International fixtures round-up preview: 19 November

There’s plenty of international football to look forward to on Sunday, so here’s a selection of games not to be missed from Euro 2024 qualifying, CAF World Cup qualifying and International friendlies.

Euro 2024 qualifying

Scotland vs Norway, Spain vs Georgia, Portugal vs Iceland, Serbia vs Bulgaria, Belgium vs Azerbaijan & more

18 teams will conclude their Euro qualifying campaigns today and, in truth, the majority of today’s groups have already been decided.

The one qualification spot up for grabs is in Group G where, should Serbia avoid defeat against bottom side Bulgaria at Dubočica Stadium, the Eagles will qualify for a first-ever Euros as an independent nation.

Hungary confirmed their own top two finish on Thursday, drawing in Sofia, with Marco Rossi’s side seeking to conclude a successful campaign with victory over Montenegro at Puskás Aréna.

Over in Group A, Scotland are likely to beat Norway at Hampden, given that the away side travel to Glasgow without both Erling Braut Håland or Martin Ødegaard.

The Tartan Army have already booked their place at the Euros, looking ahead to the draw on 2 December, while the Lions’ wait for a first major tournament appearance since 2000 will go on.

Simultaneously, top of the table Spain are likely to swat aside play-off bound Georgia at Estadio José Zorrilla.

The top two in Group F was also confirmed last month, although Belgium will be aiming to leapfrog Austria into first place with victory over Azerbaijan at King Baudouin Stadium.

Gianni De Biasi’s side claimed a shock victory over Sweden on Thursday, Emin Mahmudov scoring twice in a 3-0 victory, but anything other than a home win in Brussels would be an even bigger surprise.

Speaking of Sweden, it’s been a truly miserable campaign for them, failing to qualify for a first Euros since 1996, meaning this could be Janne Andersson’s last game in charge.

The Blågult welcome Estonia to Solna who, despite having just one point to their name, will be involved in March’s play-offs, which is slightly farcical.

Lastly, in Group J, Portugal are aiming to end a qualification campaign with maximum points for the first time, after Roberto Martínez’s men made it nine wins out of nine in Vaduz on Thursday, prevailing 2-0.

This seems likely given that A Seleção welcome play-off bound Iceland to Estádio José Alvalade.

Slovakia meantime rubber stamped a top two finish of their own this week, with Francesco Calzona’s side concluding a successful campaign in Zenica.

Hosts Bosnia & Herzegovina have actually lost six of their nine qualifiers, following a 4-1 hammering at Stade de Luxembourg on Thursday, but Savo Milošević's side also have March’s play-offs to plan for.

Lastly, it’s been an historic campaign for Luxembourg, aiming to take their tally to 17 points against pointless Liechtenstein, with Luc Holtz believing they can get through their own play-off ties early next year.

footballBetfred logo
Tip of the day

Scotland, Serbia, Hungary & Luxembourg to win + Spain HT/FT + Belgium to win & over 3.5 goals + Slovakia to win or draw + Sweden vs Estonia- over 2.5 goals + Cristiano Ronaldo to score & win.

Back the above nine-fold Euro qualifying acca at 59/1!


At 59/1, a £10 bet would return £590.11!

Euro 2024 qualifying

November 19, 2023

2:00 pm GMT

CAF World Cup qualifying

Zimbabwe vs Nigeria, Sierra Leone vs Egypt, Mozambique vs Algeria, Sudan vs Dr Congo & Burundi vs Gabon

Matchday two in CAF World Cup qualifying gets going with five matches taking place on Sunday.

The main story for the opening round of fixture was Nigeria dropping points, requiring a late equaliser from Semi Ajayi to salvage a 1-1 draw against minnows Lesotho in Uyo.

Given that only the group winners qualify for the World Cup, while only four of the runners-up get a play-off spot to get into the inter-confederation play-offs, there’s little margin for error.

Luckily for the Super Eagles, Group C is quite weak, but José Peseiro’s team are still under pressure to get back to winning ways against Zimbabwe, who drew 0-0 with Rwanda in Butare on Wednesday.

One juggernaut who did make a winning start is Egypt, hammering Djibouti 6-0 in Cairo in Thursday.

Mohamed Salah scoring four in that one, while Mostafa Mohamed and Trézéguet also netted.

So now, the Pharaohs will be aiming to pull clear at the top of Group A, likely to beat Sierra Leone on the road, given that they drew 0-0 with Ethiopia on Wednesday.

Along similar lines, Algeria too are seeking to take their tally to six points, after swatting aside Somalia at Nelson Mandela Stadium 3-1; Baghdad Bounedjah and Islam Slimani on target.

Opponents Mozambique also won their opener, beating Botswana in a five-goal thriller, but Djamel Belmadi’s team should be too strong at Estádio do Zimpeto.

DR Congo are seeking to challenge Senegal for top spot in Group B so, after beating Mauritania on Wednesday, Yoane Wissa breaking the deadlock, will the Leopards beat Sudan?

Lastly, both Burundi and Gabon claimed high-scoring wins this week, so will they play out an entertaining clash?

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Tip of the day

1) Nigeria to win & over 2.5 goals. 2) Algeria to win to nil. 3) DR Congo to win. 4) Egypt to win to nil. 5) Burundi vs Gabon- both teams to score.

Back the above five-fold World Cup qualifying acca at 27/1!


At 27/1, a £10 bet would return £283.61!

CAF World Cup qualification

November 19, 2023

1:00 pm GMT

International friendlies

Cyprus vs Lithuania

Two European minnows go head-to-head in today’s friendly in Limassol, both in desperate need of a victory, ahead of crucial games to come in March.

Hosts Cyprus have endured a miserable Euro qualifying campaign this year, losing all eight matches and conceding 28 goals, finding themselves 3-0 down inside 28 minutes against Spain on Thursday.

Kostas Pileas’ goal back in the second half offering scant consolation.

Next up for Temur Ketsbaia’s team, they’ll take on Gibraltar in the UEFA Nations League relegation play-outs, needing to win to avoid dropping into the bottom-tier of that competition.

The other Nations League relegation play-out in March will feature Lithuania, who are preparing to take on Belarus over two legs early next year.

Unlike their hosts in this friendly, Edgaras Jankauskas’ side did manage to get some points on the board during Euro qualification.

Lithuania ended the campaign with a respectable six points, drawing three of their four home matches, while also claiming a famous 2-0 victory over Bulgaria last month; Pijus Širvys bagging a brace in Sofia.

Here, these two nations will go head-to-head for the first time since 2001, so can Cyprus make home advantage count at Alphamega Stadium?

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Tip of the day

Cyprus vs Lithuania

Cyprus to win 1-0 or 2-0- 7/2!


At 7/2, a £10 bet would return £45!

Cyprus vs Lithuania

November 19, 2023

4:00 pm GMT

Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".