Paddy’s football ambassador Phil Thompson has accepted our international call-up to take a look at this week’s big games with his mate PK from PPTV. There’s no mystery hamstring injuries or sudden back issues with our Mr Reliable.
However, fans of Scotland and Northern Ireland might be wishing he had rested this week as the self-proclaimed ‘Grim Reaper’ is expecting misery for the two nations battling to make it to Euro 2020. Northern Ireland host Slovakia, while Scotland are heading to Serbia knowing a win would cement their place a the tournament next summer. Here’s Thommo’s best bets for Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Well, I think this is a really tricky one, and Northern Ireland have got few possible injury problems like Jonny Evans. I know he’s in the squad, but is he fit? Is he going to be fit enough to play?
I think he is vital because of the experience that he has in the game from playing for Manchester United, he knows what big games are about. I think he’s vital. Corry Evans is out. He will miss the game, he’s a decent player for them in midfield.
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So they do have problems, Jordan Jones, because of the Coronavirus, is not available as well. So, all these things seem to be going against them.
But there’s just something special about these games and wow, what a game It could have been. Northern Ireland versus Ireland! I won’t go there, I wouldn’t talk too much about it!
Thursday 7.45pm: Northern Ireland v Slovakia
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But now it’s Slovakia, listen, I think it is a hard one to call Northern Ireland are just favourites at the moment.
But I am the Grim Reaper, I’m afraid. I’m the Grim Reaper for Northern Ireland!
THOMMO’S TIP: This is going to be so tight, but I do think Slovakia will have just a little bit too much for them. I think both teams will score, but Slovakia to Win 2-1.
Serbia are big favourites and I think that’s right when you look at the quality of players they have. Given the passion the Tartan Army have for their team it would be fantastic to see the Scots all travelling over to Serbia for this game, but that cannot happen.
I don’t think that will help them, but like with Northern Ireland’s problems, Scotland also have injury worries like Grant Hanley not being available. I think a bigger blow is Ryan Fraser.
Thursday 7.45pm: Serbia v Scotland
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His pace, because you would imagine Serbia will have more of the ball, his pace on the break would be absolutely vital.
For him not to be there, I think is going to be a massive blow for Scotland.
THOMMO’S TIP: I am going to be the Grim Reaper for Scotland as well as Northern Ireland! I am going for Serbia to Win. And for a double I think Serbia and Slovakia will both win.
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