Euro 2020: All you need to know, fixtures and talking points ahead of qualifiers
Qualifying for the 2020 European Championship resumes this week. Eurosport pick out five talking points ahead of the next batch of matches, which start on Thursday.
The top two teams in each of the 10 groups qualify directly for next year's tournament. The remaining four places will be decided by a series of playoff matches involving teams who won their Nations League groups last year.
GERMANS, DUTCH MEET AGAIN
Memphis Depay dribbles past Joshua KimmichGetty Images
Neighbours Germany and the Netherlands will clash for the fourth time since the World Cup when they meet in Group C in Hamburg on Friday.
The pair were drawn together in the Nations League last year with the Dutch winning 3-0 at home and drawing 2-2 away on their way to finishing top of the group, sparking talk of a revival after their failure to qualify for Euro 2016 or the World Cup.
However, Germany won the opening Group C match 3-2 away in March, which has left Ronald Koeman's team in a tricky situation.
The Dutch have three points from two games while Germany have a maximum nine from three. Northern Ireland lead with 12 points from four games after home-and-away wins over Belarus and Estonia.
Historically, there has been very little to choose between the Germans and the Dutch. In 42 meetings, the Germans have won 15 times, the Dutch have won 11, and they have played out 16 draws.
SWITZERLAND COACH UNDERSTANDS SHAQIRI DECISION
Xherdan Shaqiri has been backed by the Swiss coachGetty Images
Shaqiri said he wanted to concentrate on his career at Liverpool where he has struggled to get into the team.
"I accept this decision," said Petkovic. "It wouldn't have made sense to make him come here if he couldn't give 100%. Players know if they are ready or not."
"He's played nearly 100 times for the national side, often making the difference. He's human, and he can have difficult moments."
ITALY BAR ZANIOLO, KEAN FOR INDISCIPLINE
Moise Kean is not in the Italy squadGetty Images
Italy coach Roberto Mancini has confirmed that Moise Kean, 19, and Nicolo Zaniolo, 20, were omitted from his squad for indiscipline after turning up late for a meeting when they were with the under-21 team during the summer.
"They're young. We gave them a great opportunity," he said. "They must learn to behave well. A professional must always behave well ".
He added: "They are young and they haven't done anything serious, it was just a slip-up. We hope this will help them in the future."
Group J leaders Italy visit Armenia on Thursday and Finland on Sunday.
RAKITIC OUT OF CROATIA SQUAD
Ivan Rakitic is not in the Croatia squadImago
Ivan Rakitic has been dropped from the Croatia squad to face Slovakia and Azerbaijan in Group E.
Although Rakitic has ended up staying at Barcelona, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, whose side are third with six points, said the uncertainty of the last few weeks had affected the player.
"At this moment, he is not ready for the national team and would not be able to give his maximum," said Dalic. "I do not have time to worry about what will be later, I hope for the best."
PORTUGAL NEED WINS
Cristiano Ronaldo lifted the Nations League trophy after Portugal's victory over HollandPA Sport
Portugal added another trophy to their Euro 2016 title when they won the inaugural Nations League in June. But they are in a spot of bother in Group B after home draws against Serbia and Ukraine in their only matches so far.
Fourth in the group, they visit Serbia on Saturday and Lithuania three days later.
Ukraine lead the six-team group with 10 points from four games, followed by Luxembourg with four points from four games and Serbia with four from three.
"The matches are decisive," said coach Fernando Santos. "I want to qualify directly, in first place. We have reached a point where we have to win the remaining six games."
Here are the teams guaranteed at least a play-off place:
- League A: Portugal, England, Switzerland, Netherlands
- League B: Ukraine, Denmark, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sweden
- League C: Finland, Norway, Scotland, Serbia
- League D: Georgia, Belarus, Macedonia, Kosovo
THE GROUPS AND FORTHCOMING FIXTURES
|2. Czech Republic||3||-1||6|
Saturday: Kosovo vs Czech Republic (14:00), England vs Bulgaria (17:00)
Tuesday: England vs Kosovo (19:45), Montenegro vs Czech Republic (19:45)
Saturday: Lithuania vs Ukraine (17:00), Serbia vs Portugal (19:45)
Tuesday: Lithuania vs Portugal (19:45), Luxembourg vs Serbia (19:45)
|1. Northern Ireland||4||5||12|
Friday: Estonia vs Belarus (17:00), Germany vs Netherlands (19:45)
Monday: Estonia vs Netherlands (19:45), Northern Ireland vs Germany (19:45)
|1. Republic of Ireland||4||4||10|
Thursday: Gibraltar vs Denmark (19:45), Republic of Ireland vs Switzerland (19:45)
Sunday: Georgia vs Denmark (19:45), Switzerland vs Gibraltar (17:00)
Friday: Slovakia vs Croatia (19:45), Wales vs Azerbaijan (19:45)
Monday: Azerbaijan vs Croatia (17:00), Hungary vs Slovakia (19:45)
|6. Faroe Islands||4||-9||0|
Thursday: Faroe Islands vs Sweden (19:45), Norway vs Malta (19:45), Romania vs Spain (19:45)
Sunday: Romania vs Malta (17:00), Spain vs Faroe Islands (19:45), Sweden vs Norway (19:45)
|5. North Macedonia||4||-2||4|
Thursday: Israel vs North Macedonia (19:45)
Friday: Austria vs Israel (19:45), Slovenia vs Poland (19:45)
Monday: Latvia vs North Macedonia (19:45), Poland vs Austria (19:45), Slovenia vs Israel (19:45)
Saturday: Iceland vs Moldova (17:00), France vs Albania (19:45), Turkey vs Andorra (19:45)
Tuesday: Albania vs Iceland (19:45), France vs Andorra (19:45), Moldova vs Turkey (19:45)
|6. San Marino||4||-20||0|
Friday: Cyprus vs Kazakhstan (17:00), San Marino vs Belgium (19:45), Scotland vs Russia (19:45)
Monday: Russia vs Kazakhstan (19:45), San Marino vs Cyprus (19:45), Scotland vs Belgium (19:45)
Thursday: Armenia vs Italy (17:00), Bosnia-Herzegovina vs Liechtenstein (19:45), Finland vs Greece (19:45)
Sunday: Armenia vs Bosnia-Herzegovina (14:00), Finland vs Italy (19:45), Greece vs Liechtenstein (19:45)