International Football logoInternational Football

B/R Experts Predict Top Matches in World Football for Weekend of September 6-9

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterSeptember 5, 2014

B/R Experts Predict Top Matches in World Football for Weekend of September 6-9

1 of 7

    Jon Super/Associated Press

    With the club season taking a hiatus, the focus is on the international programme this weekend.

    Less than two months since the World Cup was won by Germany, the Euro 2016 qualifiers begin.

    The Brazil 2014 winners play host to Scotland, while deposed world champions Spain begin the defence of their European crown against Macedonia.

    England and Italy both suffered group-stage exits at the World Cup, and they will be aiming for returns to form against Switzerland and Norway, respectively.

    Our Bleacher Report experts have given their predictions over the next five pages, do you agree with them?

Germany vs. Scotland

2 of 7

    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Alex Livie: Germany 3-0 Scotland

    First goalscorer: Marco Reus

    The World Cup winners may have been shocked by Argentina earlier in the week, but there will be no repeat here in Euro 2016 qualification.

     

    Karl Matchett: Germany 3-1 Scotland

    First goalscorer: Thomas Muller

    Scotland look far better under Gordon Strachan and actually have a fair chance of making it out of this group, but they’re not besting the new world champions.

     

    Sam Tighe: Germany 3-0 Scotland

    First goalscorer: Thomas Muller

    On paper, Germany are by far the stronger side of the two.

     

    Will Tidey: Germany 2-0 Scotland

    First goalscorer: Marco Reus

    Many will predict a rout here, but I think the Scots will scrap it out and avoid a mauling.

     

    Michael Cummings: Germany 3-0 Scotland

    First goalscorer: Thomas Muller

    We've seen this all beforeThomas Muller to score first and Germany to win.

     

    Jerrad Peters: Germany 3-0 Scotland

    First goalscorer: Marco Reus

    These two haven’t faced one another in 11 years, so it will be nice to see them renew acquaintances. Even with a World Cup hangover Germany’s firepower should be too much for Scotland.

     

    Alex Dimond: Germany 3-1 Scotland

    First goalscorer: Marco Reus

    A remodelled Germany defence might allow Scotland some joy, but they should have enough to ease to victory in the end.

Spain vs. Macedonia

3 of 7

    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Alex Livie: Spain 3-0 Macedonia

    First goalscorer: Pedro

    Spain may be a team in transition following their World Cup failure, but they still possess real class and will prove too strong for Macedonia.

     

    Karl Matchett: Spain 3-0 Macedonia

    First goalscorer: David Silva

    The rebuild begins here, and a new-look front line is as good a place to start as any.

     

    Sam Tighe: Spain 6-0 Macedonia

    First goalscorer: Cesc Fabregas

    It's tough to trust that Spanish front line, so if Cesc plays, he's going to be among the goals.

     

    Will Tidey: Spain 5-0 Macedonia

    First goalscorer: Pedro

    Memories of a nightmare World Cup to be soothed by a 5-0 drubbing of Macedonia.

     

    Michael Cummings: Spain 3-0 Macedonia

    First goalscorer: Sergio Ramos

    Sergio Ramos to open the scoring with a trademark header, and Spain to have an easy time with Macedonia. 

     

    Jerrad Peters: Spain 4-0 Macedonia

    First goalscorer: Diego Costa

    It’s a new-look Spain outfit to start Euro 2016 qualifying and a match against 76th-ranked Macedonia should help them ease into the process.

     

    Alex Dimond: Spain 4-0 Macedonia

    First goalscorer: Diego Costa

    Even with Spain more fragile than they have been in recent times, Macedonia will be happy simply to keep the scoreline down.

Switzerland vs. England

4 of 7

    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Alex Livie: Switzerland 1-1 England

    First goalscorer: Xherdan Shaqiri

    This is a tough Euro 2016 qualification opener for England. A point will be job done for Roy Hodgson's men.

     

    Karl Matchett: Switzerland 2-1 England

    First goalscorer: Josip Drmic

    Roy Hodgson reckons England have a straight-forward task to top the group. So his answers should be interesting when Switzerland show England up in the first qualifier.

     

    Sam Tighe: Switzerland 1-2 England

    First goalscorer: Danny Welbeck

    Danny Welbeck celebrates his Arsenal move with a start and a goal for England.

     

    Will Tidey: Switzerland 1-2 England

    First goalscorer: Wayne Rooney

    A win for England, with the usual light encouragement that begins a new qualifying campaign. Rooney to bag a brace and take the headlines as Captain Marvel.

     

    Michael Cummings: Switzerland 1-1 England

    First goalscorer: Daniel Sturridge

    Lots of new faces in the England squad, but look for a familiar name to open the scoring. 

     

    Jerrad Peters: Switzerland 2-1 England

    First goalscorer: Admir Mehmedi

    St. Jakob-Park isn’t exactly an easy place to pick up points, and with home advantage, Switzerland should be able to edge a win over a rebuilding England team.

     

    Alex Dimond: Switzerland 0-0 England

    First goalscorer: n/a

    A boring draw would be both good and bad for Roy Hodgson—it would be an acceptable result from a tough opening game, but it might only accelerate the growing pressure on him.

Czech Republic vs. Netherlands

5 of 7

    Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

    Alex Livie: Czech Republic 0-1 Netherlands

    First goalscorer: Robin van Persie

    The Dutch lit up the World Cup with their superb attacking play. Expect them to kick off Euro 2016 qualification with a win.

     

    Karl Matchett: Czech Republic 1-2 Netherlands

    First goalscorer: Memphis Depay

    Czech Republic will realistically look at this as the game which essentially doesn’t matter. Netherlands should be topping a relatively weak group, so three points here will be a good start.

     

    Sam Tighe: Czech Republic 1-3 Netherlands

    First goalscorer: Memphis Depay

    Guus Hiddink picks up where Louis van Gaal left off, and Depay continues to excel.

     

    Will Tidey: Czech Republic 1-1 Netherlands

    First goalscorer: Robin van Persie

    A new Dutch era to begin with a neutral draw away to the Czechs. Nothing to get too excited about here.

     

    Michael Cummings: Czech Republic 1-1 Netherlands

    First goalscorer: Robin van Persie

    With multiple big names withdrawing from the Dutch squad, Guus Hiddink's debut could be a tough one against the Czechs.

     

    Jerrad Peters: Czech Republic 1-3 Netherlands

    First goalscorer: Memphis Depay

    Guus Hiddink’s second spell in charge of the Netherlands will begin with a straightforward win over the Czech Republic. He’ll miss the absent Arjen Robben, though.

     

    Alex Dimond Czech Republic 2-1 Netherlands

    First goalscorer: Ladislav Krejci

    After a great World Cup, the Dutch—under a new coach—might get a wake-up call in this one. The Czechs were unlucky to lose against the USA and on home turf could prove formidable.

Norway vs. Italy

6 of 7

    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Alex Livie: Norway 0-0 Italy

    First goalscorer: N/A

    Antonio Conte's gets his first taste of competitive action against Norway. This is going to be tight, so expect defences to win out.

     

    Karl Matchett: Norway 0-1 Italy

    First goalscorer: Fabio Quagliarella

    Norway’s squad remains fairly weak, but this is Antonio Conte’s first run with Italy. It could be tight, but Italy have enough in the final third to find a goal.

     

    Sam Tighe: Norway 0-3 Italy

    First goalscorer: Stephan El Shaarawy

    Stephan El Shaarawy excelled for Milan in their opener, and he will do so again for Conte in his.

     

    Will Tidey: Norway 1-2 Italy

    First goalscorer: Stephan El Shaarawy

    With Mario Balotelli out, here's hoping El Shaarawy gets his chance and takes it for Italy. A fine talent with huge potential.

     

    Michael Cummings: Norway 0-1 Italy

    First goalscorer: Ciro Immobile

    No Balotelli, no problem. Look for Antonio Conte's side to start Euro 2016 qualification with a win. 

     

    Jerrad Peters: Norway 1-2 Italy

    First goalscorer: Mattia Destro

    Antonio Conte is another manager making his international debut. Mario Balotelli is out, but Italy still have enough attacking options to get the job done against Norway.

     

    Alex Dimond: Norway 0-0 Italy

    First goalscorer: N/A

    Norway showed against England they are a determined but limited side—but do Italy really have the fluency at the moment to break them down?

Latest Standings

7 of 7

    SIMON DAWSON/Associated Press
    B/R Experts' Table
     Week's TotalTotal
    Karl Matchett229
    Jerrad Peters527
    Mike Cummings223
    Sam Tighe823
    Alex Dimond218
    Alex Livie316
    Will Tidey616

    B/R

    Correct result: 1 point

    Correct first goalscorer: 2 points

    Correct scoreline: 3 points

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices