There’s plenty of international football to look forward to on Monday, so here’s a selection of games not to be missed from Euro 2024 qualifying, CAF World Cup qualifying and Copa América play-offs.
Euro 2024 qualifying
North Macedonia vs England, Ukraine vs Italy, Slovenia vs Kazakhstan, Czechia vs Moldova, Northern Ireland vs Denmark & more
There are three matches taking place tonight which see teams go head-to-head, fighting for European Championships qualification.
The most high-profile of the trio comes from Leverkusen, with Italy and Ukraine meeting in Germany as both seek to book their place in Germany for next summer.
Both kick off on 13 points, but Gli Azzurri have the upper-hand by virtue of head-to-head, having prevailing 2-1 when the pair met at San Siro in September.
Thus, Luciano Spalletti’s team will qualify with just a point at BayArena, while Ukraine must win, as Serhiy Rebrov’s side seek to condemn the Euro holders to a play-off place.
Elsewhere in Group C, in a much less high-pressure fixture, England are likely to beat already eliminated North Macedonia in Skojpe, given that the Three Lions won the reverse fixture 7-0 at Old Trafford.
Gareth Southgate’s team must win at Toše Proeski Arena to make sure they’re a pot 1 team in the final tournament draw, taking place on 2 December.
Another huge game comes from Ljubljana where, either, Slovenia will qualify for a first tournament since 2010 or Kazakhstan, against all odds, will reach a major tournament for the first time ever.
The home side need just a point, having won 2-1 in Astana when the pair met all the way back on matchday one, and how crucial could that victory prove to be?
However, Matjaž Kek’s team are undoubtably under more pressure given that, should the Dragons mess this one up at Stadion Stožice, they will not get a reprieve via the play-offs.
Kazakhstan do have the safety net of a play-off spot already assured but, having won six of their nine outings in this group, one more victory would see Magomed Adiyev’s side snatch automatic qualification.
Elsewhere, Denmark wrapped up top spot by beating Slovenia at Parken on Friday night, with Kasper Hjulmand’s team likely to leave Belfast with three more points.
Northern Ireland have now lost seven of their nine qualifiers, all their points coming in wins over San Marino, so Michael O’Neill’s team are desperate to salvage something from a miserable year, as unlikely as this is.
Lastly, play-off bound Finland, who smashed the Green and White Army 4-0 last time out, will be targeting another emphatic win as they travel to Stadio Olimpico di Serravalle.
If you think Kazakhstan being 90 minutes away from Euro qualification is surprising, well Moldova are in the same scenario, and no one would’ve predicted that.
Serghei Cleșcenco’s side are currently 157th in the FIFA World Rankings, thereby below Turkmenistan, Eswatini, St. Kitts & Nevis, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and countless other minnows.
However, the Tricolours have sprung numerous surprises in this campaign, most-notably coming from 2-0 down to beat Poland 3-2 in Chișinău back in June.
Now, a victory for Moldova at Andrův stadion would see them become the first-ever pot 5 (or below) team to successfully get through a European qualifiers campaign.
However, this certainly won’t be easy, given that hosts Czechia need a result of their own in Olomouc to qualify, with just a point sufficing for Jaroslav Šilhavý's side, a result they’re highly-likely to achieve.
Elsewhere, no such concerns for Albania, who rubber stamped their ticket to Germany on Friday, so Sylvinho’s side will be able to celebrate with their fans against bottom of the group Faroe Islands at Arena Kombëtare.
1) England to win to nil. 2) Italy to win or draw. 3) Denmark to win to nil. 4) Slovenia to win. 5) Albania to win to nil. 6) Czechia to win. 7) Finland to win & over 2.5 goals.
Back the above seven-fold Euro qualifying acca at 19/1!
At 19/1, a £10 bet would return £204.64!
Euro 2024 qualifying
November 20, 2023
7:45 pm GMT
CAF World Cup qualifying
Gambia vs Côte d’Ivoire, Mali vs Central African Republic, Liberia vs Equatorial Guinea, Djibouti vs Guinea-Bissau, Chad vs Madagascar & Seychelles vs Kenya
Six World Cup qualifiers are taking place in Africa today, as matchday two continues.
Côte d’Ivoire could hardly have made a better start to this campaign, hammering minnows Seychelles 9-0 at Stade Olympique d’Ebimpé on Friday.
Sébastien Haller, Ibrahim Sangaré, Simon Adingra, Karim Konaté, Seko Fofana, Hamed Traorè and Jean-Philippe Krasso all scoring.
Les Éléphants are, by some distance, the strongest team in Group F, so are likely to beat the Gambia in this one, especially after the Scorpions began their own campaign with a 3-2 defeat to Burundi on Thursday.
Over in Group I, Mali are a number of African teams dreaming of making their World Cup debuts in 2026, hoping to challenge established powerhouse Ghana for top spot.
Les Aigles overcame Chad 3-1 in their group opener in Bàmakɔ̌, while their opponents here, Central African Republic, were beaten 4-2 by Comoros, suggesting another home win will be on the cards.
Also in this group, Madagascar and Chad, both of whom are yet to get off the mark, go head-to-head.
Elsewhere, there’s also likely to be comfortable wins for Equatorial Guinea, who take on Liberia in Paynesville, and Guinea-Bissau, given that Baciro Candé's team take on strugglers Djibouti.
Kenya are likely to claim their first competitive victory for two years when they take on Seychelles.
1) Côte d’Ivoire to win. 2) Guinea-Bissau to win to nil. 3) Equatorial Guinea to win. 4) Mali to win & over 2.5 goals. 5) Madagascar to win. 6) Kenya to win.
Back the above six-fold World Cup qualifying acca at 22/1!
At 22/1, a £10 bet would return £226.88!
CAF World Cup qualification
November 20, 2023
1:00 pm GMT
CONCACAF Nations League/ Copa América play-offs
Trinidad & Tobago vs United States & Panama vs Costa Rica
Over in the CONCACAF region, two teams will book their places at next summer’s Copa América, while also ensuring they’ll feature in March’s CONCACAF Nations League Finals as well.
In Thursday first leg, United States were expected to swat Trinidad & Tobago aside in Austin, especially when the away side saw Noah Powder sent off on the cusp of half time.
Nevertheless, it took until the 82nd minute for Ricardo Pepi, with a brilliant improvised finish by the way, to break the deadlock.
Soon after, the floodgates opened; both Antonee Robinson with a curler and Gio Reyna with a cool finish were on target as the U.S. established a 3-0 advantage at Q2 Stadium.
Thus, Gregg Berhalter’s team should very much finish the job in Port-of-Spain, while the Soca Warriors will be looking towards the Copa América play-in games, unless they can pull off a remarkable remontada.
Significantly more surprisingly, Thursday’s other first leg also ended 3-0, with Panama silencing Estadio La Cueva del Monstruo by hammering fierce rivals Costa on the road.
Michael Amir Murillo opened the scoring with a majestic free-kick early, before both José Fajardo and Cecilio Waterman were on target in an historic victory in San José.
Costa Rica are aiming to qualify for their sixth Copa, while Panama’s sole appearance came at the Centenario edition, with los Canaleros very much set to add to that nest summer.
Thus, expect a party atmosphere at Estadio Olímpico Rommel Fernández Gutiérrez.