Euro 2008 Qualifying – Group by Group Preview for Saturday’s Matches

Euro 2008 Qualifying – Group by Group Preview for Saturday’s Matches


The circle is getting smaller and smaller: Saturday and Wednesday will be decisive days to know the final components of the Euro 2008 table, the 14 teams which will join hosts Austria and Switzerland in Europe’s highest football competition next year. 10 national teams are within mathematical reach of obtaining their ticket as of Saturday, a day which should see plenty of tense and entertaining matches such as Scotland-Italy, Norway-Turkey, Israel-Russia, and Spain-Sweden.

On Saturday 42 European national teams will step onto the grass for their last (or second-to-last) Euro 2008 qualifying round: Germany, Czech Republic, Greece and Romania have already earned their ticket to Austria/Switzerland, while Spain, Holland, Sweden and Croatia are very very close. Norway-Turkey promises to be a great battle in group C, and as we all know the whole of England will have their eyes pointed at Tel Aviv: if Israel lose against Russia, the Three Lions are out.

Here’s a round-up of each qualifying group, with an analysis of the situation with regards to Euro 2008 qualification.


The 4 teams still in contention in this group all have home games well within their reach: Finland-Azerbaijan, Poland-Belgium, Serbia-Kazakhstan, Portugal-Armenia. All expectations seem to point towards a final resolution on Wednesday.
Matches Saturday: Finland vs. Azerbaijan
Poland vs. Belgium
Serbia vs. Kazakhstan
Portugal vs. Armenia
Already qualified: /
Can qualify Saturday: Poland, Portugal
Can be eliminated Saturday: Finland, Serbia
Already out: Belgium, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan


Lithuania-Ukraine will be completely uninfluential: all the eyes are pointed towards Glasgow, for Scotland-Italy. A victory for the Scots would send them through, while all the Azzurri need is a tie.
Matches Saturday: Scotland vs. Italy
Lithuania vs. Ukraine
Already qualified: /
Can qualify Saturday: France, Italy, Scotland
Can be eliminated Saturday: Scotland
Already out: Ukraine, Lithuania, Georgia, Faroe Islands


Greece-Malta and Moldova-Hungary will be played for honour alone, the decisive match for qualification will be Norway-Turkey. The Scandinavians are defending a 2-point lead on Fatih Terim’s team, and will have the home advantage.
Matches Saturday: Norway vs. Turkey
Moldova vs. Hungary
Greece vs. Malta
Already qualified: Greece
Can qualify Saturday: Norway
Can be eliminated Saturday: Turkey
Already out: Bosnia, Hungary, Moldova, Malta


Wales-Ireland, Germany-Cyprus and Czech Rep-Slovakia should all be considered (in theory) friendly matches: Czechs and Germans are already through to the final tournament, Wales & Ireland are already out.
Matches Saturday: Wales vs. Ireland
Germany vs. Cyprus
Czech Republic vs. Slovakia
Already qualified: Germany, Czech Republic
Can qualify Saturday: /
Can be eliminated Saturday: /
Already out: Ireland, Cyprus, Slovakia, Wales, San Marino


In England’s group, Croatia will only be needing 1 point from their away game in Macedonia to celebrate. Meanwhile, for England’s hopes to remain alive Israel must absolutely not lose against Russia on Saturday, or it will be curtains for McLaren & co. (although not mathematically on Saturday). In the last match, Andorra will be going after their first points in the qualifiers against Estonia.
Matches Saturday: Andorra vs. Estonia
Macedonia vs. Croatia
Israel vs. Russia
Already qualified: /
Can qualify Saturday: Croatia
Can be eliminated Saturday: /
Already out: Israel, Macedonia, Estonia, Andorra


This group will feature a clash between the top 2 teams of the group: Sweden needs only 1 point, but such a result might also benefit Spain if Northern Ireland doesn’t beat Denmark. Latvia-Lichtenstein the third match of the day.
Matches Saturday: Latvia vs. Liechtenstein
Northern Ireland vs. Denmark
Spain vs. Sweden
Already qualified: /
Can qualify Saturday: Sweden, Spain
Can be eliminated Saturday: Denmark, Northern Ireland
Already out: Iceland, Latvia, Lichtenstein


Everything is ready for the big Oranje party: the more than likely success of Holland against Luxembourg should make the eventual win of Bulgaria on Romania (already qualified) futile. The other match will feature Albania-Belarus.
Matches Saturday: Bulgaria vs. Romania
Albania vs. Belarus
Netherlands vs. Luxembourg
Already qualified: Romania
Can qualify Saturday: Netherlands
Can be eliminated Saturday: Bulgaria
Already out: Albania, Slovenia, Belarus, Luxembourg

Marco Pantanella writes for the mCalcio blog

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  1. England messed it up royally. But anyway if they do miss the bus to Euro, there will be only two people getting the blame, Steve Mclaren who tried his best to make a team of underperformers play at least to a certain level, and Arsene Wenger who made a team out of foreign kids.

  2. Israel’s goal keeping coach who is Russian, has admitted that they may field an understrength side to gather experience, which sounds really pathetic…………..

  3. What really amuses me is that nobody thought of this foreign players issue last season, which would have been all the more appropriate considering England gave some really pathetic performances before this season even started. Why? Was it because the Liverpools and Chelseas and Man Us with their ‘English’ players were on top of the charts? Only now, when the Gunners are on top are people bringing on this issue. What hypocrites(that goes for Steven Gerrard too, a player who is a shadow of his former self and who’s team has been bailed out of many a sticky situation this season by their foreign players)

  4. I was right!!!!!

    Italy win, Israel win, now we just need England to win and the 2008 summer will be worth looking forward to…

  5. Fuck! I was gutted. Bloody Russians couldn’t win a stupid game?!

    Now a summer of pain and tedium, where England will be hyped up as the team to beat. Jeez Ahmed! I can’t believe you support them.

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