Ahead of a weekend of World Cup Qualifiers on Sky Sports, we’ve picked out 10 of the best matches for you to look out for…
Sky Sports’ extensive coverage of the European Qualifiers continues with 27 live matches across our channels and on the red button.
With the qualifying campaign set to pass the halfway stage this weekend, here’s a closer look at the big games which could be crucial to deciding who makes the journey to Russia next year…
Sweden v France
Friday June 9 – Group A, Sky Sports 1 HD (19:00)
The top two from Group A go head-to-head on Friday night at the Friends Arena in Stockholm. France currently hold a three-point lead over Sweden going into the game, having beaten them 2-1 at home back in November.
Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet were both on target in that encounter, and head coach Didier Deschamps will hope for more of the same in Sweden as they look to stretch their advantage at the top.
Estonia v Belgium
Friday June 9 – Group H, Sky Sports 3 HD (19:40)
Roberto Martinez’s Belgium side will hope to maintain their lead at the top of Group H when they travel to Estonia on Friday.
Belgium are two points clear of Greece, and three ahead of Bosnia, while they enjoyed an 8-1 victory over Estonia back in November – Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were both on target in that emphatic win.
Latvia v Portugal
Friday June 9 – Group B, Sky Sports 5 HD (19:40)
The Euro 2016 champions are trailing Switzerland by three points in Group B, and will hope to close the gap when heading to Latvia on Friday night.
Switzerland themselves travel to Faroe Islands at the same time (live on the Sky Sports 1 red button), and will be heavy favourites to make it six wins from six.
Scotland v England
Saturday June 10 – Group F, Sky Sports 1 HD (16:00)
A rivalry which also serves up some drama and entertainment, Scotland will hope to peg back the ‘Auld Enemy’ on Saturday.
England currently lead Group F by four points, while Scotland are down in fourth on seven points, behind both Slovakia and Slovenia.
Azerbaijan v Northern Ireland
Saturday June 10 – Group C, Sky Sports Mix (16:45)
The battle for second could well go to the final day in Group C – Germany are the runaway leaders, but Northern Ireland currently occupy the all-important runner-up spot.
Azerbaijan trail Michael O’Neill’s side by just three points – Czech Republic are sandwiched between the paid on sigh points – meaning Saturday’s clash in Baku is a must-win for the hosts.
Germany v San Marino
Saturday June 10 – Group C, Sky Sports 1 HD (19:40)
The world champions are looking unstoppable at the top of Group C, having won all five games to date and scoring 20 goals in the process.
It could be a case of how many on Saturday night when they welcome San Marino, while the Germans could well have one eye on the FIFA Confederations Cup, which starts later this month.
Republic of Ireland v Austria
Sunday June 11 – Group D, Sky Sports 1 HD (16:30)
Before Wales’ clash at Serbia, the Republic of Ireland have the chance to top Group D when they host Austria, who will hope to remain in the mix with an away win.
Ireland are locked on 11 points with Serbia as it stands, and Martin O’Neill will know that victory will heap the pressure back onto their nearest rivals
Serbia v Wales
Sunday June 11 – Group D, Sky Sports 1 HD (19:15)
A must-win for Wales? Quite possibly. Chris Coleman’s side trail Ireland and Serbia by four points, and could well find themselves seven behind Ireland when their game kicks off on Sunday night.
It’s as close to a ‘six-pointer’ as you’re ever going to get in World Cup Qualifiers – victory for Serbia would leave Wales with a near-insurmountable mountain to climb.
Macedonia v Spain / Italy v Liechtenstein
Sunday June 11 – Group G, Sky Sports 2 HD (19:40) / Sky Sports 3 HD (19:40)
We’ve paired these fixtures together because Spain and Italy are inseparable in Group G. The two are locked together on 13 points after five games, and both will expect to win their respective encounters this weekend
Spain thrashed Macedonia 4-0 in the reverse fixture back in November, while Italy won by the same scoreline in Liechtenstein.