Friday, 9 October 2009

World Cup Qualifiers Preview

Well this week the Fantasy League takes a break as the World Cup Qualifiers roll back into town, and with England having already qualified for the 2010 tournament in South Africa, Fabio Capello can maybe experiment a little with the line up for tomorrow's game in the Ukraine.

The battle though for second place in Group 6 is still on though, and victory for the Ukraine, would put them into second position on level games with Croatia, as they don't play at the weekend, so the pressure will be on the home team to get the result they need, as they bid to make the play offs. The other match in the group sees Belarus take on Kazakhstan, with Belarus currently 5 points behind Ukraine.

It's a huge night in Group 8 though, as the Republic of Ireland meet Italy at Croke Park, and a win would put the Irish just one point behind the Italians with one game left to play, but defeat would potentially leave them in danger of being caught by Bulgaria, who travel to Cyprus tomorrow. If the Irish can avoid defeat to Italy then it should put them in a good position to qualify for a play off place.

In Group 3, Northern Ireland don't play tomorrow, but they will be hoping that Slovakia beat Slovenia as that will confirm Slovakia's place in the finals, but also leave 2nd place open to the last game on Wednesday. The Irish will also be hoping that the Czech Republic & Poland draw to give them the best possible chance of claiming a play off spot, with Northern Ireland facing the Czech's in their last game on Wednesday night.

It's all over for Wales in Group 4, but they face a Finland side in a non event really tomorrow, as both sides cannot qualify for the World Cup, but Wales will be hoping for a good show in Helsinki as their thoughts turn to planning for Euro 2012. The big game in the group tomorrow is Russia v Germany, with the Russians only 1 point behind Oliver Bierhoff's men in the table, and victory for them would leave it looking like a play off place for Germany.

Elsewhere, in Group 1, first meets second in a Scandinavian battle, as leaders Denmark face Sweden, knowing a win will secure the Danes place in the finals, whereas Sweden can move level on points with them if they win, and that would then heap pressure on Portugal, who have a home game against Hungary - who they are on level points with - so it's going to be an interesting day in Group 1 tomorrow!

In Group 2, Switzerland could get one foot in the finals if they can win in Luxembourg, and you wouldn't expect any other result to be honest, whilst 2nd & 3rd meet as Greece play host to Latvia, with both teams on level points, and more importantly three points behind the Swiss. Israel have an outside chance but they must beat Moldova at home tomorrow to have any chance, which is feasible if the Greeks & Latvians draw.

In Group 5, Spain, like England have already qualified, and can take it easy in Armenia tomorrow, whilst Bosnia-Herzegovina can wrap up a place in the play offs if they can avoid defeat in Belgium tomorrow. Should the Belgians win, then Turkey could get one point closer to the Bosnians, who face Spain in the last game.

In Group 7, Serbia could wrap the group up if they can beat Romania at home, and leave France, who play the Faroe Islands tomorrow, in the play off positions. If Serbia fail to win, then it would come down to the last game where the Serbs travel to Lithuania, whilst France host Austria.

So, it's set to be an interesting day tomorrow, but at least England can relax, they are already through, but will be looking to keep their 100% record in tact, but if I was to have a bet, it would go on a draw in this game.

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