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FIFA World Cup Qualifying Preview: Spain, England vying for qualification

By Football News



Spain and England are among the teams looking to confirm their places at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil on Tuesday.

Vicente del Bosque's Spain side lead Group I by three points from France, and a solitary point against Georgia in Albacete will be enough to secure top spot.

France entertain Finland at the Stade de France in the knowledge that they will likely have to qualify as one of the top eight runners-up and progress through the play-offs.

They defeated Belarus 4-2 away from home in September to ensure the group would go to the final game.

In Group H, Roy Hodgson's England have to beat Poland at Wembley to be sure of claiming top spot.

A 4-1 demolition of Montenegro on Friday left them in pole position, but - with second place Ukraine facing minnows San Marino - the task is far from complete.

Ukraine, who trail England by one point, managed a 1-0 triumph against Poland on Tuesday, with Andriy Yarmolenko scoring the only goal of the game.

Montenegro's hopes effectively ended with their setback against England, but they can mathematically snare a play-off place as they trail Ukraine by three points.

That would require a 12-goal swing, and even though they host Moldova, that scenario looks unlikely.

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece are locked on 22 points in Group G, with the former leading by virtue of a superior goal difference.

Safet Susic's men travel to Lithuania, while Greece welcome the visit of Liechtenstein. Group I's other fixture is a dead rubber between Latvia and Slovakia.

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have already won their groups.

Marc Wilmots' team have a home fixture with Wales, with Germany and the Netherlands ending their campaigns on the road against Sweden and Turkey respectively.

For Turkey the fixture is particularly important. They occupy second spot in Group D on goal difference, with third-placed Romania looking to steal ahead when they host Estonia.

Other action in Group D sees Hungary face Andorra. Sandor Egervari's side maintain slim hopes of a second-placed finish, but require Turkey and Romania to lose their matches.

Elsewhere, Republic of Ireland and Faroe Islands finish Group C with home ties against Kazakhstan and Austria, while in Group A, Scotland face off with Croatia and Macedonia travel to Serbia.

Russia top Group F and only a surprise defeat at Azerbaijan coupled by a heavy victory for Portugal at home to Luxembourg will change that outcome. Also in Group F Israel go toe-to-toe with Northern Ireland in Tel Aviv.

Italy have already won Group B, but just one point separates second and fifth place.

Armenia have the unenviable task of facing Cesare Prandelli's team, Denmark have seemingly the easiest task as they host Malta, while Bulgaria play the Czech Republic in Sofia.

The runners-up spot is also up for grabs in Group E. Slovenia will have to overcome winners Switzerland in Bern, and hope Iceland fail to register a win against Norway in Oslo. Group E is completed when Cyprus host Albania in Nicosia.