European Qualifiers: How are England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland faring?

Domestic football makes way for internationals over the next week, with a whole host of European Qualifiers being shown live on Sky Sports.

But how is each group shaping up? From the runaway leaders to ties at the top, we look at the state of play going into October’s qualifiers…

Group A – England aim to book finals spot

Coming up: October 11 – Czech Republic v England, Montenegro v Bulgaria; October 14 – Bulgaria v England, Kosovo v Montenegro

It’s starting to look like a case of when, not if, for England. After an entertaining win over nearest-rivals Kosovo last time out, they already have a four-point cushion inside the qualification places and a game in hand.

A win over Czech Republic on Friday will seal their path to the finals, and they could guarantee top spot too if they do the double and beat Bulgaria next week – or Kosovo fail to take maximum points at home to Montenegro.

The second spot is much more up for grabs. Czech Republic are currently second but could be leapfrogged by Kosovo if they fail to beat England on October 11. Montenegro and Bulgaria, both winless with two points each, will need something approaching a miracle to finish inside the top two.

Group B – Portugal have work to do

Coming up: October 11 – Portugal v Luxembourg, Ukraine v Lithuania; October 14 – Ukraine v Portugal, Lithuania v Serbia

Life is looking pretty rosy at the top of Group B for Ukraine, who look set to qualify for their third Euro finals in a row. A win over Lithuania on Friday would all-but see them through; four more points would definitely be enough.

Portugal are far from assured of a chance to retain the trophy they won in France in 2016, but they do have a game in hand over third-placed Serbia and a win over minnows Luxembourg would give them some breathing space.

Luxembourg’s unlikely shot at a place will be over with defeat to Portugal, while Lithuania must provide a huge shock in Ukraine if they want to keep their dreams alive.

Group C – Qualification still in Northern Ireland’s hands

Coming up: October 10 – Netherlands v Northern Ireland, Belarus v Estonia; October 13 – Belarus v Netherlands, Estonia v Germany

Northern Ireland’s perfect start was ripped apart by Germany last time out but Michael O’Neill’s side still have their destiny in their own hands. A tough trip to the Netherlands, who have been back with a bang over the past 12 months, awaits on Thursday night but even defeat in that wouldn’t be fatal, although it would be a bitter blow.

Leaders Germany could find themselves leapfrogged by Netherlands by the end of the international break, especially if they are held themselves by Estonia on Sunday, while Belarus must beat Estonia too to stand any outside chance.

Group D – Republic of Ireland in good shape

Coming up: October 12 – Georgia v Republic of Ireland, Denmark v Switzerland; October 15 – Switzerland v Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar v Georgia

Republic of Ireland look in good shape after their comeback draw with Switzerland last month and beating Georgia next time out would leave them in sterling shape, especially with nearest challengers Denmark and Switzerland going head-to-head on the same night.

Should Switzerland fail to win that one, if Ireland take maximum points in Georgia it would give them a chance to qualify on Sunday.

Georgia’s surprise draw with Denmark last time out gave them their fourth point of qualifying, but they could be eliminated this weekend – worse news for Gibraltar, who have lost every game and are already out of contention.

Group E – Wales in with a chance

Coming up: October 10 – Croatia v Hungary, Slovakia v Wales; October 13 – Hungary v Azerbaijan, Wales v Croatia

Wales might be fourth in Group E but things are not all as they seem. A win over second-placed Slovakia on Thursday would take them level with a game in hand, and with first and third going head-to-head on the same night it’s near enough a must-win game for Ryan Giggs.

Croatia’s blip against Hungary aside they’ve been pretty consistent up at the top, but there’s a reason Hungary qualified for the last Euros and they’re very much still in it with nine points from five games.

Azerbaijan are already out, despite an eye-catching draw with Croatia in September.

Group F – Spain set for finals

Coming up: October 12 – Faroe Islands v Romania, Norway v Spain, Malta v Sweden; October 15 – Sweden v Spain, Romania v Norway, Faroe Islands v Malta

Spain’s perfect record has them as good as through and they can book their place in the finals this weekend.

That aside second place is up in the air, with Sweden, Romania and Norway separated by two points with two games to go. Romania will be very pleased they’re the only side of the three not to play Spain this weekend – and they host Norway next Tuesday in a game that could have big consequences.

Further down Malta and Faroe Islands are both way back, with only three points to show between them – although that will definitely change when they go head-to-head next Tuesday.

Group G – It’s tight at the top

Coming up: October 10 – Latvia v Poland, Austria v Israel, North Macedonia v Slovenia; October 13 – Poland v North Macedonia, Slovenia v Austria

It’s all a little bit congested at the top of Group G, with only five points separating the top five teams. Poland, who are two points clear of Slovenia, have taken the bull by the horns and have pointless Latvia up next, so will be confident of earning at least one win this week.

Slovenia’s run of three wins in a row has lifted them up to second but they have Austria, who are a point behind them, breathing down their necks.

North Macedonia and Israel are five points behind Poland, but with 12 points to play for from the final four games, they are still in contention for the qualification places.

Group H – A big week for France

Coming up: October 11 – Iceland v France, Turkey v Albania, Andorra v Moldova; October 14 – France v Turkey, Iceland v Andorra, Moldova v Albania

It’s a pivotal week in Group H as France get set to face Iceland and Turkey. Two wins from two for Didier Deschamps’ side, who currently sit second in the group behind Turkey on goal difference and three points ahead of third-placed Iceland, would see them take a huge stride towards qualification.

Albania, who are six points behind Turkey and France, will be hoping they can still sneak into the qualification spots with four games to go, but there’s not much room for error for Edoardo Reja’s side.

Group I – One last chance for Scotland

Coming up: October 10 – Kazakhstan v Cyprus, Belgium v San Marino, Russia v Scotland; October 13 – Kazakhstan v Belgium, Cyprus v Russia, Scotland v San Marino

Belgium have a perfect record in qualification so far and they can confirm their place in next summer’s tournament with victory against San Marino or a draw between Kazakhstan and Cyprus.

It’s also a final throw of the dice for Scotland in Group I. Steve Clarke’s side must beat Russia to have any chance of qualifying, but if they don’t they could still reach Euro 2020 as they are guaranteed a play-off place for winning their Nations League group.

Group I could be done and dusted on Thursday if Russia, who are eight points clear of Cyprus and Kazakhstan in third and fourth respectively, beat Scotland and Kazakhstan draw with Cyprus.

Group J – Italy lead the way

Coming up: October 12 – Bosnia and Herzegovina v Finland, Italy v Greece, Liechtenstein v Armenia; October 13 – Liechtenstein v Italy, Greece v Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland v Armenia

There’s still plenty to play for in Group J with Finland, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece all still vying to finish in the qualification places with Italy, who have won all six of their games so far.

Roberto Mancini’s side will qualify with victory over Greece, who need all three points to stay in contention on Saturday.

Finland, who have 12 points from their six games so far, currently sit second in the group and are on course to make their debut at a major finals. However, they face two big games against Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are five points behind Finland, and Armenia, who are third in the group, three points behind the Finns.

European Qualifiers on Sky Sports

Thursday

  • Kazakhstan vs Cyprus – Thursday October 10, live on Sky Sports Football; Kick-off 3pm
  • Belarus vs Estonia Thursday October 10, live on Sky Sports Football; Kick-off 5pm
  • Netherlands vs Northern Ireland – Thursday October 10, live on Sky Sports Main Event; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Russia vs Scotland – Thursday October 10, live on Sky Sports Football; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Slovakia vs Wales – Thursday October 10, live on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Belgium vs San Marino – Thursday October 10, live on Sky Sports Football – red button; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Four other games on red button on Friday – full schedule here

Friday

Saturday

  • Georgia vs Republic of Ireland – Saturday October 12, live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event; Kick-off 2pm
  • Denmark vs Switzerland – Saturday October 12, live on Sky Sports Football; Kick-off 5pm
  • Italy vs Greece – Saturday October 12, live on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Norway vs Spain – Saturday October 12, live on Sky Sports Football; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Three other games on red button on Friday – full schedule here

Sunday

  • Kazakhstan vs Belgium – Sunday October 13, live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event; Kick-off 2pm
  • Belarus vs Netherlands – Sunday October 13, live on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 5pm
  • Scotland vs San Marino – Sunday October 13, live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event; Kick-off 5pm
  • Estonia vs Germany – Sunday October 13, live on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Wales vs Croatia – Sunday October 13, live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Four other games on red button on Friday – full schedule here

Monday

Tuesday

  • Finland vs Armenia Tuesday October 15, live on Sky Sports Football; Kick-off 5pm
  • Liechtenstein vs Italy – Tuesday October 15, live on Sky Sports Football; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Sweden vs Spain – Tuesday October 15, live on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Switzerland vs Republic of Ireland – Tuesday October 15, live on Sky Sports Mix and Main Event; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Five other games on red button on Friday – full schedule here
2019-10-10T15:36:10+00:00By |

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