Predictions for European Championship Qualifiers: September 3rd & 7th 2010
Hello everyone. This is the first International predictions I have done since the world Cup when my prediction rate in terms of results was bang on 50%. This was slightly below my average for the World Cup qualifiers. Letís hope for a slight improvement to Match my premiership Prediction rate of 57% for last season & even the 64% for the FA Cup.
How will England do is the big question? I suspect they will manage to qualify from their group but donít obviously hold out any hopes of them doing well when they get there.
Just a quick note regarding Englandís World cup bid. I feel very strongly that we deserve to host another world cup. Germany have hosted the World cup twice (1974 & 2006) since we last did in 1966, as have Mexico (1970 & 1986). Just about every country on earth has hosted a world cup since we did, even the Isle of Man. It is a disgrace that we have not & that says a lot for the bias & corruption of FIFA that we have not. Donít hold your breath on us winning with our bid.
Thanks to the Daily Mail who decided that Lord Chessmanís comments off the record to an Ex Girlfriend were deemed in the Public interest we might well lose the bid as it will be seen by FIFA as a perfect opportunity to not give us the World cup. Thanks a lot Daily Mail, you again proved how low papers are prepared to go to get a headline. Scum.
Enough of my idle ramblings, on with the predictions you say before you die of boredom.
Match 1: England - Bulgaria (Group G): (Friday September 3rd: 8pm): Wembley, London:
England won their last game, 2-1 against Hungary at Wembley. The big surprise was the crowd. 60 plus thousand & after the worst World cup performance in living memory. The team do not deserve that support. They now face Bulgaria in their first European Championship Qualifier. Last Time England played Bulgaria was in the Qualifiers for Euro 2000 when under Kevin Keegan England beat Bulgaria 3-1 at home & drew 1-1 away. England were poor that year as well. Since Bulgaria reached the semi finals of the 1994 World cup when they famously beat Germany 2-1 in the Quarter Finals they have not faired well. They qualified for Euro 1996 but went out at the group stages, the same in Euro 2004 in Portugal & again in the World cup in Germany in 2006.
England should win this game & it is interesting to note that John Terry & Frank Lampard are not playing as I think England will do better without them. I have no idea why Peter Crouch has been dropped but it would be nice to know that it was for moral reasons for the way he has treated his girlfriend. Somehow I donít think that will be the case.
I can see England winning this game but it could be a difficult game for them if only because they are not that good. I will be watching the game on TV & I think & few cans will have to keep me company in order to survive. Just a quick note if you are thinking of getting an England replica Top. Go for it as I got the latest home top for Just £10 the other day. Ha, could it be the crap performances in the World cup have affected sales? Obviously that is the case & it makes me laugh as the real losers are the makers of the England tops who have been over pricing for years.
On that positive note we move on..
Result Prediction: England to win
Score Prediction: England 2 Bulgaria 1
Match 2: Lithuania - Scotland: (Group I): (Friday September 3rd: 7.15pm):
Scotland as you all know are a shadow of the side that used to regularly qualify for tournaments. They have not qualified for a major tournament since the 1998 World cup. They reached the playoffs for Euro 2004 qualification but were thrashed 7-1 on aggregate by Holland, this after winning the first leg at home 1-0. They have qualified twice for the European championships, in 1992 & 1996. They were unlucky in both tournaments to not get out of their group (Shades of their World cup History).
They face Lithuania one of the Baltic states in their first game & they should win but it wonít be a convincing win I fear. Scotland lost their last game, a 3-0 defeat away to Sweden which doesnít bear well for the future. In fact Scotland are on a bad run as they have lost 4 out of their last 5 games. The more I think about it this could be a very difficult game for Scotland.
Lithuania played Scotland in the qualifiers for Euro 2004. They beat Scotland at home but lost 1-0 away in Glasgow. Since Lithuania were re entered as an International side in 1990 they have been very competitive. Yes they have failed to qualify for a major tournament but they have had some good results. They drew with Italy 1-1 in Naples in 2006 in Italyís first game after they had won the World Cup in Germany. Other notable results include a 3-0 win over Romania in the World Cup 2010 qualifiers & a 2-0 win over Austria.
Ignore the above. I think that Scotland are going to lose this game. How much lower can Scotland go & will their time come again? Not any time soon methinks.
Result Prediction: Scotland to lose
Score Prediction: Lithuania 2 Scotland 0
Match 3: Armenia - Republic of Ireland: (Group B): (Friday September 3rd: "Yerevan" - 4pm):
The republic will be hoping that they can go one better than the World cup playoffs when they were cheated by France in losing 2-1 on aggregate. All Irish fans will have enjoyed Franceís dreadful performances & results in the World cup not to mention their internal problems. The republic have not qualified for a European Championships since 1988 which was in fact their first & only appearance in the euro finals. They did well however in beating England, drawing with Russia & only going out to a late deflected Dutch goal.
Since the disappointment of losing to France Ireland have played four friendly games. All of them have been at home & they lost to Brazil & Argentina (Their Last game) but beat Algeria 3-0 & Paraguay 2-1.
They now face Armenia who are not really considered one of the worldís big teams. Armenia are another side who came into being after the collapse of the former Soviet union. They played their first game in 1992. They have not yet qualified for any major tournament & to be honest I donít think they will.
They have been competing well in recent games. They lost their last game 3-1 at home to Iran in August which was not a very good result but they did beat Belguim 2-1 last September in a 2010 world cup qualifier. They also only lost 2-1 at home to Spain, who of course went onto to win the 2010 World cup. They seem to be raising their game for the big teams (in their eyes) so this could be a difficult game for the Republic.
I think they will win but it will be a close game & not many goals scored. A 2-1 win to the Republic then & letís hope they qualify for Euro 2012 so that they can show England how to play in a tournament playing with passion & caring about representing your country.
Result Prediction: Eire to win
Score Prediction: Armenia 1 Ireland 2
Match 4: Slovenia - Northern Ireland: (Group C): Friday 3rd September: 7.45pm:
Northern Ireland are much improved since the bad old days of the late 1990ís & the early part of the last decade. Their recent improvement from no hoppers to serious qualifying contenders can be traced back to their 1-0 victory over England on the 2006 world cup qualifiers. In the last World cup qualifying programme they were in contention for a play off result right up to the last game. They beat Poland at home 3-2 & Slovenia 1-0 who eventually qualified at their expense through the playoffs.
Since their victory over England in 2005 they have beaten some good sides including Spain 3-2 & Sweden 2-1. It is their home form that is very good. If they could only slightly improve their away form then they would be in a major finals for the first time since 1986 when they qualified for the World cup in Mexico.
Their first game in this qualifying campaign is away against Slovenia who they of course played in the last world cup qualifiers. They lost 2-0 away last time & will be hoping for better this time around. Northern Ireland have lost their last four games which have been all friendly games.
Slovenia were of course in Englandís group for the 2010 world cup. England managed to beat them 1-0 & this result meant that they went home after drawing their first 2 games. This was the third time that they had qualified for a major tournament after gaining independence in 1991. This is a major achievement for them. They qualified for Euro 2000 & the World cup of 2002. They have had some great results along the way & are not to be treated lightly as Northern Ireland know.
Canít see Northern Ireland getting a result in this game so I am going to go for a home win. I also think that Northern Ireland will just fail to qualify (again) but they will be competitive.
Result Prediction: Northern Ireland to lose
Score Prediction: Slovenia 2 Northern Ireland 0
Match 5: Montenegro - Wales: (Group G): Friday 3rd September: 6.30pm:
So fed up was I with England that I decided to not watch Englandís game against Hungary but instead watch Wales beat Luxembourg 5-1. Wales as every Welshmen knows have not qualified for a major tournament since the 1958 World cup when they reached the Quarter finals before losing 1-0 to the great Brazilian side that went onto to win the trophy.
Wales last did well when under mark Hughes they went out in the Playoffs rather unluckily to Russia 1-0 over two legs for the 2004 Euro finals in Portugal. They do however appear to have some very good young players coming through & it is hoped that they can make an impression. I hope so as well.
They are in a very tough group as per usual & it will be vital that they win this game to get off to a good start, something that will not be lost on their manager John Toshack.
Montenegro are one of footballs minnows & only came into being following the 2006 World cup. They are therefore the Worldís youngest International football side. This makes checking out their history very easy. They played Wales in a friendly in 2009 & beat them 2-1. They also beat Northern Ireland 2-0 in their last game, again a friendly in August.
I think that Wales will win 2-1 but it wonít be a game that will stay long in the memory.
Result Prediction: Wales to win
Score Prediction: Montenegro 1 Wales 2
Thatís all until Tuesday folks when I will bring you the second round of games.
1st September 2010