By News Team
6th October 2021
The race for the World Cup in Qatar heats up this Friday and Saturday with key qualifiers across Europe and the globe.
England, Scotland and Wales all have a chance of making the finals, so they’ll be aiming to keep their nations’ dreams alive with maximum points this weekend.
We preview their three fixtures below.
Andorra v England
England have won five of their six matches in Group I but will want to return to winning ways this Saturday night after being held by Poland in Warsaw last time out.
Gareth Southgate’s side remain in control of their group, four points clear of Albania in second, while Andorra are fifth, having picked up just three points by beating San Marino.
With home matches to come against Hungary and Albania, plus away games in Andorra and San Marino, England could easily finish with nine wins out of 10 in their qualifying campaign.
Andorra are always willing to dig deep and defend deeper, or at least try to at first, keeping their visitors at bay for as long as possible; they may be able to frustrate Southgate’s men before eventually being overwhelmed.
An England victory to nil appeals, but for more value, trying to pick out the correct score could be the way to go – a repeat of the 4-0 Three Lions victory in September is tempting at 9/2.
Czech Republic v Wales
Czech Republic have won just one of their last four matches after they drew 1-1 against Ukraine in a friendly last month.
However, their progress to the Euro 2020 quarter-finals did showcase a vast improvement in performance under manager Jaroslav Silhavy and the hosts come into this one against Wales on Friday as the 7/10 favourites.
The final two matches of the campaign will be crucial to Wales’ hopes of qualifying, with Rob Page’s side sitting in third place in Group E, level on points with second-placed Czech Republic.
They’ll be without Gareth Bale for both games due to injury, but with Aaron Ramsey back in the fold they should be able to muster up a few chances on goal.
Scotland v Israel
After playing in their first major international tournament in 23 years earlier this summer, Scotland will be hoping to get another taste at Qatar 2022.
Steve Clarke’s side are looking to extend their current lead over Israel in Group F and with the Israelis only one point behind them, everything is to play for in Saturday’s match.
A win here for the Scots would help them strengthen their grip on second spot before facing the Faroe Islands and Moldova in two of their three remaining fixtures.
The likes of Scott McTominay and Callum McGregor have returned following recent injuries, as Scotland come into this crucial clash as the 19/20 favourites.
However, they’ll be facing familiar foes in Israel, having met them six times in the past four years, and Willibald Ruttensteiner’s side have proven to be no pushovers.