The race for World Cup places is in full swing in Europe
European champions Italy, Spain, France and Belgium take center stage at the Final Four in Milan and Turin, but five of the 10 automatic World Cup qualifying spots could be secured next Tuesday.
Denmark seem most likely to finish the job, knowing that victories against Moldova and Austria will secure top spot in Group F.
Kasper Hjulmand’s Euro 2020 semi-finalists are the only country with a 100% record. Denmark scored 22 goals in six unanswered matches and beat Moldova 8-0 at home in the second leg.
Four-time world champions Germany bounced back from a shock loss to North Macedonia in March, four points clear in Group J after Hansi Flick started her reign last month with three of three wins, including a 6-0 victory over Armenia.
“The games I saw were great. I was in Stuttgart for the game against Armenia, and the game, the goals and the atmosphere were all high,” said the Bayern Munich forward. Thomas Mueller.
“We have good momentum for these games so we want to continue like this. ”
Germany can avenge their defeat to the Macedonians on October 11 in Skopje, three days after visiting Romania, one of the four teams still in the running.
The Germans’ home and away wins would effectively seal their place at the 2022 World Cup unless second-placed Armenia gets the maximum points in matches in Iceland and Romania.
England, semi-finalists and finalists in the last two majors, could clinch the qualification by beating Andorra and Hungary if further results in Group I materialize.
Gareth Southgate’s side conceded an equalizer in stoppage time in Poland last time around, securing a five-game winning streak in the section.
England have not failed to win back-to-back qualifiers since losing to Russia and Croatia in November 2007, results which saw them miss Euro 2008.
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has said securing a place in Qatar, whether this month or November, would be just the first step towards the ultimate goal of lifting the trophy.
“We’re not happy with doing well and putting on a show for the country, we really wanted to come home with this trophy (at Euro 2020) and that’s the team mentality now,” said Sterling at Sky Sports.
“It was classy, we went to the final but we want to win, we want to make history, and I think that’s the message from day one when Gareth arrived.”
Cristiano Ronaldo returns from suspension as Portugal try to keep Serbia at bay in Group A.
All-time top scorer in men’s international football, Ronaldo will lead his side against Luxembourg after Portugal host Qatar in a friendly on Friday.
The first Nations League winners could theoretically qualify for the World Cup with two games to go, but only if Serbia clashes with both Luxembourg and Azerbaijan.
Belgium’s attention will be on a Nations League semi-final clash with France, although the top-ranked team in the world could also land their ticket to Qatar pending the fate of the Czech Republic. and Wales in Group E.
Sweden can overtake Spain with wins over Greece and Kosovo in Group B, while Switzerland could move closer to Italy in Group C if they beat Northern Ireland and Lithuania.
Finland have the best chances of catching France in Group D. They lag the world champions by seven points but have a game in hand against Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The Finns then welcome the Blues in the final phase of matches on November 16.
Norway have to do without injured Erling Haaland in key games against Turkey and Montenegro. Stale Solbakken’s side are tied with the Netherlands atop Group G with 13 points as they aim for a first World Cup since 1998.
Turkey replaced coach Senol Gunes with former Germany international Stefan Kuntz after a crushing 6-1 loss to the Netherlands.
2018 World Cup finalists Croatia and Russia lead Group H, but Slovakia cannot be ruled out either.