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Qualified success

Euro 2012 state of play: who needs what

With two match rounds left, there’s still an awful lot to play for in all of the Euro 2012 qualifying groups. Miguel Delaney looks through the pools to outline who needs what

Group A

Already qualified: Germany

Still in contention: Turkey 14 points, Belgium 12

State of play: Belgium badly need Germany to win in Turkey tonight. Otherwise, since Turkey host Azerbaijan on Tuesday and also have a better head-to-head record, the Belgians will effectively be out. Belgium themselves have to travel to Dusseldorf on Tuesday though. And, given that the Germans have a 100% record so far, it seems highly unlikely the Turks will not secure second spot.

Match to keep an eye on: Turkey v Germany

Tonight’s fixtures

Azerbaijan v Austria, 5pm

Turkey v Germany, 7.30pm

Belgium v Kazakhstan, 7.45pm

Tuesday’s fixtures

Kazakhstan v Austria

Germany v Belgium

Turkey v Azerbaijan

Group C

Already qualified: Italy

Still in contention: Serbia 14, Estonia 13, Slovenia 11, Northern Ireland 9

State of play: This group is relatively straight-forward so long as Serbia beat Italy at home tonight. If that happens, then Serbia secure top spot. If it doesn’t, then this group gets very interesting.

Should Serbia only draw, for example, then a simultaneous Estonian victory in Northern Ireland would put the Eastern Europeans into second. And that would leave Serbia needing a win in Slovenia on Tuesday to leapfrog Estonia again, who have a better head-to-head record.

Slovenia, who do not play tonight, need both Serbia and Estonia to lose tonight and then defeat Serbia on Tuesday. They have a better head-to-head record against Serbia too.

Northern Ireland, meanwhile, need to win tonight as well as in Italy on Tuesday while hoping Serbia lose to both Italy and Slovenia. Anything less than six points and Northern Ireland are out.

Match to keep an eye on: both fixtures

Tonight’s fixtures

Northern Ireland v Estonia, 7.45pm

Serbia v Italy, 7.45pm

Tuesday’s fixtures

Italy v Northern Ireland

Slovenia v Serbia

Group D

Already qualified: none

Still in contention: France 17, Bosnia 16, Romania 12

State of play: Given that all three top sides have eminently winnable games tonight, Romania – who also have the most difficult match – are likely to be eliminated. In that case, France’s home match against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday is set to be an effective play-off to decide who goes through automatically and who goes into the play-off themselves.

Tonight’s fixtures

Bosnia-Herzegovina v Luxembourg, 7pm

Romania v Belarus, 7.30pm

France v Albania, 9pm

Tuesday’s fixtures

Albania v Romania

France v Bosnia-Herzegovina

Group E

Already qualified: Holland

Still in contention: Sweden 18, Hungary 18

State of play: Victory away to Finland tonight will secure a play-off place for Sweden since they have a better head-to-head record against Hungary. Anything less in an awkward trip to Helsinki, though, and they’re in real danger. Because, while Hungary are at home to Finland on Tuesday, Sweden must host a Dutch team with a perfect record. It’s eminently possibly the Hungarians will leapfrog them.

Match to keep an eye on: Finland v Sweden

Tonight’s fixtures

Finland v Sweden, 5.15

Holland v Moldova, 7.30

Tuesday’s fixtures

Sweden v Holland

Moldova v San Marino

Hungary v Finland

Group F

Already qualified: none

Still in contention: Croatia 19, Greece 18

State of play: The group will go a long way to being settled tonight as Croatia visit Greece. Victory and Croatia are there. But even a draw would be a fine result for Slaven Bilic’s side since they host Latvia on Tuesday while Greece face a tricky trip to Georgia. Really, the Greeks must get six points.

Match to keep an eye on: Greece v Croatia

Latvia v Malta, 6pm

Greece v Croatia, 7.45pm

Tuesday’s fixtures

Croatia v Latvia

Georgia v Greece

Malta v Israel

Group G

Already qualified: none

Still in contention: England 17, Montenegro 11, Switzerland 8

State of play: England will secure qualification with a draw in Montenegro tonight. And, even if they lose, Montenegro would still need to win in Switzerland on Tuesday. Because, all going according to form, this group is likeliest to boil down to a play-off for second between the Swiss and Montenegrins. That game will be rendered meaningless, however, if Montenegro get at least a point tonight and Switzerland lose in Wales.

Match to keep an eye on: both

Tonight’s fixtures

Wales v Switzerland, 7.45pm

Montenegro v England, 8pm

Tuesday’s fixtures

Bulgaria v Wales

Switzerland v Montenegro

Group H

Already qualified: none

Still in contention: Portugal 13, Denmark 13, Norway 13

State of play: With such winnable games tonight, the real business takes place on Tuesday as Denmark and Portugal face off in Copenhagen for top spot. By that point, Norway will be eliminated  from the running for first unless both sides somehow don’t win tonight. And, unless Denmark absolutely destroy Portugal – who Norway drew 1-1 with twice – then Norway are really out of the running for second too.

Tonight’s fixtures

Cyprus v Denmark, 7.30pm

Portugal v Iceland, 8pm

Tuesday’s fixtures

Norway v Cyprus

Denmark v Portugal

Group I

Already qualified: Spain

Still in contention: Czech Republic 10, Scotland 8

State of play: All rests on the team that has already qualified. Scotland will be hoping that Spain are eager enough to continue their 100% record in order to win in Prague tonight while then easing off on Scotland on Tuesday. Even then, though, unless Scotland claim an unlikely three points in Spain then they’ll need a favour off Lithuania as they host the Czech Republic.

Really, it’s that trip to Spain which should spurn Scotland’s chances. Because, although they could well leapfrog the Czechs tonight, Tuesday’s fixtures should reverse that.

Ultimately, a draw at home against the world champions tonight should put the Czechs into second.

Match to keep an eye on: Czech Republic v Spain

Tonight/tomorrow’s fixtures

Czech Republic v Spain, 7.45pm

Liechtenstein v Scotland, tomorrow

Tuesday’s fixtures

Lithuania v Czech Republic

Spain v Scotland

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