UK (Photo credit: Reuters)
England will face Ireland in an international friendly as eight teams face off to decide the last four places in the European Championship.
Check out what’s going on around European football on Thursday:
Four playoff games will determine who completes the 24-nation line-up for next year’s epidemic-delayed European Championship. All must be settled on Thursday, overtime or in a penalty shootout if necessary. At least one winner will top the rankings outside the top 50 national teams in the world.
Georgia hosts Northern Macedonia in the playoff final for the fourth tier.
Hungary hosts Iceland in a match of teams that met at Euro 2016.
Northern Ireland keeps Slovakia fans in the only playoffs allowed by local health rules – only about 1,000 – on the field.
Serbia hosts Scotland.
The shares may be higher for Hungary and Scotland. They are in 12 host countries at the Pan-Continental Euro 2020. If they progress, their prize is two home games in the group stage next June.
England VS Ireland
England manager Gareth Southgate’s priority is the upcoming Nations League matches against Belgium and Iceland. So Reese James, who has been suspended for those matches, is set to start right in the friendship against Ireland. Nick Pope could be more of a target than Jordan Pickford. Former Irish youth internationals Michael Keane and Jack Graylish could also be involved at Wembley Stadium, as well as Teclon Rice could be against the country he has represented three times at senior level. It was the biggest moment for 17 – year – old Portuguese Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham to become England’s third youngest player.
WALES VS United States
The Americans have been back in action for the first time since February due to the epidemic. Players mainly based in Europe have traveled to Wales due to the upcoming Major League Soccer playoffs. Portugal attack Dortmund midfielder Giovanni Raina, the 17-year-old son of former Manchester City player Claudio Raina, could make his international debut. Ryan Giggs will not lead Wales to this friendship after his arrest, although he will be consulted by caretaker coach Robert Page. Giggs has been missing from the trenches for the upcoming Nations League match after being arrested by police in connection with an incident that allegedly took place with his girlfriend earlier this month. The 46-year-old former Manchester United star has been released on police bail and refuses to make a mistake. Gareth Bale is back in contention for Wales after Tottenham missed last month’s game with a forward injury.