Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Azzurri and Oranje close to clinching
September 6th, 2013 12:02AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  germany, italy, netherlands

MOST COMMENTED

[WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING: Europe] As many as five European teams could clinch their World Cup 2014 qualifying groups by Tuesday, though only Italy and the Netherlands won't need help from others. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Germany -- both of which the USA has beaten this year -- as well as Switzerland are also closing in berths in next year's final.

(Click here for viewing of Friday's World Cup 2014 qualifiers.)

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. Bosnia-Herzegovina can clinch a berth in the World Cup finals for the first time with a sweep of its two games against Slovakia but it will need for Greece to drop of four points against Liechtenstein and Latvia -- an unlikely scenario. Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic, who combined for all three BiH goals in the 4-3 friendly loss to the USA, will lead the attack.

-- BiH has scored 23 goals in six games -- the most of any team in European qualifying.

GERMANY.Germany will look to keep its record perfect of having qualified for every World Cup in which it has been entered, and it could clinch with with Group C wins over Austria on Friday and the Faeroe Islands on Tuesday. Starting midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Bastian Schweinsteiger are both injured, so Sami Khedira and either Lars Bender or Toni Kroos will play in their place.

-- Germany has given up nine goals in its last three games, all friendlies: two to Ecuador, four to the USA and three to Paraguay.

ITALY.The Azzurri, semifinalists at the Confederations Cup in June, can clinch the Group B title with wins over its closest rivals, Bulgaria on Friday and the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Mario Balotelli -- red-carded against the Czechs in June -- is one of three Italians who are suspended for the Bulgaria game at the Stadio Renzo Barbera in Palermo, and two other players are injured.

-- Goalie Gianluigi Buffon will equal the Italian appearance record of 136 caps if he plays against Bulgaria.

NETHERLANDS.The Dutch are the only unbeaten and untied team in European qualifying and should wrap things up with wins on the road against Estonia on Friday and Andorra on Tuesday. Veterans Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder (recalled in place of injured Rafael van der Vaart) will lead the Oranje against Estonia. Other players who should get starts includeJonathon De Guzman, whose brother Julian plays for Canada, and a pair of 21-year-old center backs, Bruno Martins Indi and Stefan de Vrij, both of Feyenoord.

-- The Dutch have a 11-game unbeaten streak (eight wins and three ties) dating back to August 2012.

SWITZERLAND.Switzerland, which is coming off a 1-0 win over Brazil in their friendly, has an outside shot of clinching, but it will need to win games against Iceland and at Norway and Albania will have to lose at Slovenia or Iceland. The average age of Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld's quartet of strikers -- Haris Seferovic, Mario Gavranovic, Josip Drmic and Steven Zuber -- is 22.

-- The Swiss have conceded just one goal in five games -- the best defensive record in Europe.

Europe Standings
Europe Schedule


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Carter-Vickers gets Spurs contract extension    
A week after 18-year-old defender Cameron Carter-Vickers made his pro debut for Tottenham Hotspur in the ...
Mexico: Gio is back for October friendlies    
LA Galaxy forward Giovani dos Santos was picked by Mexico national team coach Juan Carlos Osorio ...
Video Pick: Desailly has the last laugh    
French 1998 World Cup champ Marcel Desailly, now a sideline pundit, filmed himself with his phone ...
MLS Talking Points: Dempsey's loss doesn't faze Sounders    
For the first time in 2016, the Seattle Sounders are in the top six in MLS's ...
What They're Saying: Sam Allardyce    
"Unfortunately, it was an error of judgement on my behalf. I've paid the consequences. Entrapment has ...
MLS Expansion: Jones gives thumbs-up to Martino hiring    
It didn't take long for Trinidad & Tobago striker Kenwyne Jones to tell the world he's ...
MLS Week 30: Results & Standings    
Montreal and D.C. United put themselves in line to claim playoff berths in the Eastern Conference ...
CCL: FC Dallas tie complicates path to quarterfinals    
FC Dallas had to settle for a 0-0 tie with Guatemala's Suchitepequez at home in their ...
Video Pick (TBT): When Oscar Pareja dazzled on the field    
Of MLS's 20 head coaches, 16 are former MLS players -- so on this Thursday we're ...
What They're Saying: Hope Solo    
"Yesterday, I underwent shoulder replacement surgery to address an injury I've been dealing with for some ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives