4 European Nations who can qualify for 2014 World Cup tonight

Van Persie Holland

Arsenal signing Mesut Ozil can lead Germany to the finals, as can Manchester United and Holland's Robin van Persie. Could Italy and Switzerland seal their places tonight too?

The 13 nations from Europe to participate in the 2014 World Cup will be decided by 19 November 2013. Every team has just 2-3 remaining group stage games to either qualify automatically for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, reach the playoffs or miss out altogether and watch next summer's action from home.

This evening sees a full set of qualifying fixtures with the last two set of fixtures taking place next month before November's playoffs.

No team from Europe has yet to book their place on football's biggest stage but 4 teams can do so on Tuesday night.

Of the 32 participates we already know of 5 who will be competing. Brazil as hosts are joined by Japan, Australia, Iran and South Korea from Asian Football Confederation.

14 of the 53 nations from Europe have already been eliminated. The Faroe Islands, San Marino and Scotland were all eliminated before Friday's games. On Friday, they were joined by Andorra, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, FYR of Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia and Wales.

Here are the four nations looking to book their place this evening to next summer's World Cup:

Italy (Group B)

Cesare Prandelli's side have recorded 5 victories and 2 draws in their group, conceding just 4 goals. The Italians were always expected to dominate this group which currently sees Bulgaria in second place, followed by the Czech Republic, Arminia and Denmark, with all four nations separated by 2 points looking for that runners-up spot.

A win for Italy and home to the Czech Republic this evening would confirm them as group winners. They kickoff at 19:45 BST at the Juventus Stadium. These two sides played out a 0-0 draw in Prague back in June.

Italy have a wealth of talent and having finished runners-up at Euro 2012 will be amongst the favourites of the European teams competing in Brazil after qualification is achieved.

Germany (Group C)

Third favourites for the 2014 World Cup, behind Brazil and Argentina, Joachim Löw's side can book their place in Brazil with a victory in the Faroe Islands matched by Sweden failing to beat Kazakhstan. Germany kickoff at 19:45 BST whilst Sweden have the earlier kickoff time of 17:00. Löw's side will know if they can achieve qualification this evening prior to entering the field, or whether it will be delayed until they host the Republic of Ireland on 11 October.

A large part of this German side has been building with Löw since the 2010 World Cup when they reached the semi-finals. Manuel Neuer, Per Mertesacker, Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm, Sami Khedira, Mesut Özil, Thomas Müller, Mario Gómez and 35-year old Miroslav Klose all available for this evening's game, all played at the 2010 World Cup. Regular Bastian Schweinsteiger pulled out of the squad through injury.

Some of the promising youngsters in the squad these days include Mats Hummels, Julian Draxler, André Schürrle and Toni Kroos. Germany are blessed with a wealth of talent and the only question about the result in the Faroe Islands will be how many Germany score. They're reliant on Sweden to drop points to qualifying tonight otherwise they will do so next month. They are joint-top scorers with England on 25 goals.

Netherlands (Group D)

After surprisingly drawing 2-2 in Estonia on Friday night, the Netherlands are now relying on Romania to drop points at home to Turkey to confirm their qualification, assuming they will beat Andorra themselves.

The Dutch are 6 points clear of the Romanians with 3 games to play in Group D. Their 22 goals scored is backed up by just 4 goals conceded, although their defence didn't look so assure with Michel Vorm in goal and 3 Feyenoord defenders on Friday night.

Victory in Andorra should be comfortably achieved against the 205th ranked team in FIFA's rankings; a nation yet to score or pick up a single point through 7 games. The goalkeepers and defence lack a lot of international experience between them, but Wesley Sneijder, Arhen Robben, Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie offer that in attack.

Ajax and PSV Eindhoven have a wealth of talented young players in their respective first teams currently which could lead to Louis van Gaal taken a young squad to Brazil with him after they qualify.

Switzerland (Group E)

The last team to beat Spain in a World Cup, Switzerland blew a 4-1 lead to draw 4-4 at home to Iceland on Friday. Making qualification for them on Tuesday needing to win at Norway and for iceland and Albania to draw their 20:00 kickoff. Switzerland kickoff in Oslo 2 hours prior to their fellow Group E rivals.

Switzerland have a number of promising youngsters come through the FC Basel academy recently – Xherdan Shaqiri (now with Bayern Munich), Granit Xhaka (now with Borussia Mönchengladbach) and Fabian Schär who scored his first goal in only his second appearance on Friday. The defence has a lot of experience - Diego Benaglio, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Philippe Senderos whilst Napoli pair Gökhan Inler and Valon Behrami play in midfield. Neither of the three strikers called up have reached double figures in terms of international caps.

Norway were the top seeds in this group but they're far off matching their performances during the 90's and head coach Egil Olsen who was a master of the tactics some two decades ago doesn't outclass his opposing coaches in the same ways these days.

images: © sdhansay, © jikatu

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