’re too good of a team to stay in the hole. They’ve arguably played 2 of the 3 most difficult matches in the group already. We expect them to get it together here. San Marino has no chance.
Prediction: San Marino 0 – Switzerland 4
Slovenia is a wild card here. Switzerland is hoping they slip up at Lithuania.
- San Marino
Austria v. Montenegro – Vienna, Austria
Austria almost didn’t get the job done at Moldova, but they took 3 points to the bank. As we’ve said all along, this group will be between the big 3 of Austria, Russia, and Sweden. Montenegro dropped points against Liechtenstein, which almost completely knocks them out of the competition. If they’re able to get anything in Austria, we’d be pretty shocked. Austria needs to take care of business at home.
Prediction: Austria 2 – Montenegro 0
Russia v. Moldova – Saint Petersburg, Russia
Russia did well to get a point at Sweden. Now they’ll return home to take care of minnows Moldova. But Moldova is no pushover. In their past 13 matches, they have not conceded more than 2 goals, averaging 1.15 goals against. Moldova actually has a +5 GD in those 13 matches. Russia is a good team though, and even if it’s not a big scoreline, they’ll emerge with 3 points.
Prediction: Russia 3 – Moldova 0
Sweden v. Liechtenstein – Solna, Sweden
Yet another big team against a tiny team. Just as we’ve said with the other top 2 in this group, Sweden needs to take care of business at home. Liechtenstein may put up a little bit of a fight, but Sweden should emerge victorious in the end.
Prediction: Sweden 4 – Liechtenstein 0
Things are going to start separating now that the top 3 are playing the bottom 3 and not each other. We temporarily have it like this.
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