International football returns to our screens this week as some of the best European teams go head-to-head in the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League.
All the home nations are due to play twice this international week, before players then return to their clubs for the start of their domestic seasons.
Although tiredness could be an issue, there are some cracking games in prospect with some of the world’s best players set to face off against each other.
Germany Out to End Spain’s Unbeaten Run
Two of the biggest international teams clash on Thursday night as Germany entertain Spain at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena in Stuttgart.
Joachim Low’s side are unbeaten in their last five games, and they look back to their best after a poor World Cup display in 2018. However, they will be put through their paces when they take on Spain, who have not lost since 2018.
Spain’s last defeat was at the hands of Croatia in the inaugural Nations League, and they look to have learned their lessons, now under the guidance of Luis Enrique, while it is not often that they are not the favourites, priced at
9/5 to win.
Russia also face Serbia on Thursday, while Ukraine will welcome Switzerland in what promises to be a close encounter.
Can the Netherlands Push on Without Koeman?
Former Everton coach Ronald Koeman had worked wonders to fix the Netherlands’ issues, but he has recently left his post to take on the Barcelona job.
The chance to join the Spanish giants was too hard to turn down, and that could have left the Dutch side in a precarious position.
Ideally, they would get an easier first game in the Nations League but are set to tackle Poland at the Johan Cruijff Arena on Friday.
Poland will, however, be without talisman Robert Lewandowski and a home win for the Netherlands and both teams to score is worth considering at
Croatia Braced for Tough Double Header
2018 World Cup finalists Croatia have been handed a very tough first few matches. On Saturday, they tackle defending champions Portugal in Porto, with the hosts having been in good form.
Portugal have only lost one of their last 16 games and, while Zlatko Dalic’s side are unbeaten in six matches, they have struggled on the road, losing four of their last eight outside Croatia.
Portugal look to be worthy favourites at
10/13, while France can prove too much for the Croatians on Tuesday, September 8.
In a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final, Croatia will be out for revenge, but France’s squad looks far superior at this moment in time.
With Kylian Mbappe hoping to start through the middle, Croatia’s tired defence could be in for a tough night’s work.
*All odds correct at time of writing