Gareth Southgate’s England team maintained their 100% start to qualification for next summer’s showpiece tournament with a convincing victory over Bulgaria.
The 4-0 scoreline was well deserved, with the hosts running out comfortable victors against a team still searching for their first win in this qualifying campaign. The only negative one could glean from England’s performance was that they did not match the five goals they managed to score in the previous two qualifiers.
Bulgaria look destined to fight it out with Montenegro for the wooden spoon in Group A, although Kosovo have played one more match than their Balkan rivals for their two points at the bottom of the table.
A Harry Kane hat-trick, completed around a strike from Raheem Sterling was enough to raise England back to the top of Group A, restoring them above Kosovo who briefly occupied the top spot after beating the Czech Republic in an earlier kick-off on Saturday.
Following Saturday’s matches, England remain odds-on favourites to qualify from Group A, at 1/33 on some betting exchanges.
Despite Kosovo’s victory over the Czech Republic, they remain outsiders to win the group and gain a guaranteed spot in the finals. Kosovo do, however, have another route into the championship, by virtue of their performance in last summer’s Nations League, they are guaranteed a play-off spot if they fall short in the qualification campaign.
Looking ahead to next summer, World Champions France remain early favourites to win Euro 2020 outright, with England second favourite to lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium.
As England approach the halfway point of this qualification campaign, the smart money will be on them to progress to the finals tournament, with Kosovo and the Czech Republic fighting it out for second.
Next up for England are Kosovo on Tuesday night, whilst the other fixture in Group A sees the Czech Republic travel to Montenegro.