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England and Serbia on verge of qualifying
by Paul Kennedy, September 9th, 2009 6:45AM
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[WORLD CUP QUALIFYING] England and Serbia will qualify for the World Cup finals with wins on Wednesday. Denmark and Spain can clinch on Wednesday but they will need help. For a look at all the European qualifying groups and TV schedules ...

Denmark 17 points (7 games); Hungary 13 (7); Sweden 12 (7); Portugal 10 (7); Albania 6 (8); Malta 1 (8).
Malta v Sweden
Albania v Denmark
Hungary v Portugal (Setanta Sports USA, live, 2:40 pm ET)
Denmark is in the driver's seat though it might not clinch Wednesday even with a win at Albania. Portugal has to win at Hungary to stay in contention for the second spot.

Switzerland 16 points; Greece, Latvia 13; Israel 9; Luxembourg 5; Moldova 2 (all 7 games).
Israel v Luxembourg
Moldova v Greece
Latvia v Switzerland
Switzerland edged ahead with its win over Greece on Saturday, but Latvia can catch the Swiss with a win on Wednesday.

Slovakia 16 points (7 games); Northern Ireland 14 (8); Poland 11 (7), Slovenia 11 (7); Czech Republic 9 (7); San Marino 0 (8).
Czech Rep v San Marino
Northern Ireland v Slovakia (Fox Soccer Channel, live, 2:30 pm ET)
Slovenia v Poland
Slovakia will clinch if it wins at Northern Ireland and Slovenia-Poland ends in a tie. Because it has played one more game than its main competition, a win over Slovenia doesn't necessarily make Northern Ireland the favorite to win the group.

Germany 19 points; Russia 18; Finland 13; Wales 9; Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein 1 (all 7 games).
Liechtenstein v Finland
Wales v Russia (Fox Soccer Channel, delay, 5 pm ET; Gol TV, delay, 7:30 pm ET)
Germany v Azerbaijan (Gol TV, delay, 4:45 pm ET)
Germany and Russia are favored to finish 1-2. If Russia slips up at Wales, it loses the advantage it will hold by hosting Germany in Moscow on Oct. 10 in the group's deciding match.

Spain 21 points; Bosnia-Herzegovina 15; Turkey 11; Belgium 7; Estonia 5; Armenia 1 (all 7 games).
Armenia v Belgium
Bosnia-Herzegovina v Turkey (Setanta Sports USA, delay, 5 pm ET)
Spain v Estonia (Gol TV, delay, 9:30 pm ET)
Spain has clinched no worse than second place and will win the group if it does better against Estonia than Bosnia-Herzegovina does against Turkey. Bosnia-Herzegovina will clinch second place if it beats the Turks.

England 21 points (7 games); Croatia 17 (8); Ukraine 14 (7); Belarus 9 (7); Kazakhstan 3 (7); Andorra 0 (8).
Belarus v Ukraine
Andorra v Kazakhstan
England v Croatia (inDemand, live, 3 pm ET)
England will clinch if it beats Croatia at Wembley or ties and Ukraine doesn't win at Belarus. Having played one more game than Ukraine, Croatia will probably need at least a point to have a chance of holding off Ukraine for second place.

Serbia 18 points; France 14; Austria 10; Lithuania 9; Romania 8; Faeroe Islands 1 (all 7 games).
Faeroe Islands v Lithuania
Romania v Austria
Serbia v France (Setanta Sports USA, delay, 6:45 pm ET)
Serbia will clinch with a win over France in Belgrade. It will still be in good shape with a tie. Austria needs to win at Romania and hope France loses to move within striking distance of second place.


Italy 17 points (7 games); Ireland 16 (8); Bulgaria 11 (7); Cyprus 5 (7); Montenegro 4 (7); Georgia 3 (8).
Italy v Bulgaria (Gol TV, live, 2:45 pm ET)
Montenegro v Cyprus
Italy will have a four-point cushion going into its crucial game against Ireland in Dublin on Oct. 10 if it beats Bulgaria, which needs a victory to remain in the hunt for second place.

Netherlands 21 points (7 games); Scotland 10 (7); Norway 7 (7); Macedonia 7 (7); Iceland 5 (8).
Scotland v Netherlands (Gol TV, delay, Thursday, 8 pm ET)
Norway v Macedonia
The Netherlands was the first European team to clinch. On the final day of qualifying in the five-team group, Scotland needs a point against the Oranje in Glasgow to clinch second place, though one point would only give the Scots 11 points (with a minus-4 goal differential), which might not be enough to finish in the top eight among the group runners-up -- only the top eight out of nine move on to the European playoffs. If the Scots lose at home, the winner of the Norway-Macedonia game will take second place. (The Scots will take second with a tie in Oslo.)


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