The International Break: Euro 2016 Qualifying

The big leagues may have only been back in action for 5 minutes, but we have reached the first international break of the new season, with focus on qualifying for UEFA Euro 2016 in France at the forefront of many people’s minds, not least top football tipsters who will be licking their lips at the prospects ahead. The 2016 edition will be the first to accommodate 24 teams, so many of the lower-ranked nations will never have a better chance to qualify.

This week sees the beginning of a round of back-to-back fixtures that will go a long way to shaping the make-up of the final group tables. Here we analyse some of the most important fixtures in each group. As always, visit Betadvisor.com for the best tips from the best football tips to ensure qualifying is as lucrative for you as well as the footballing nations involved.

The Qualification Process

The top two in the nine groups qualify automatically, with the best third placed team (discarding results against the sixth placed team in each group) joining hosts France at the finals. That means the remaining eight third placed teams will meet in a two-legged play-off to determine the remaining four qualifiers.

Group A

Group A seemed to be one of the most competitive on paper, and indeed with the indifferent form of the Netherlands, remains wide open going into this weeks’ games. Surprise package Iceland currently hold top spot, with 15 points, followed by the Czech Republic (12), Netherlands (10) and Turkey (8). One of these big guns is sure to miss out

Football Tipster Key fixtures

Netherlands V Iceland (Thurs 3rd Sept), Turkey V Netherlands (Sun 6th Sept)

Group B

Another interesting group with five teams still possessing a realistic chance of qualification. Wales currently top the pile ahead of Belgium (currently ranked by FIFA as the second best team in the world). Providing Belgium prove their class over the remaining fixtures, that leaves a three way fight between Israel, Cyprus and Bosnia for third place.

Football Tipster Key fixtures

Belgium V Bosnia (Thurs 3rd Sept), Wales V Israel (Sun 6th Sept)

Group C

The top three in Group C already looks settled, with surprise package Slovakia, holders Spain and Ukraine well out in front. That leaves a straight fight for the top two positions and automatic qualification, although the highest placed third place finisher could also emerge from this group.

Football Tipster Key fixtures

Spain V Slovakia (Sat 5th Sept), Slovakia V Ukraine (Tues 8th Sept)

Group D

Rather surprisingly, world champions Germany had a slow start to qualification (a World Cup hangover?) but will surely secure one of the top two positions. Poland currently sit at the top which leaves Scotland and the Republic of Ireland fighting it out for third place and a two-leg playoff.

Football Tipster Key fixtures

Germany V Poland (Fri 4th Sept), Scotland V Germany (Mon 7th Sept)

Group E

With England way out in front and looking certain to qualify top of the pile, that leaves Switzerland and Slovenia fighting it out for the second automatic position. Estonia and Latvia still harbour dreams of third place.

Football Tipster Key fixtures

Switzerland V Slovenia (Sat 5th Sept), England V Switzerland (Tues 8th Sept)

Group F

Romania, Northern Ireland and Hungary look set for the top three places, what remains to be seen is who will be left with the possibility of a two-legged play-off? Greece, champions from 2004, remain rooted to the bottom with 2 points and their hopes of qualification look long gone.

Football Tipster Key fixtures

Hungary V Romania (Fri 4th Sept), Northern Ireland V Hungary (Mon 7th Sept)

Group G

With four games remaining, Austria are in pole position to qualify as group winners, with Sweden currently in 2nd place, 4 points ahead of Russia. Russia will be targeting the second-placed Swedes – Montenegro and Liechtenstein look too far back.

Football Tipster Key fixtures

Russia V Sweden (Sat 5th Sept),  Sweden V Austria (Tues 8th Sept)

Group H

Another exciting group has four countries fighting it out for the two (or possibly three) qualifying positions. Croatia are looking strong in first place, but old favourites Italy are only 2 points behind, with Norway and then Bulgaria occupying 3rd and 4th respectively. 6 points separate the top four, so the remaining fixtures, as in so many of the groups, will be critical.

Football Tipster Key fixtures

Bulgaria V Norway (Thurs 3rd Sept),  Norway V Croatia and Italy V Bulgaria (both Sun 6th Sept)

Group I

The only five team group has a three way fight between Portugal (12 points), Denmark and Albania (both 10), the latter of whom will be buoyed by their friendly win over France in their last fixture.

Football Tipster Key fixtures

Denmark V Albania (Fri 4th Sept), Albania V Portugal (Mon 7th Sept)

by Steven Paget

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