The middle set of matches in the latest period of FIFA World Cup 2022 European Qualifiers concludes on another busy day of action on Sunday as the race to Qatar next year begins to intensify a little.
Those groups which were in action on Thursday are back on show over the course of what is a busy day on Sunday, a day where England and Wales are among the teams on show throughout the afternoon and evening.
With the leaders Sweden not in action in Group B on Sunday there is the chance for Spain to regain top spot when they play host to a Georgia side who should be there for the taking for them, although they haven’t been convincing in recent times. The other match in this group sees the third and fourth placed teams doing battle when Kosovo take on Greece in a game that neither can afford to lose if they want to keep their qualifying hopes alive.
The top two teams in Group C meet on Sunday afternoon when the so far perfect Switzerland take on the European champions Italy in one of the pick of the matches throughout the day let alone in this group. An Italy win there would put them in a huge position to make it through to Qatar. The other match in the group comes in the earlier kick off as Bulgaria face Lithuania with both sides looking for their first win in the competition.
This is another group where the top two meet on Sunday. Belgium and the Czech Republic were both quarter finalists at Euro 2020 and they will both be eager to make it through to the World Cup. Their match in Brussels could be pivotal in the outcome of the fortunes of both sides. The day’s action actually begins in this group when Wales play their third match of the section. That sees them travelling to Belarus for a match they simply have to win.
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England broke the back of their qualifying group when they got the better of Hungary on Thursday night and they will be expected to take another step towards qualifying for Qatar when they host lowly Andorra at Wembley. Andorra also picked up a win on Thursday but you would imagine it will just be damage limitation for them here. Andorra beat San Marino and the next task for the minnows is a clash with second placed Poland. The other match in the group sees Albania playing host to Hungary in a game they both need to win.
The top two also meet in Group J when Germany host the surprise package of probably all the qualifying groups in the shape of Armenia in Stuttgart. Were this to finish in an away win the Germans would be staring having to go through the play-offs in the face so they really need to win here. North Macedonia and Romania will be looking to take advantage of slip ups from the top two with the latter expected to win when they host lowly Liechtenstein while the former head to Iceland in the early kick off.
There are a couple of tempters over the course of the day in these matches but I’m going to resist because I’m acutely aware that some of the bigger sides in action on Sunday have bigger matches on Wednesday so could well be prepared to rest players here. England would be one such side but in their group Hungary have a pretty big match away to Albania which is a game they can’t afford to lose and I fancy they have been written off a little too quickly.
Hungary were no match for England on Thursday night but there aren’t too many who have been a match for them recently. Albania are certainly no England so I expect Hungary to be a lot more comfortable in this game than they were against England. They should see a lot more of the ball which will help them and we shouldn’t forget this is a side who held France and Germany just over two months ago. Albania have beaten both minnows in the group but they only beat Andorra 1-0 and San Marino 2-0. They have been beaten fairly comfortably by the better sides in the group and I fancy that can be the case here.
Back Hungary (0AH) to beat Albania for a 3/10 stake at 1.94 with Bet365