They’re now getting to the business stage of the world cup qualifiers as some sides will be looking at getting the result which will mean they pack their bags, book their tickets and head off to Brazil. But there are still some things to sort out with Group C, Group F and Group H looking very tight.
Germany v Austria – In the context of international football this is probably as close as you will get to a local derby, though the consequences of this one could be vital in this Group C match. Germany sit top on 16 points having only dropped two points in the whole campaign, whilst Austria sit in second on 11 points along with two other teams. An Austria win could drag the Germans into a more precarious position and make this group even more open.
Republic of Ireland v Sweden – The other two sides who are sitting on 11 points in Group C and both sides must treat this as a ‘must win.’ The winner of this game could put themselves in pole position for a potential play-off spot for Brazil, whilst the loser would have their backs up against the wall? Is a draw good for either side? Not really, unless Germany beat Austria, but that still wouldn’t rule the Austrians out of contention.
Poland v Montenegro – Poland will think there is still a chance of qualifying for the World Cup but this is a fixture they will have to win in order to make it a four horse race to top Group H and be sure of a place in Brazil. A win would take Poland within two points of Montenegro, who are currently leading Group H, with a game in hand.
England v Moldova – Not just because they’re a home nation, but England simply have to win this game ahead of a tough assignment in Ukraine next week. With Ukraine up against San Marino and breathing down England’s necks, Roy Hodgson’s men must take three points and win well in this qualifier. Coupled with Montenegro’s trip to Poland, England would make life easier for themselves with a win, as there is an opportunity to take a degree of control of the group.
Northern Ireland v Portugal – After Northern Ireland’s shock win over Russia, Portugal, along with Israel must have been jubilant as they’re chances of qualification were given a massive helping hand. All three of the contenders in this group should win their games, but can the Northern Irish pull off another shock?
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