Euro 2020 qualifiers: Germany prove too much for Northern Ireland, Belgium thump sorry Scotland

9 Sep

Here is a round-up of Monday night’s Euro 2020 qualifying games…

Northern Ireland 2-0 Germany

Northern Ireland suffered their first defeat of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign as Marcel Halstenberg’s thunderbolt sent Germany on their way to a 2-0 win in Belfast.

The first of four crunch fixtures against the powerhouses of Group C – Northern Ireland face Holland in Rotterdam next – ended in defeat after Serge Gnabry rolled in a second in stoppage time, but the 18,000 fans packed into Windsor Park will hardly have been discouraged given their side’s display.

Michael O’Neill’s men played with heart and desire as they were roared on by a boisterous crowd, but ultimately Germany’s superior quality saw them take control.

Estonia 0-4 Netherlands

In Group C’s other match, two goals from Ryan Babel as well as one each from Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum saw off Estonia.

Germany just proved too strong for Northern Ireland
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The Group C table

Scotland 0-4 Belgium

Scotland suffered more Hampden agony as a 4-0 defeat by Belgium made it four losses from six European Championship qualifiers.

Kevin De Bruyne set up first-half goals for Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld as Scotland were punished for poor defending.

Steve Clarke’s men were more competitive after the break but De Bruyne rounded off the scoring in the 82nd minute to make it 11 Belgian goals without reply against Scotland in 12 months.

The defeat left Scotland in fifth place in Group I, nine points off second-placed Russia with four games remaining, the next one a trip to Moscow.

Russia 1-0 Kazakhstan

Figueira Fernandes hit an 89th minute winner to grab all three points for Russia.

San Marino 0-4 Cyprus

In Group I’s other match, Cyprus comfortably beat the continent’s whipping boys thanks go goals from Kousoulos, Papoulis and Artymatas.

Kevin De Bruyne ran the game
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The Group I table

Azerbaijan 1-1 Croatia

Luka Modric gave Croatia an 11th minute lead from the penalty spot, however the World Cup finalists were stunned by a 72nd minute Tamlin Khalilzade equaliser

Hungary 1-2 Slovakia

In Group E’s other match, Mak gave Slovakia the lead before Szoboszlai hit back for Hungary. However, Bozenik grabbed a winner for the away side six minutes later.

The Group E table

Latvia 0-2 North Macedonia

Pandev and Bardhi put the visitors 2-0 up within 17 minutes and the hosts never recovered.

Slovenia 3-2 Israel

In a topsy-turvy game, Verbic put Slovenia ahead before Natcho and Zahavi turned thinks in Israel’s favour. However, Bezjak equalised and Verbic scored a 90th minute winner.

Poland 0-0 Austria

Group G’s other match was a stalemate.

The Group G table

Gareth Southgate EXCLUSIVE: England manager responds to Kosovo boss’ bizarre press conference rant, expects ‘proper game’

9 Sep

Gareth Southgate is relishing England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo on Tuesday night after hearing his opposition manager’s pre-match comments.

At his pre-match press conference, Bernard Challandes descended into a screaming rant in which he declared his team will give the Three Lions a ‘crazy game’ with aggressive ‘crazy pressing’.

Challandes’ comments were music to Southgate’s ears
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When asked about the comments, Southgate told talkSPORT’s Nigel Adderley: “Yeah, it’d make it a proper game rather than a sort of exercise of forwards against defence.

“So I understand why teams come and do that, because of the attacking threat that we have.

“But I wasn’t expecting Kosovo to approach the game the way that Bulgaria did.

“I’m not surprised the comments of the coach because that’s the way they’ve played their football.

“Very much front foot, they press high and they’ve got some good players.”

England beat a stubborn Bulgaria 4-0 on Saturday
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Kosovo have raised eyebrows in the early stages of this qualifying campaign as they currently sit second behind England in Group A.

However, Southgate insisted he’s not surprised by their success and added: “That region has always produced outstanding footballers.

“They have the passion that often comes with a relatively newly formed country and the pride that brings through the struggles that they’ve had.

“But, as a team, they’ve got some very good players and we’re certainly well prepared for the game.”

Albania players left bemused as France officials play WRONG national anthem before Euro 2020 qualifier

8 Sep

The France Football Federation accidentally played the Andorran national anthem before their match with Albania.

The Albanian team lined-up to sing their national anthem at the Stade de France in their Euro 2020 qualifier but were left angry and confused as the wrong music was played out.

Albania officials talk with the referee after the wrong anthem was played
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Most of the players looked like they did not know what to do as they stood awkwardly on the pitch while their coaching staff reportedly were demanding the correct anthem be played before kick-off.

The start of the match was delayed by seven minutes as the FFF eventually rectified the situation but not before another blunder.

It is believed their stadium announcer apologised to Armenia and not their actual opponents Albania.

The World Cup winners went on to win the match 4-1 to preserve their status as Group H leaders.

Kinglsey Coman scored twice, in the sixth and 68th minute, while there were also goals for Olivier Giroud and Nanitamo Ikone.

France manager Didier Deschamps offered a public apology to the Albania team following the mix-up.

He told a press conference after the match: “I apologised to the bench and the coach. It’s something that should not happen, but it happened.

“I understand the position of the Albanians and it is logical that we waited until the Albanians could have their anthem before that match.”

England vs Bulgaria: Predicted line-up as Three Lions seek to continue perfect start to Euro 2020 qualifying campaign

7 Sep

England continue their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign when they welcome Bulgaria to Wembley on Saturday.

The Three Lions have made a superb start to their qualifying campaign, with two big victories so far helping them to the top of Group A.

Southgate will expect nothing but a win against Bulgaria
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Now they will be looking to continue their flying start against the Eastern Europeans.

Despite still being on the hunt for an international trophy, the general consensus is that Gareth Southgate’s side are on the right track but there is no question the aim for Euro 2020 is to win the tournament.

England sent a statement from the off at the start of qualifiers with a  5-0 drubbing of Czech Republic before thumping Montenegro in a 5-1 triumph.

They now host a Bulgaria side who are ranked 60th in the world and have failed to win in four group games so far, having been stunned by Kosovo in June – a country who only won their first official game last November.

Southgate called up four uncapped players to his senior squad for the clash, but has already seen Aaron Wan-Bissaka pull out due to a back injury.

And the England boss has already disclosed that Man City star Kyle Walker will not be called up despite facing backlash over the full-back’s omission.

So how could they line-up? Find out below…

Is this how England could line-up against Bulgaria?

England vs Bulgaria is live on talkSPORT on Saturday, with the Euro 2020 qualifier kicking off at 5pm

England vs Bulgaria LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and confirmed team news for Euro 2020 qualifier

6 Sep

England will be hoping to make it three wins from three in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign when they host Bulgaria this weekend.

The Three Lions, who finished third in the UEFA Nations League in June, have already smashed the Czech Republic and Montenegro in Group A.

England vs Bulgaria will be live on talkSPORT
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Now they are set to welcome Bulgaria to Wembley, a team that lost to minnows Kosovo last time out.

Gareth Southgate’s side take on Kosovo on Tuesday and will know two victories this week will see them put one foot in next summer’s showpiece tournament.

talkSPORT will have full coverage of both ties, starting at Wembley this weekend.

England vs Bulgaria: How to listen

The Group A tie will get under way at 5pm on Saturday, September 7.

Mark Saggers will host our International GameDay Live on Saturday with Jim Proudfoot, Stuart Pearce and Trevor Sinclair providing the match commentary. Our coverage will get under way at 3pm.

Before that, Luke Moore and Jason Cundy will be live at Boxpark Wembley for a special GameDay Warm-Up from 1pm.

To tune into it all, just click here for the live stream or click the radio player below.

You can also listen through the talkSPORT App, on DAB Digital Radio or on MW 1053 or 1089.

For more information about how to listen LIVE on talkSPORT click here.

Harry Kane and England take on Bulgaria this Saturday
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England vs Bulgaria: What has been said?

Tyrone Mings has revealed he had to set himself new goals when it became clear his future did not lie in non-League football and mortgage advising.

The 26-year-old Aston Villa defender has been called up by Southgate for the current international break after a very different start to his career.

Euro 2020 explained: How it works, stadiums and dates as tournament celebrates 60th anniversary

“I had other goals at the time when I was a mortgage advisor and playing non-league football,” Mings said.

“Playing for England seemed like a different world. I can’t say when I was sat at my desk cold calling that playing for England was a real achievable goal.

“But I’ve worked with some great coaches and played for some great clubs and everything has come together to get me to this point.”

England vs Bulgaria: Team news

England: Pickford, Trippier, Keane, Maguire, Rose, Henderson, Rice, Barkley, Sterling, Kane, Rashford.

Subs: Heaton, Pope, Gomez, Mount, Wilson, Mings, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chilwell, Maddison, Winks, Sancho, Alexander-Arnold.

Bulgaria: Iliev, Strahil Popov, Bodurov, Bozhikov, Nedyalkov, Sarmov, Galin Ivanov, Ivelin Popov, Malinov, Wanderson, Marcelinho.

Subs: Slavchev, Pashov, Goranov, Daniel Mladenov, Terziev, Lukov, Kristian Dimitrov, Nikolay Dimitrov, Hristo Ivanov, Milanov, Despodov, Kraev.

Arsenal man Dani Ceballos produces superb pass in build-up to Paco Alcacer goal for Spain vs Romania

6 Sep

Dani Ceballos’ early-season form showed no sign of stopping judging by his performance for Spain on Thursday.

The midfielder has impressed Arsenal fans in his first four appearances for the club since signing on loan from Real Madrid.

Dani Ceballos was a thorn in Romania’s side on Thursday
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And his displays were rewarded with a start in his country’s 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Romania – and he did not disappoint.

Ceballos played a vital role, in what turned out to be the winning goal, in the build-up to Paco Alcacer’s strike at the Arena Nationala.

His defence-splitting pass found Jordi Alba, who squared the ball to the Borussia Dortmund striker for a simple tap-in to double Spain’s lead.

Sergio Ramos had put Spain ahead from the penalty spot, before Alcacer struck just after half-time.

Florin Andone pulled one back for Romania, who piled on the pressure following a red card to Diego Llorente with 11 minutes to go.

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Germany vs Netherlands (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • MK Dons vs AFC Wimbledon (Saturday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Coventry City vs Blackpool (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • England vs Bulgaria (Saturday, 5pm) – talkSPORT

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who started ahead of David de Gea, preserved Spain’s 100 per cent start to their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign after denying Reading forward George Puscas from close-range late on.

Spain have won all five of their qualifying matches and lead second-placed Sweden by five points in Group F.

Ceballos’ classy international display could explain why most Arsenal fans want the club to sign him on a permanent deal next summer.

However, recent reports have claimed the 23-year-old is unlikely to return to north London once his loan deal expires at the end of the season.

Wales vs Azerbaijan live stream: TV channel, kick-off time and squads for Euro 2020 qualifying clash

5 Sep

Wales face a must win game against Azerbaijan as they try to keep their hopes of reaching Euro 2020 alive.

Ryan Giggs’ men were drawn in a tricky Group E in qualifying and have lost two of their first three games to sit fourth.

Wales squad: Ryan Giggs picks eight uncapped stars for Mexico friendly as Gareth Bale misses out
Wales manager Ryan Giggs will need a win over Azerbaijan
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They lost 1-0 in Hungary in June and now know nothing but a victory against pointless Azerbaijan will do.

With Slovakia and Croatia making up the group, the Welsh face a tough task to reach next summer’s tournament but a moral boosting win at Cardiff this week would do them a world of good.

They face Slovakia and Croatia in mid-October on a vital weekend for their Euro 2020 hopes.

Wales vs Azerbaijan: Date and kick off time

The Euro 2020 qualifier is set for Friday, September 6 and will kick off at 7:45pm.

The game is being played at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The two sides last faced each other competitively in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup with Wales winning 1-0 at home and away in their Group 4 ties.

Euro 2020 explained: How it works, stadiums and dates as tournament celebrates 60th anniversary

Wales vs Azerbaijan: TV channel and live stream

You can watch the game live on Sky Sports Premier League with coverage starting at 7:30pm.

Sky Sports customers can stream the game via the Sky Go app on their computer, mobile or tablet.

If not, you can purchase a Sky Sports game pass from Now TV for £8.99.

Real Madrid and Wales superstar Gareth Bale
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Wales vs Azerbaijan: Team news

Wales squad

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Adam Davies.

Defenders: Chris Gunter, Ben Davies, Neil Taylor, Connor Roberts, Ethen Ampadu, Chris Mepham, Tom Lockyer, James Lawrence, Joe Rodon.

Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Jonny Williams, Harry Wilson, Matt Smith, Daniel James, Will Vaulks, Joe Morrell.

Attackers: Gareth Bale, Tom Lawrence, Sam Vokes, Ben Woodburn, Ryan Hedges, Kieffer Moore.

Wales vs Azerbaijan live stream: TV channel, kick-off time and squads for Euro 2020 qualifying clash

5 Sep

Wales face a must win game against Azerbaijan as they try to keep their hopes of reaching Euro 2020 alive.

Ryan Giggs’ men were drawn in a tricky Group E in qualifying and have lost two of their first three games to sit fourth.

Wales squad: Ryan Giggs picks eight uncapped stars for Mexico friendly as Gareth Bale misses out
Wales manager Ryan Giggs will need a win over Azerbaijan
getty

They lost 1-0 in Hungary in June and now know nothing but a victory against pointless Azerbaijan will do.

With Slovakia and Croatia making up the group, the Welsh face a tough task to reach next summer’s tournament but a moral boosting win at Cardiff this week would do them a world of good.

They face Slovakia and Croatia in mid-October on a vital weekend for their Euro 2020 hopes.

Wales vs Azerbaijan: Date and kick off time

The Euro 2020 qualifier is set for Friday, September 6 and will kick off at 7:45pm.

The game is being played at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The two sides last faced each other competitively in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup with Wales winning 1-0 at home and away in their Group 4 ties.

Euro 2020 explained: How it works, stadiums and dates as tournament celebrates 60th anniversary

Wales vs Azerbaijan: TV channel and live stream

You can watch the game live on Sky Sports Premier League with coverage starting at 7:30pm.

Sky Sports customers can stream the game via the Sky Go app on their computer, mobile or tablet.

If not, you can purchase a Sky Sports game pass from Now TV for £8.99.

Real Madrid and Wales superstar Gareth Bale
getty

Wales vs Azerbaijan: Team news

Wales squad

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Adam Davies.

Defenders: Chris Gunter, Ben Davies, Neil Taylor, Connor Roberts, Ethen Ampadu, Chris Mepham, Tom Lockyer, James Lawrence, Joe Rodon.

Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey, Joe Allen, Jonny Williams, Harry Wilson, Matt Smith, Daniel James, Will Vaulks, Joe Morrell.

Attackers: Gareth Bale, Tom Lawrence, Sam Vokes, Ben Woodburn, Ryan Hedges, Kieffer Moore.

Germany vs Holland LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and confirmed team news for Euro 2020 qualifying clash

5 Sep

European heavyweights Germany and Holland are set to go head-to-head in Hamburg tonight and it will be live on talkSPORT 2.

The two former European Championship winners have been drawn together in Group C as they look to qualify for Euro 2020 next summer.

Tony Kroos’ Germany take on Holland in a Euro 2020 qualifying clash
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Northern Ireland currently lead the group with four wins from four but Germany are unbeaten in their three games while the Dutch have only played twice so far.

They will meet at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg.


Euro 2020 explained: How it works, stadiums and dates as tournament celebrates 60th anniversary


Three-time champions Germany last won the Euros in 1996 when they beat the Czech Republic at Wembley while Holland won it in 1988.

Both will be looking for glory next summer but will first have to negotiate their tricky qualifying group.

Germany will be without a host of key players as they bid to knock Northern Ireland off top spot on goal difference.

Leroy Sane, Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer and Antonio Rudiger have all been ruled out through injury and Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka will remain sidelined after aggravating a heavy bruise while training with Joachim Low’s squad this week.

Bayern winger Serge Gnabry will start and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz is also expected to feature in Low’s starting line-up.

Holland, who failed to qualify for both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup finals, are third in Group C, six points behind Northern Ireland and Germany, but with games in hand.

The Dutch beat England 3-1 in the Nations League semi-finals in June before losing to Portugal in the final, but a second Euro qualifying defeat would leave them with plenty of ground to make up.

Ronald Koeman is without Donny van de Beek, Steven Bergwijn and Stefan De Vrij due to injury,

Germany vs Holland: How to listen

The Group C tie will get under way at 7:45pm on Friday, September 6.

Full commentary from Alex Crook and David Connolly will be live on talkSPORT 2 with our coverage starting at 6pm.

To tune in, just click here for the live stream or click the radio player below.

You can also listen through the talkSPORT App, on DAB Digital Radio or on MW 1053 or 1089.

For more information about how to listen LIVE on talkSPORT click here.

Below you can see the starting line-ups for both sides.

Virgil van Dijk’s Holland are set to take on Germany
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Germany: Neuer, Klostermann, Sule, Tah, Ginter, Kroos, Kimmich, Schulz, Gnabry, Reus, Werner

Substitutes: Hector, Havertz, Brandt, Leno, Halstenberg, Stark, Waldschmidt, Gundogan, ter Stegen, Can

Holland: Cillessen, Dumfries, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Blind, F. de Jong, Wijnaldum, De Roon, Promes, Babel, Depay

Substitutes: Veltman, Ake, Propper, Malen, van Aanholt, Zoet, Berghuis, Strootman, Vilhena, L. de Jong, Kluivert, Vermeer

Scotland vs Russia live stream: TV channel, kick-off time and squads for Euro 2020 qualifying clash

5 Sep

Scotland host Russia at Hampden Park this week as Steve Clarke’s men look to bounce back in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

The Scots, who have won two and lost two of their four Group I games so far, lost 3-0 to Belgium in June.

Steve Clarke’s Scotland host Russia in a Euro 2020 qualifying clash
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Russia are the top scorers in qualifying so far after a 9-0 rout of San Marino over the summer and sit second in the group with nine points.

A win for Scotland would move them level with the Russians as they bid to qualify for next summer’s European Championships.

Scotland have not reached a major tournament since 1998 and will be desperate to end that baron run  but they’ll need a positive result against Russia if they are to make it out of their tricky group.

Scotland vs Russia: Date and kick off time

The Euro 2020 qualifier is set for Friday, September 6 and will kick off at 7:45pm.

The game is being played at Hampden Park.

The two sides last faced each other competitively in qualifying for Euro 1996. They drew both Group 8 ties as both reached the tournament held in England.

Scotland vs Russia: TV channel and live stream

You can watch the game live on Sky Sports Football with coverage starting at 7:30pm.

Sky Sports customers can stream the game via the Sky Go app on their computer, mobile or tablet.

If not, you can purchase a Sky Sports game pass from Now TV for £8.99

Andy Robertson will be key for Scotland
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Scotland vs Russia: Team news

Scotland

Goalkeepers: Craig MacGillivray, David Marshall , Jon McLaughlin.

Defenders: David Bates, Liam Cooper, Mikey Devlin, Charlie Mulgrew, Stephen O’Donnell, Andrew Robertson, Greg Taylor.

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Christie, Ryan Jack, John McGinn, Callum McGregor, Kenny McLean, Robert Snodgrass, Scott McTominay.

Forwards: James Forrest, Ryan Fraser, Oliver McBurnie, Steven Naismith, Matt Phillips, Johnny Russell.

Euro 2020 explained: How it works, stadiums and dates as tournament celebrates 60th anniversary

Russia

Goalkeepers: Guilherme Marinato, Andrey Lunyov, Soslan Dzhanayev.

Defenders: Yuri Zhirkov, Fyodor Kudryashov, Mario Fernandes, Georgi Dzhikiya, Roman Neustadter, Andrei Semyonov, Sergei Petrov, Maksim Belyayev, Vyacheslav Karavayev.

Midfielders: Aleksandr Golovkin, Aleksei Miranchuk, Aleksandr Yerokhin, Roman Zobnin, Deris Cheryshev, Aleksei Ionov, Magomed Ozdoyev, Anton Miranchuk, Ilzat Akhmetov, Dmitri Barinov, Zelimkhan Bakayev.

Forwards: Fyodor Smolov, Artem Dzyuba, Nikolay Komlichenko.