|Raheem Sterling to score anytime vs Montenegro||7/4||Bethard|
|Under 3.5 goals in Rep. of Ireland vs Georgia||1/5||William Hill||Italy to win and under 4.5 goals||13/10||Coral|
Republic of Ireland vs Georgia Tips
Even those who bleakly insist that the result is the only thing that matters must have made an exception for the Republic of Ireland’s wholly unconvincing 1-0 triumph over Gibraltar last time out.
Manager Mick McCarthy admitted that there was nothing about his team’s performance that pleased him, with Ireland looking bereft of ideas and creativity all evening.
The conditions may have complicated matters and Gibraltar did defend with dogged resilience, but those who follow the Boys in Green will have been alarmed at the nature of their side’s display ahead of the stiffer challenges that lie ahead in the form of Denmark and Switzerland, two teams who reached the knockout phase of the last World Cup.
🏆 Current #Euro2020 outright odds 👇— Bookmakers.co.uk (@bookmakers) March 20, 2019
🇫🇷 France - 4/1
🇪🇸 Spain - 9/2
🏴 England - 7/1
🇩🇪 Germany - 8/1
🇧🇪 Belgium - 8/1
🇵🇹 Portugal - 10/1
🇳🇱 Netherlands - 12/1
👂 Right now, who's your pick?
Nevertheless, the fixture computer has been kind to McCarthy’s men – the luck of the Irish, perhaps – in the early stages of qualifying, with Georgia eminently beatable on Tuesday night.
This is a nation who have never participated in a major tournament and are currently ranked 90th in the world (below Oman, Luxembourg and Curacao, no less), while they lost their Euro 2020 opener against the Swiss by two goals to nil.
This Ireland team is not blessed with too much in the way of attacking sparkle, though, so while they should have enough to make it six points out of six, attendees of the Aviva Stadium will probably not to be treated to a goal-fest.
Italy vs Liechtenstein Tips
Having participated in every edition of the tournament since 1958, failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup represented the nadir for the Italy national team. Giampiero Ventura was duly sacked as head coach following the play-off defeat by Sweden, with Roberto Mancini now the man at the controls.
The former Inter and Manchester City boss has had a mixed career in club management but the early signs with the Azzurri are positive, with a 2-0 victory over Finland at the weekend meaning they have not so much as conceded a goal in their last four outings.
The best Italian teams down the years have been built on a sturdy backline, and centre-back stalwarts Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have proven that they still have plenty to offer the four-time world champions.
It is in other areas of the pitch that the most excitement has been generated, though: Jorginho, Marco Verratti and Nicolo Barella complement one another well in the centre of the park, while Federico Bernadeschi is enjoying a fine season at Juventus and Moise Kean is a forward of huge potential.
Despite that, goals have been at a premium so far in the Mancini era, with Italy having found the net just eight times in their last nine matches. Liechtenstein are manifestly a poor side, but it is worth backing them to avoid a demolition at the Stadio Ennio Tardini on Tuesday.
Montenegro vs England Tips
It has been a superb year for the England national team. Reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup was an achievement beyond the expectations of all but the most optimistic of supporters, while Gareth Southgate and co. proved that their progress to the last four in Russia was not a one-off by subsequently qualifying for the Nations League Finals at the expense of Spain and Croatia.
In comparison to those accomplishments, beating a mediocre Czech Republic side at home does not seem worthy of too much celebration, but it was hard not to be excited by the vibrant nature of England’s performance in their 5-0 victory on Friday night.
Now that the European Championship features 24 participants, it is difficult to see any of the continent’s foremost nations missing out (even if the Netherlands did somehow fail to make it to the last edition in France).
For sides like England, then, the qualification process becomes a lengthy pre-amble to the tournament proper, but it also represents an opportunity for Southgate to further cement the on-field identity and cohesion which, perhaps as much as the eventual outcome, earned the Three Lions plenty of admirers last summer.
Another comfortable win is therefore to be expected against Montenegro on Monday, when last week’s hat-trick hero Raheem Sterling will be looking to add to his 2018/19 goal tally of 24 for club and country. With the Manchester City man in red-hot form, it would take a brave man to bet against him finding the net once more.