Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Euro 2008 Qualifiers - Quick Preview

Tonight sees yet more Euro 2008 qualifiers taking place, so if you want to know who's playing who and what's at stake for each match, check out our handy 2-minute guide to all the action…

Group A

Who's playing?
Armenia v Poland
Finland v Belgium
Kazakhstan v Azerbaijan

What do I need to know?
Poland could extend their lead over Portugal at the top of the group to a whopping eight points if they win. Finland will join Portugal and Serbia on 14 points if they win.

Group B

Who's playing?
France v Georgia
Lithuania v Italy
Faroe Islands v Scotland

What do I need to know?
If France beat Georgia, they'll go five points clear at the top. If Italy beat Lithuania, they'll go top by one clear point. If Scotland win by a high margin and France lose by a large margin, Scotland will go top. Chances are, France, Italy and Scotland will all win which will result in France staying top, Italy staying second and Scotland will leapfrog Ukraine to go third.

Group C

Who's playing?
Greece v Moldova
Bosnia-Herzegovina v Malta
Norway v Hungary

What do I need to know?
Greece are likely to beat bottom-placed Moldova which will take them five points clear of 2nd-place Turkey. If fourth-place Norway beat Hungary, they'll swap places with Bosnia-Herzegovina in third. Bosnia are going nowhere even if they win.

Group D

Who's playing?
Germany v Slovakia

What do I need to know?
Germany will go five points clear of the Czech Republic at the top of the group if they beat Slovakia, which we expect them to.

Group E

Who's playing?
Croatia v Russia
Andorra v Israel
Estonia v England

What do I need to know?
The top four are all in action today, separated by five points. If Croatia and Russia draw and Israel beat Andorra by four goals, Israel should go top. Whoever wins out of Croatia and Russia will top the group. England need to win by about three to stand any chance of even going third.

Group F

Who's playing?
Sweden v Iceland
Liechtenstein v Spain
Latvia v Denmark

What do I need to know?
Northern Ireland get the night off , but that could allow Sweden to go top if they beat Iceland. If Sweden slip up and Spain win, Spain will go top. Quite frankly, it looks like Northern Ireland will wake up tomorrow morning in third place.

Group G

Who's playing?
Romania v Slovenia
Bulgaria v Belarus
Luxembourg v Albania

What do I need to know?
Romania are level on points with Holland at the top of the group, so a win against next-to-bottom Slovenia will create some breathing space. If Romania slip up and Bulgaria beat Belarus, the Romanians will go top.


Chris (B Squad) said...

If Russia and Israel win today, it will put a tremendous amount of pressure on England in their next 2 home matches v. Israel and Russia. If they don't take the full points from both matches, qualification may slip away. Especially so, if they are relying on taking 3 points in Russia in October. Good luck Croatia.

ratonbox said...

If Romania beats Slovenia today and won't do anything wrong ultil the match with Bulgaria, they will be qualified. :) So, good luck Romania, good luck England and bad luck Bulgaria. :D

Chris O said...

Yes indeed - I'll be cheering on Croatia and Romania tonight, as well as the England team of course!

Oh and before Flicktokick reminds me, good luck to Scotland too! :-)

Chris (B Squad) said...

Well not such a bad result for England. The upcoming Israel match will be very telling.

I think the biggest shock in international play yesterday was Canada beating Costa Rica.

Chris O said...

Yes, a good result for England. Not so sure that home advantage in most of the remaining games will actually be much of an advantage at all, really...

Did Canada beat Costa Rica? Excellent! I've always had a soft spot for Canada since the 1986 World Cup. I hope they qualify again very soon! :-)

Chris (B Squad) said...

Canada's system has improved greatly in the past 10 years or so. Their U21 team isn't bad and those players are beginning to graduate to the senior squad.

With their remaining games against Haiti and Guadalupe (This is a country?), they have a chance to avoid the US and Mexico until the semis. If they do well in Gold Cup, they should be able to parlay that into a decent qualification run next year.

A lot of Central American countries are aging and Canada could be timing it perfectly to be that third team in CONCACAF.

Chris O said...

And I thought Guadalupe was a melon!

Great news about Canada. I shall watch with interest at their progression. I think the USA and Mexico will be the top two in CONCACAF for a while yet, but it's time for a change at number 3.

Step aside Costa Rica - bring on the Canadians! :-)


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