Love it or hate it, here comes another FIFA international break and matchday five in Euro 2024 qualifying. Fans may highlight the beginning of World Cup qualifying for the 2026 tournament. However, the September international window brings a pair of games in the buildup to Euro 2024. Matchday five takes place from Thursday, Sep. 7 to Saturday, Sep. 9.
Coverage of Euro 2024 qualifying is mostly available through Fubo. Select games air on FOX’s channels each matchday.
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Group B features table leaders France hosting Ireland. France sits atop the group with maximum points after four matches. Meanwhile, Ireland has had a disappointing start to its campaign. The Irish lost to both France & Greece while grabbing their lone three points versus lowly Gibraltar. Meanwhile, second-place Greece travels to the Netherlands. This is only the Netherlands’ third group match, and a win is imperative if they wish to finish at least second in the group and ensure a place in the finals.
In Group E, Czechia can extend its lead if it beats Albania at home. This is a big test for Albania to see if it truly could fight for a spot in the finals. Poland hosts the Faroe Islands. Robert Lewandowski and company are targeting a win to keep pace with the Czechs in the battle for automatic qualification. Poland comes off a shock loss to Moldova and needs a convincing win to get their campaign back on track.
Group G has likely the most interesting match of the day. Serbia hosts Hungary, both locked on 7 points from 3 matches on top of the group. In the other match, Lithuania welcomes Montenegro looking for their first win in the group. Montenegro must see if it can stay in the hunt for at least third place for a playoff spot.
Group H sets up to be the most interesting of all the groups. Finland and Kazakhstan find themselves as joint co-leaders and they meet each other in Kazakhstan. Slovenia has a tricky home tie versus Northern Ireland and must win to keep pace with those leaders. Denmark, in the meantime, should easily grab the 3 points at home to San Marino. That can help the Danes catch up with whomever drops points in the Kazakhstan match against Finland.
In Group A, Spain travels to Georgia where it should grab all three points and join the hunt for an automatic place in the finals. Spain’s loss to Scotland puts it in a situation where it cannot afford to slip up. Group leaders Scotland travel to Cyprus to try to continue their perfect qualification campaign. Cyprus is winless in the group.
In Group D, leaders Turkey host Armenia and, at least on paper, are favorites to maintain the top spot. But after wins against Wales & Latvia, Armenia cannot necessarily be taken for granted. Turkey has 6 points from 3 matches and will not want to slip up to keep the top slot. In the other match in the group, Croatia is only playing its third qualifying match due to participation in the Nations Cup Final 4 and take on Latvia who are in last place without a point after 3 matches.
In Group J, leaders Portugal travel to second-placed Slovakia in what is the clash of the day. Portugal has a perfect 12 points from four matches while Slovakia is two points behind the group leaders. Surprise of the qualifications, Luxembourg, hosts Iceland in a pivotal match that has a big impact on who finishes third in the group. Bosnia & Herzegovina cannot afford to slip up in their trip to Liechtenstein as they need all three points to keep pace with Luxembourg.
Group C leaders England will face a tough test as they travel to Poland to face second-placed Ukraine. England owns a perfect record after facing each of the 4 other group nations while Ukraine sits on 6 points after 3 matches. A win for England would give them a firm grip on the top spot, but Ukraine will be aiming for revenge for the 2-0 defeat at Wembley. In the other Group C match, North Macedonia hosts Italy who both sit on 3 points but Italy has a match in hand. This is the debut for new Italy manager Luciano Spalletti who will want to impress and start Italy’s march to keep up with group leaders England.
Austria and Belgium are starting to run away in Group F, leaving Sweden to do a lot of work to catch up with the leaders. Azerbaijan’s game against Belgium opens the day as Azerbaijan looks to play spoiler. Sweden will get their chance to get some of those much-needed points as they travel to Estonia.
Group I is turning into a three-horse race with Switzerland currently leading the pack with 10 points, followed by Romania with eight and Israel with seven. Kosovo hosts Switzerland; Andorra plays host to Belarus; leaving Romania vs. Israel as the choice match in the group. The winner of that match would firmly make themselves favorites to join Switzerland in the finals, barring any major surprises in Kosovo.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Poolfoto
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