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UEFA World Cup qualifying viewing info

UEFA WCQs live listings to watch in USA (March 24-26)

March 23, 2017 By Michelle Bonsu
UEFA World Cup qualifiers resume, with Italy, Spain, Croatia, Wales, France, England, and Germany among those in action starting from Friday, March 24th. LiveSoccerTV.com provides info to catch Wales-Ireland, Italy-Albania, Spain-Israel, and more.

It may be a "break", but that only applies for club football. Many of the world's top stars now will have to turn their attention to international duty as all the federations worldwide are in World Cup qualifying action over the next week or so. UEFA, as the largest contingent, has plenty of games on store, and the matches begin this Friday featuring Spain, Croatia, Wales, and Italy in action against Israel, Ukraine, Ireland, and Albania. On Saturday, France face Luxembourg, whilst Greece and Belgium lock horns, and Sunday will see England battle Lithuania and Germany travel to Azerbaijan.

Below is all the viewing info you need to catch the games, plus a rundown of what's going on in Groups A through I.

Friday, March 24, 2017 European World Cup qualifying matches

  • Georgia vs Serbia on ESPN3 USA, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes+ USA, ESPN Deportes USA at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST
  • Turkey vs Finland on Fox Sports 2 USA, Fox Sports GO, Fox Soccer 2GO USA, fuboTV, FOX Deportes at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST
  • Austria vs Moldova on WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST
  • Ireland Republic vs Wales on WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST
  • Italy vs Albania on fuboTV, Fox Sports 2 USA, Fox Soccer 2GO USA, Fox Sports GO, FOX Deportes at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST
  • Liechtenstein vs Macedonia on Fox Soccer 2GO USA at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST
  • Spain vs Israel on WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes+ USA, ESPN3 USA, ESPN Deportes USA at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST
  • Croatia vs Ukraine on fuboTV, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2GO USA, Fox Sports GO at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST
  • Kosovo vs Iceland on WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST

Saturday, March 25, 2017 European World Cup qualifying matches

  • Sweden vs Belarus on Fox Sports 2 USA, Fox Soccer 2GO USA, fuboTV, Fox Sports GO, FOX Deportes at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST
  • Andorra vs Faroe Islands on WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST
  • Switzerland vs Latvia on ESPN3 USA, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes USA, ESPN Deportes+ USA at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST
  • Cyprus vs Estonia on WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Gibraltar on fuboTV, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2GO USA, Fox Sports GO at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST
  • Bulgaria vs Netherlands on WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA, ESPN Deportes+ USA, ESPN Deportes USA at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST
  • Luxembourg vs France on WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST
  • Portugal vs Hungary on Fox Sports 2 USA, Fox Soccer 2GO USA, Fox Sports GO, fuboTV, FOX Deportes at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST
  • Belgium vs Greece on Fox Soccer 2GO USA, Fox Sports GO, fuboTV, Fox Soccer Plus, Univision Deportes USA at 12:45 PM PST/3:45 PM EST

Sunday, March 26, 2017 European World Cup qualifying matches

  • Azerbaijan vs Germany on ESPN2 USA, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes USA, ESPN Deportes+ USA at 9:00 AM PST/12:00 PM EST
  • San Marino vs Czech Republic on Fox Sports GO, Fox Soccer Plus, fuboTV, Fox Soccer 2GO USA, FOX Deportes at 9:00 AM PST/12:00 PM EST
  • Armenia vs Kazakhstan on Fox Soccer 2GO USA at 9:00 AM PST/12:00 PM EST
  • England vs Lithuania on Fox Sports 2 USA, UniMás, Univision Deportes USA, Univision NOW, Fox Sports GO, fuboTV, Fox Soccer 2GO USA at 9:00 AM PST/12:00 PM EST
  • Montenegro vs Poland on Fox Sports 2 USA, Fox Sports GO, Fox Soccer 2GO USA, fuboTV at 11:45 AM PST/2:45 PM EST
  • Romania vs Denmark on WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA, ESPN Deportes USA, ESPN Deportes+ USA at 11:45 AM PST/2:45 PM EST
  • Malta vs Slovakia on Fox Soccer 2GO USA at 11:45 AM PST/2:45 PM EST
  • Scotland vs Slovenia on WatchESPN, ESPN3 USA at 11:45 AM PST/2:45 PM EST
  • Northern Ireland vs Norway on Fox Sports GO, fuboTV, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2GO USA at 11:45 AM PST/2:45 PM EST

Group A: France on top, but Les Bleus still wary of Netherlands and Sweden

After their EURO 2016 heartbreak, France have quickly moved on as they seek to qualify for what will be their 15th World Cup. Didier Deschamps's men are in action against Luxembourg before facing Spain in a titanic friendly clash between two of Europe's giants. Fortunately for France, their next opponents have struggled horribly and sit bottom of the table, but Les Bleus will have to do it without star midfielder Paul Pogba, who is out injured. Other notable absentees from France's squad include Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette but Monaco's Kylian Mbappé has been rewarded for his brilliant season with Les Rouges-et-Blancs with a call-up to the senior squad.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands and Sweden, who face Eastern European outfits Bulgaria and Belarus respectively, will hope to keep themselves in the running; a win for both teams coupled with a (shock) loss or draw for France will make Group A a lot more interesting as we head to the midway point of the qualifying stages.

Group B: Switzerland leading the pack

La Nati sit on top, and with a three point advantage, Switzerland will be naturally looking to further extend that lead as they take on minnows Latvia, and judging by how they have fared, Switzerland should have no problems taking care of business against them. Meanwhile, the second-placed team in this pack, Portugal, face a tricky test against Hungary. Considering how Bernd Storck's side were pretty solid at the EUROs last summer, Portugal would be wise not to take them lightly.

Group C: Germany taking advantage of a very comfortable group

Reigning World Cup champions Germany are in cruise control, but that was to be expected. Joachim Low's squad are hoping to successfully defend their title in Russia next year, and die Mannschaft have progressed thus far without breaking too much of a sweat. Four games, four wins, 16 goals scored and zero conceded. Next up for Germany is a trip to Eastern European side Azerbaijan on Sunday, and although the visitors are missing a few key players, including Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng, they should be able to do away with their opponents without much fuss. 

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland have not given up hope of qualifying for their first World Cup since 1982 as there is still the play-offs to be contested later this year. The Green and White Army take on Norway, also on Sunday, March 26th. 

Group D: Lots of work to do for Gareth Bale and Wales

Wales impressed at EURO 2016 largely thanks to the performances of players like Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, and Hal Robson-Kanu. However, the Dragons have quite a bit of work to do if they want to get back on track for the World Cup in 2018. Despite cruising to a 4-0 win over minnows Moldova, three subsequent draws against Austria, Georgia, and Serbia have cost them valuable points as they hope to qualify for their first World Cup since 1958.

It goes without saying that Chris Coleman's troops need to get back to winning ways as they travel to face the Republic of Ireland on Friday, and they will also be hoping that Serbia, who sit two points ahead of them in second, will stumble against Georgia, but the Eagles will surely look to take advantage of Georgia's bad form as they themselves could take over top spot if Ireland lose to Wales.

Group E: Bayern's Lewandowski firing Poland to World Cup 2018

This group is among the weakest for UEFA, and that is something that Poland, who have had a smooth qualifying campaign so far will hope to keep taking advantage of as they hope to make it to their first World Cup since crashing out in the group stages back in 2006. Key to their success is skipper Robert Lewandowski, who has seven out of his team's ten goals and leads the scoring charts for UEFA's sides in qualifiers. With the Bayern Munich ace in good form, he will be expected to add more as they take on second-placed Montenegro this weekend.

Group F: England under pressure to book World Cup 2018 spot

Although Gareth Southgate's side are on top of their group, England are still under a great deal of pressure. The Three Lions have underwhelmed on the international stage for decades, and were humiliated at EURO 2016 by debutants Iceland. That did not set well with supporters, and they come into their tie with Lithuania having lost 1-0 to Germany in a recent friendly.

Having benefited from a pretty easy group, nothing short of qualification will suffice for a team of England's stature. They will certainly be hoping to shut up some of their doubters with an assured performance against Lithuania, and with Slovenia only two points back, it's vital that the Three Lions roar once again. There's no Wayne Rooney, nor Harry Kane in attack, whilst Phil Jones is out after suffering an injury whilst in training with the squad. Up front is quite an interesting trio of attackers. Southgate has opted to recall Jermaine Defoe due to his solid performances for Sunderland and young talent Marcus Rashford, who continues to shine for Manchester United, whilst Jamie Vardy will now hope to feature at his first ever World Cup in 2018.

Group G: Two horse race between Italy and Spain...but watch out for Israel

Predictably, Group G will be decided between Spain and Italy. They are arguably two of the most  successful footballing nations in the world and when the groups were announced, many were surprised to see La Furia Roja and gli Azzurri placed in the same group - especially when one takes a look at how some of the other groupings in UEFA turned out.

Julen Lopetegui's side resume World Cup qualifying action against Israel, who have had a pretty solid campaign so far and sit in third spot. There's no space in the squad for Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas or Napoli's Jose Callejon, whilst Napoli's Pepe Reina suffered an injury and so will not feature on Friday. Meanwhile, there's still no room for Mario Balotelli, despite a decent season with Nice. Gian Piero Ventura instead has opted to go with the in-form Andrea Belotti, who has been quite impressive, but notable absentees for gli Azzurri, who face Albania include Juventus duo Claudio Marchisio and Giorgio Chiellini.

Group H: Close race bewteen Belgium and Greece

Belgium were viewed as dark horse contenders for EURO 2016, but came up short. In fact, they were quite disappointing. Les Diables Rouges now have a new manager, with ex-Everton boss Roberto Martinez at the helm, and so far are on top of their group after scoring a whopping 21 goals in just four games. Next up is a crunch clash against Greece, who have not scored anywhere as many goals but are still staying close behind due to their solid showings, and Belgium will have to make do without key man Eden Hazard due to injury.

However, with players like Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, and Radja Nainggolan within their ranks, the wealth of talent available for Belgium is surely the envy of many teams. Meanwhile, Bosnia should be able to pick up all three points against minnows Gibraltar. Unfortunately,  they will have to do it without skipper and their nation's all-time top goalscorer Edin Dzeko, who is suspended. Given his great performances for Roma this season, his absence surely will be keenly felt.

Group I: Croatia largely untroubled so far whilst Iceland hope to get back on track

With stars like Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, and Mario Mandzukic within their ranks, Croatia were naturally viewed as the heavyweights in this group. It's been pretty smooth sailing for Ante Cacic's side, and their no. 1 shot-stopper, Danijel Subasic has been having a good season so far for Monaco. The Vatreni have not been troubed much, with their only minor blip being a 1-1 draw against Turkey last September, and are expected to pick up another three points against Ukraine this Friday without much fuss.

Meanwhile, everyone's favorite underdog, Iceland, are still in the running for a spot at World Cup 2018. The tiny nation won everyone's hearts - perhaps except England supporters - due to their impressive showings at their debut EURO tournament last season. And having missed out on a World Cup 2014 berth after losing to Croatia in a two-legged playoff (as well as again last year) they will look to take advantage of debutant Kosovo's struggles to get back on track.

 


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