With the Premier League put on hold for a weekend, the International Break returns for the final time this year.
Grosvenor Sport ambassadors Jamie O’Hara and Jose Enrique give their insight on two of the home nation’s key fixtures in England versus Malta and Scotland against Norway
Watch the full episode of The Counter Attack with Jamie O’Hara and Jose Enrique here.
England v Malta
I think everyone knows that this is going to be a fairly easy game for England and that they are going to dominate Malta. What this game does do is give us a chance to look at a few individuals within the squad whether that be the ever-present ones or those who have only recently been called up.
One of the newer additions is Cole Palmer – what a player he is becoming! It took a lot of courage for him to leave Manchester City, his boyhood club where he has always played, but he didn’t want to be on the sidelines so he has gone to Chelsea to play every week and he has been a brilliant player for them. He deserves his England call-up.
Another player who is always a huge talking point with England is Harry Maguire. In the last international break everyone was questioning his selection, but now no one can question it because he is back in the Manchester United team and he is playing really well.
This one is going to be an easy game for England and when you look at the squad there really aren’t many weaknesses. Heading into the Euros next year, France look like the only team that England will have to worry about.
If I was Harry Kane I would be wanting to play in this game and fill my boots when it comes to goals because England are going to dominate this game and win it with ease.
Score prediction: England 5 – 0 Malta 5/1
Anytime goalscorer: Harry Kane 2/7
Cole Palmer has been brilliant recently and is becoming one of Chelsea’s key players, so his call-up doesn’t shock me. I’m not too surprised by it because you could see the talent that he possessed when he did play for Manchester City. I love his personality because he is so confident at such a young age.
Fair play to Harry Maguire, because everyone was criticising him and writing off his future at Manchester United, but now he has put himself in a position where no one can question his selection. When you play for a team like Manchester United, it is very tough if you are not playing well, so for him to pick himself back up after the criticism that he was getting from so many fanbases says a lot.
I think England, alongside France, will be the favourites for the Euros next year. England just keep improving and new players like Cole Palmer keep popping up. They also probably have the best player in the world right now in Harry Kane, not to mention Jude Bellingham who has probably been the second best in Europe this season.
England know they are going to beat Malta so it might be a chance for us to have a look at players who are newer to the squad, but the more experienced player will still want to play. Either way, they are going to win this game easily.
Score prediction: England 6 – 0 Malta 7/1
Anytime goalscorer: Cole Palmer 17/20
Scotland v Norway
Scotland have had a really successful qualifying campaign and I think with the likes of Scott McTominay and John McGinn in the side, they can beat anybody. They will not be favourites for the tournament or anything close to that, but they do have a good side.
They are not a team that other nations will be looking forward to playing against where in the past that may have been the case. When teams come up against them they know they are in for a tough game.
Norway have the likes of Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard who are top players and I think having those two makes them a big danger. With the quality of Haaland and Odegaard in the side, I actually think they can beat Scotland, because if they are on their best form then they are unstoppable.
Score prediction: Scotland 1 – 2 Norway
Anytime goalscorer: Erling Haaland
Scotland have lost their last three matches against England, Spain and France, but their Euro qualifying campaign has been unbelievable. They have already qualified and look like a half decent side heading into the tournament.
Scotland have some top players. Scott McTominay was written off at Manchester United but he has come back and been an important player, whilst John McGinn has been sensational for Aston Villa this season – he has been one of the best players in the Premier League. They have a very good side.
Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard are just so dangerous and I think it will be impossible for Scotland to stop Norway from scoring at least one. However, Scotland are a good team at home and in front of their own fans I think they will be hard to beat.
Score prediction: Scotland 2 – 2 Norway
Anytime goalscorer: Martin Odegaard
Current Scores After Eight Rounds:
Georgia v Scotland
Jose Enrique: Scotland 11/10
Jamie O’Hara: Scotland 11/10
Cyprus v Spain
Jose Enrique: Spain 1/25
Jamie O’Hara: Spain 1/25
England v Malta
Jose Enrique: England 1/50
Jamie O’Hara: England 1/50
Armenia v Wales
Jose Enrique: Wales 19/20
Jamie O’Hara: Wales 19/20
Netherlands v Ireland
Jose Enrique: Netherlands 1/5
Jamie O’Hara: Netherlands 1/5
Scotland v Norway
Jose Enrique: Norway 12/5
Jamie O’Hara: Draw 49/20
Spain v Georgia
Jose Enrique: Spain 1/9
Jamie O’Hara: Spain 1/9
North Macedonia v England
Jose Enrique: England
Jamie O’Hara: England
Northern Ireland v Denmark
Jose Enrique: Denmark
Jamie O’Hara: Denmark
Wales v Turkey
Jose Enrique: Wales
Jamie O’Hara: Draw