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How to watch the penultimate round in UEFA WCQ

Italy vs Switzerland, Ireland vs Portugal and all the UEFA World Cup qualifiers to watch on Nov. 11-13, 2021

November 11, 2021 By Ali M.
Matchday 9 of Europe's World Cup qualifying tournament kicks off on Thursday and will carry on into the weekend, with several exciting fixtures set to take place in the penultimate round.

The penultimate round of the FIFA World Cup European qualifiers are upon us! The action gets underway on Thursday at 12 p.m. ET with four simultaneous kick-offs, one of which is the intriguing encounter between Sweden and Georgia, before an additional six games take place at 2:45 p.m. ET.

A total of eighteen games will be staged on Thursday through Friday, with the seven remaining Matchday 9 fixtures scheduled to go down on Saturday. Eight of those 18 fixtures will take place on Friday, including the standout tie of this round: Italy vs Switzerland,

Only Germany and Denmark have booked their tickets to Qatar 2022 so far, meaning that while those two nations can head into the final two rounds without pressure, a lot is on the line for Europe's remaining giants. England, for example, are one positive result away from qualifying for next year's World Cup while France and Belgium, who won't be in action until the weekend, are also a win away from securing their tickets.

With that in mind, here's everything you need to know about the penultimate round in UEFA's World Cup qualifying tournament.

The UEFA World Cup qualifiers standings ahead of the midweek fixtures

Group A

  1. Serbia: 17 pts

  2. Portugal: 16 pts

  3. Luxembourg: 6 pts

  4. Ireland: 5 pts

  5. Azerbaijan: 1 pts

Group B

  1. Sweden: 15 pts

  2. Spain: 13 pts

  3. Greece: 9 pts

  4. Georgia: 4 pts

  5. Kosovo: 1 pts

Group C

  1. Italy: 14 pts

  2. Switzerland: 14 pts

  3. Bulgaria: 8 pts

  4. Northern Ireland 5 pts

  5. Lithuania: 3 pts

Group D

  1. France: 12 pts

  2. Ukraine: 9 pts

  3. Finland: 8 pts

  4. Bosnia and Herzegovina:  7 pts

  5. Kazakhstan: 3 pts

Group E

  1. Belgium: 16 pts

  2. Czech Republic: 11 pts

  3. Wales: 11 pts

  4. Estonia: 4 pts

  5. Belarus: 3 pts

Group F

  1. Denmark: 24 pts (qualified)

  2. Scotland: 17 pts

  3. Israel: 13 pts

  4. Austria: 10 pts

  5. Faroe Islands: 4 pts

  6. Moldova: 1 pts

Group G

  1. Netherlands: 19 pts

  2. Norway: 17 pts

  3. Turkey: 15 pts

  4. Montenegro: 11 pts

  5. Latvia: 5 pts

  6. Gibraltar: 0 pts

Group H

  1. Russia: 19 pts

  2. Croatia: 17 pts

  3. Slovakia: 10 pts

  4. Slovenia: 10 pts

  5. Malta: 5 pts

  6. Cyprus: 5 pts

Group I

  1. England: 20 pts

  2. Poland: 17 pts

  3. Albania: 15 pts

  4. Hungary: 11 pts

  5. Andorra: 6 pts

  6. San Marino: 0 pts

Group J

  1. Germany: 21 pts (qualified)

  2. Romania: 13 pts

  3. North Macedonia: 12 pts

  4. Armenia: 12 pts

  5. Iceland: 8 pts

  6. Liechtenstein: 1 pts

Top games to watch

Greece vs Spain: La Furia Roja went from strength to strength in 2021, reaching the semifinals of Euro 2020 before finishing as runners-up in the recent UEFA Nations League tournament. However, the focus now shifts back to the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, where Luis Enrique's men have suffered a few unwanted stumbles.

Many tipped Spain to cruise to a first-placed finish, which would secure them an automatic qualification to Qatar. However, the 2010 World Cup winners sit in second, trailing table-toppers Sweden—led by an in-form Alexander Isak—by two points. The top two teams will meet on the final day, but La Furia Roja must first get past the Greeks in the penultimate round in order to remain within touching distance of the Scandinavians. Greece held Spain to a draw in their first encounter in Granada while beating Sweden not too long ago. The home advantage is on Piratiko's side, meaning Enrique's crew will be in for a tricky 90 minutes of football. Do not miss this encounter. 

Ireland Republic vs Portugal: Portugal find themselves in a similar dilemma with Spain, with Cristiano and Co. sitting in the runners-up spot in Group A and thus facing the daunting playoffs route. However, there are differences. Fernando Santos' side boast a game in-hand over Serbia, whom top the table courtesy of a mere one-point lead. This means should the European giants beat Ireland, then they would climb to the no.1 spot ahead of the crucial battle with Serbia in the final round.

The Republic of Ireland have nothing left to play for as they can no longer qualify for Qatar 2022. However, honor is on the line as they wish to treat the home fans to only their second win of the qualifiers. Can they hand Portugal a huge blow in their battle with Serbia or will Cristiano and Co. go top of the table this midweek? Make sure to catch this game!

Italy vs Switzerland: After their heartbreaking failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Italy will be keen on avoiding the playoffs. However, they are facing stiff opposition from Switzerland, who they will face on Friday, for the no.1 spot. The Azzurri and Nati are tied on 14 points each, with Mancini's side topping the table merely due to a superior goal differential. Given that this is the penultimate round, the four-time World Cup winners know they cannot afford a slip-up as it would leave them in danger of missing out on automatic qualiication.

Italy have been brought back down to Earth recently after reaching great highs with their Euro 2020 win and world record 37-match unbeaten run, being defeated by Spain in the UEFA Nations League semifinals. Their midweek opponents will be without Granit Xhaka, the influential midfielder who played a key role in their impressive European Championship run, but with Mancini having so many players injured, the Italians have enough concerns of their own heading into this tie.

Who's in and who's out?

Germany: Timo Werner, Florian Wirtz, Nico Schlotterbeck

Sweden: Ken Sema (injury); Albin Ekdal (suspension)

Spain: None

Croatia: Mateo Kovacic, Josip Brekalo

England: Marcus Rashford, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse, Mason Mount, and Luke Shaw (out); Jack Grealish (doubtful)

Portugal: Bernardo Silva

Denmark: Robert Skov, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Mathias Jensen, Kasper Dolberg

Italy: Ciro Immobile, Nicolo Zaniolo, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Giorgio Chiellini, Marco Verratti

Switzerland: Nico Elvedi, Steven Zuber, Breel Embolo, Gregor Kobel, Granit Xhaka

Belgium: Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld

France: Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, Presnel Kimpembe

Full list of UEFA World Cup qualifiers on November 11-13, 2021

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

Russia 6 - 0 Cyprus

November 11, 2021 12:00pmSaint-Petersburg Stadium (Sankt-Peterburg (St. Petersburg))

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Georgia 2 - 0 Sweden

November 11, 2021 12:00pmAdjarabet Arena (Batumi)

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Azerbaijan 1 - 3 Luxembourg

November 11, 2021 12:00pmBakı Olimpiya Stadionu (Baku)

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Armenia 0 - 5 North Macedonia

November 11, 2021 12:00pmVazgen Sargsyan anvan Hanrapetakan Marzadasht (Yerevan)

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Greece 0 - 1 Spain

November 11, 2021 2:45pmOlympiako Stadio Spyros Louis (Athína (Athens))

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Malta 1 - 7 Croatia

November 11, 2021 2:45pmTa'Qali National Stadium (Ta'Qali)

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Romania 0 - 0 Iceland

November 11, 2021 2:45pmStadionul Steaua (București)

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Slovakia 2 - 2 Slovenia

November 11, 2021 2:45pmCITY ARENA – Štadión Antona Malatinského (Trnava)

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Germany 9 - 0 Liechtenstein

November 11, 2021 2:45pmVOLKSWAGEN ARENA (Wolfsburg)

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Ireland Republic 0 - 0 Portugal

November 11, 2021 2:45pmAviva Stadium (Dublin)

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Moldova 0 - 2 Scotland

November 12, 2021 12:00pmStadionul Zimbru (Chişinău)

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Andorra 1 - 4 Poland

November 12, 2021 2:45pmEstadi Nacional (Andorra la Vella)

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Austria 4 - 2 Israel

November 12, 2021 2:45pmWörthersee Stadion (Klagenfurt am Wörthersee)

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England 5 - 0 Albania

November 12, 2021 2:45pmWembley Stadium (London)

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Italy 1 - 1 Switzerland

November 12, 2021 2:45pmStadio Olimpico (Roma)

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Hungary 4 - 0 San Marino

November 12, 2021 2:45pmPuskás Aréna (Budapest)

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Denmark 3 - 1 Faroe Islands

November 12, 2021 2:45pmParken (København)

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Northern Ireland 1 - 0 Lithuania

November 12, 2021 2:45pmWindsor Park (Belfast)

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Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 - 3 Finland

November 13, 2021 9:00amStadion Bilino Polje (Zenica)

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Norway 0 - 0 Latvia

November 13, 2021 12:00pmUllevaal Stadion (Oslo)

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Turkey 6 - 0 Gibraltar

November 13, 2021 12:00pmBaşakşehir Fatih Terim Stadyumu (İstanbul)

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Wales 5 - 1 Belarus

November 13, 2021 2:45pmCardiff City Stadium (Cardiff (Caerdydd))

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Belgium 3 - 1 Estonia

November 13, 2021 2:45pmStade Roi Baudouin (Bruxelles (Brussel))

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France 8 - 0 Kazakhstan

November 13, 2021 2:45pmParc des Princes (Paris)

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Montenegro 2 - 2 Netherlands

November 13, 2021 2:45pmStadion Pod Goricom (Podgorica)

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