Another weekend, another stacked lineup of soccer action. The Euro 2016 qualifiers are coming to an end as the group stage is wrapping up. Soon we will know who is heading to France and who will have to make it through the qualification playoffs. Here are a few of the games that you should keep an extra eye on this weekend.
Czech Republic – Turkey (Euro 2016 Qualifiers):
Turkey is trying to hold the Netherlands at bay in Group A. The Czech Republic and Iceland are already through to Euro 2016 next summer in France, and Turkey currently has a two-point lead over the Dutch for third place and a chance to grab a spot through the qualification playoffs.
Turkey takes on the Czech Republic on the road on Saturday at the Generali Arena in Prague. Last time they met up, a year ago in Turkey, the Czechs grabbed a 2-1 win after goals by Tomas Sivok and Borek Dockal. Now that the Czechs already has a spot in the tournament, they might not be as hungry as Turkey to get the win. The Netherlands play Kazakhstan earlier in the day, so the Turks will already know that result of that game as they go onto the pitch.
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Wales (Euro 2016 Qualifiers):
Wales needs one point in the final two games in order to secure a direct spot to Euro 2016, and they will surely go for the win against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday and secure a spot and not have to wait until the last game against Andorra, although that game should be an easy three points. Gareth Bale has been outstanding for the Welsh, scoring six out of Wales nine goals in the qualifiers.
Bosnia and Herzegovina still has a shot at getting past Israel for the third spot in Group B and get to the qualification playoffs.
USA – Mexico (CONCACAF Cup):
USA and Mexico will battle for a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup on Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. as they come together in the CONCACAF Cup. The Confederations Cup is the tournament that takes place the summer before the World Cup, and includes the reigning World Cup winner and the European Championship winner.
The USMNT has a knack of beating Mexico 2-0, and American fans will surely like to see something similar this time. The Confederations Cup isn’t the sexiest tournament in the world, but it gives the nations a chance to play some high-level friendlies in the hosting country.
Denmark – France (International Friendly):
Denmark has played all their games in Group I of the Euro 2016 qualifiers, so they will have to rely on Armenia pulling off an upset against Albania if they are to finish second in the group. As the hosting nation of next year’s tournament, France has only played friendlies this past year against the team in Group I that doesn’t have a double fixture, but the players are fired up as they try to prove to national team manager Didier Deschamps that they deserve a place in the squad next summer.
France have three straight wins over Portugal, Serbia and Armenia.
Poland – Ireland (Euro 2016 Qualifiers):
Ireland’s hope of getting a direct spot to Euro 2016 is still alive after the Irish beat World Cup winners Germany on Friday in Dublin after a goal by Shane Long. Ireland are level on points with second-place Poland and will at least get a spot in the qualification playoffs. But a win is a must if they are to get one of the two top spots in the group and automatic advancement.
But Poland will be a tough test for the Irish as Poland is the highest scoring nation in the qualifiers, scoring 31 goals in nine games. Ireland has been great defensively, only allowing five goals, which is the least amount of goals allowed in Group D.
Poland is coming off a 2-2 draw against Scotland on Friday. Robert Lewandowski scored both goals for the Polacks, including the equalizer in the 94th minute.