Road to Brazil: Interntional preview
- 05 September 2013 17:08
- Posted by @mccarthy_mcfc
Ahead of this weekend’s World Cup qualifiers, we take a look at the chances of City’s international stars making it to Brazil 2014…
Roy Hodgson’s men will be hoping to secure three points against Moldova in front of a home crowd at Wembley as they seek to overtake Montenegro at the top of the table. With the group leaders facing a tough test in Poland, this could be a good opportunity for the Three Lions, who currently occupy second spot, to do just that. They do however need to be mindful of Ukraine who welcome bottom of the group San Marino to Kiev for the third match in Group H.
Poland v Montenegro: Stevan Jovetic
Montenegro will be out to solidify their position as Group H leaders, but Waldemar Fornalik’s Poland will certainly not make life easy for the table toppers. No matter what the result, next month’s tie with England is set to be a mouth-watering one as both sides endeavour to finish first.
World and European champions Spain return to action for the first time since losing the Confederations Cup final 3-0 to Brazil on 30 June. Just one point separates them and European rivals France and no doubt La Roja will travel to Finland determined to defend their top spot in Group I. Vicente del Bosque’s men have taken 11 points from five games and are well on course to qualify for next summer’s finals.
Les Bleus will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Spain at the Stade de France back in March. Didier Deschamps' side had been in pole position until that point and know they can’t afford any more slip ups if they are to wrestle that position away from the Spaniards. With four points between them and third placed Finland though, they should at least bag a play-off position.
Although Serbia are all but out of the race to secure a ticket to Brazil, this Balkan derby is always played in the most competitive of spirits. The Serbs sit in third position in Group A with seven points from as many games, meaning they almost certainly won’t be in Brazil next summer.
Bosnia v Slovakia: Edin Dzeko
Having won all but one of their games so far, the Bosnians sit comfortably at top of Group G’s summit and that doesn’t look like changing any time soon. Safet Sušić’s side can also boast a highly impressive goal difference of +20 and they don’t look like stopping there with four games left to play.
Scotland v Belgium: Vincent Kompany
Although Vincent Kompany was named in the Belguim squad to face Scotland, a groin injury picked up while playing against Newcastle last month is set to keep him out of action. Marc Wilmot's men are currently top of Group A though and having gone six games without a defeat, they are favourites to continue this run at Hampden Park and are well on course for qualification.
Romania v Hungary: Costel Pantilimon
It’s a key battle between second and third in Group D with the outcome having a big effect on who secures the runner up position. Holland have almost certainly banked the first place and so it is all to play for in the fight for second spot. Romania will be hoping the home advantage will go some way to helping them take all three points on the night.
Ivory Coast v Morocco: Yaya Toure
Ivory Coast have already booked their spot for the third and final round of the African zone qualifiers despite having this final second round game left to play. In the third round, the ten African group winners will play off over two legs to determine who will travel to Brazil. The first legs will be played between 11-15 October, while the second and decisive legs will take place on 15-19 November.
Argentina will qualify if they can beat Paraguay next Tuesday, currently bottom of the group. Argentina lead the table and one more will guarantee them a spot at Brazil 2014.