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Euro 2016 Qualifiers Preview Group A-D

We are heading into the final two games of the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Some nations have already punched a ticket to the tournament next summer in France, and other are going to be fighting until the final game to secure a spot.

The top two teams in each will automatically earn a place, along with the best third-placed team. The remaining eight third-placed team will be drawn against each other and play a two-game playoff for the remaining four spots.

Group A: Netherlands On The Ropes

Iceland and the Czech Republic have already secured their spots in Euro 2016, so with two games remaining, the battle for the third spot is between Turkey and the Netherlands. The Dutch won bronze at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil last summer, but since then the team has been underperforming in the qualifiers for Euro 2016.

The Dutch currently sits in 4th in Group A, two points behind Turkey. Both nations will play against the Czech Republic, Turkey on Saturday and the Netherlands next Tuesday. Netherlands will first take on Kazakhstan on the road on Saturday while Turkey play the Czechs. And next Tuesday Turkey will host Iceland.

As Iceland and the Czech Republic already have a spot, there’s always the question if they will rotate their lineup or be fully motivated. If the Netherlands miss out on third place it would be a huge failure. Louis van Gaal left as national team coach after the World Cup and was replaced by Guus Hiddink. Hiddink resigned in June and was replaced by Danny Blind. If the Netherlands fails to reach Euro 2016, he might be the third coach to leave the national team in less than two years.

Standings Group A:

  1. Iceland 19 pts
  2. Czech Republic 19 pts
  3. Turkey 12 pts
  4. Netherlands 10 pts
  5. Latvia 4 pts
  6. Kazakhstan 2 pts

Schedule Group A:

10/10: Iceland – Latvia

10/10: Kazakhstan – Netherlands

10/10: Czech Republic – Turkey

10/13: Latvia – Kazakhstan

10/13: Netherlands – Czech Republic

10/13: Turkey – Iceland

Group B: Wales, Belgium Close To Go Through

Wales and Belgium are just one good result from securing a direct spot to Euro 2016. Wales top Group B on 18 points, one ahead of Belgium and five ahead of Israel. The Welsh, lead by Gareth Bale, will take on Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday. If they can’t get the win there, they will have another chance against lowly Andorra next Tuesday. Andorra sits dead last with zero points, so it’s not a big stretch to assume that Wales will at least get one win in their two remaining games. They only need two points to secure a spot.

Belgium also have the luxury of playing Andorra as they meet up at the Estadi Nacional in Andorra on Saturday. As long as they win over Andorra, they will finish top two in the group. They definitely have their fate in their own hands as they take on Israel in the final game next Tuesday. A draw against the Israelis will be enough even if they suffer a shocking loss to Andorra. Israel must first beat Cyprus on Saturday and then beat Belgium on the road next Tuesday to even have a chance to finish in the top two.

Standings Group B:

  1. Wales 18 pts
  2. Belgium 17 pts
  3. Israel 13 pts
  4. Bosnia and Herzegovina 11 pts
  5. Cyprus 9 pts
  6. Andorra 0 pts

Schedule Group B:

10/10: Andorra – Belgium

10/10: Bosnia and Herzegovina – Wales

10/10: Israel – Cyprus

10/13: Wales – Andorra

10/13: Belgium – Israel

10/13: Cyprus – Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

Group C: Spain, Slovakia With One Foot In

Group leaders Spain only needs one point in order to ensure advancement to France. That point, and two more, will most likely come on Friday when they take on Luxembourg at home. Second-placed Slovakia will host Belarus the same day. Ukraine is sitting in third, three points behind Slovakia, and they will play Macedonia. On Monday, Ukraine will host a Spain that are most likely already qualified, and Slovakia will travel to Luxembourg.

So the safer bet is that Ukraine will have to settle for the third spot and a spot in the qualification playoffs. They also have the possibility to go through as the best third-placed nation.

Standings Group C:

  1. Spain 21 pts
  2. Slovakia 19 pts
  3. Ukraine 16 pts
  4. Belarus 7 pts
  5. Luxembourg 4 pts
  6. FYR Macedonia 3 pts

Schedule Group C:

10/9: FYR Macedonia – Ukraine

10/9: Slovakia – Belarus

10/9: Spain – Luxembourg

10/12: Belarus – FYR Macedonia

10/12: Luxembourg – Slovakia

10/12: Ukraine – Spain

Group D: Germany One Point Away From Advancing

World Cup winner Germany leads Group D on 19 points. A point against Republic of Ireland on Thursday is all the Germans need in order to qualify for the tournament. The Irish sits in third, and it will take a lot if they are to catch up to Germany or Poland. Poland and Ireland will do battle on Sunday, but before then, Poland will play Scotland in Glasgow. Scotland will be hoping that they can get two wins against Poland and Gibraltar and squeeze by Ireland into third place.

Safe bet is that Germany and Poland takes the direct spots and that the Irish takes third place and move onto the qualification playoffs.

Standings Group D:

  1. Germany 19 pts
  2. Poland 17 pts
  3. Republic of Ireland 15 pts
  4. Scotland 11 pts
  5. Georgia 6 pts
  6. Gibraltar 0 pts

Schedule Group D:

10/8: Georgia – Gibraltar

10/8: Ireland – Germany

10/8: Scotland – Poland

10/11: Germany – Georgia

10/11: Gibraltar – Scotland

10/11: Poland – Ireland

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