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European Championship value acca predictions: Flying Finns can stay at the summit
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Daniel Childs
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Markku Kanerva's Finland have won three in a row to start their qualifying campaign
Markku Kanerva's Finland have won three in a row to start their qualifying campaign

The scramble to secure places at next year's European Championships is about to intensify with the early September schedule, which kicks off with nine Thursday fixtures.

Group H leaders Finland have been among the fast starters and they will be aiming for another three points when they take on second-placed Kazakhstan in Astana.

Elsewhere, there are two key matches taking place in Group G with in-form duo Serbia and Hungary doing battle in Belgrade and struggling Lithuania hosting Montenegro in Kaunas.

We have selected a treble which pays out at just over 5/1.

Thursday 3pm

Finland have climbed to the top of Group H with three successive victories and they can take another big step towards qualification by defeating fellow highfliers Kazakhstan in Astana.

Fancied Denmark have been finding life a lot tougher than expected in Group H and the scene is set for a thrilling finish to the section, with two points covering the top four teams.

Kazakhstan's 3-2 success at home to the Danes was the biggest surprise of the group but there is a danger of reading too much into the result.

The Kazakhs lost 2-1 to Slovenia in their other home fixture and they look vulnerable against the Finns, who are a well-organised side with a touch of quality in attack.

Veteran striker Teemu Pukki remains an influential player for Finland, who are growing in confidence.

The Finns registered a pair of convincing home victories in June, seeing off Slovenia 2-0 and San Marino 6-0, and they look solid favourites to claim maximum points from their longest trip of the campaign.

Thursday, 5pm

Montenegro have made a reasonable start in Group G, taking four points from three games, and they can put some pressure on Hungary and Serbia by defeating Lithuania in Kaunas.

The Brave Falcons have never reached a major tournament, but they have put in some good performances towards the start of qualifying, winning 1-0 away to Bulgaria and drawing 0-0 at home to Hungary.

They are only three points outside of the top two and have opportunities to close the gap this month with the trip to Lithuania preceding a home match against Bulgaria.

Lithuania, meanwhile, have taken one point from three games and already look out of contention.

The Baltic outfit have gone 11 matches without a victory and their struggles could continue against Montenegro, who look worthy favourites to grab maximum points.

Thursday, 7.45pm

Dragan Stojkovic is hoping to lead Serbia to victory against Hungary
Dragan Stojkovic is hoping to lead Serbia to victory against Hungary

The battle for top spot in Group G revolves around Serbia and Hungary, who face each other in a key contest in Belgrade.

Both sides are on seven points but Serbia look better equipped to build on their strong start.

Serbia were slightly disappointing at the World Cup, where they suffered losses to Brazil and Switzerland and drew 3-3 with Cameroon.

However, it was a tough section and they had previously shown their quality in the 2022 Nations League by finishing top of a tricky group featuring Norway, Slovenia and Sweden.

Serbia's top-class attack features Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Vlahovic and Dusan Tadic and it could be key to unlocking a disciplined and highly motivated Hungary.

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