What to watch for in Saturday's European Qualifiers

Two key defenders down, the Netherlands face a challenging trip to Bulgaria, with Hungary v Portugal: the rematch, and Belgium's quest for another big win among the other attractions.

Netherlands captain Matthijs de Ligt following their UEFA European Under-17 Championship 2016 quarter-final match against Sweden
Netherlands captain Matthijs de Ligt following their UEFA European Under-17 Championship 2016 quarter-final match against Sweden ©Sportsfile

Pressure on for debutant-heavy Dutch
Just four points separate the top four in Group A, and with section leaders France and Sweden playing the bottom two, Bulgaria can leapfrog the Netherlands, who head to Sofia without first-choice centre-backs Jeffrey Bruma and Virgil van Dijk.

Lazio's Wesley Hoedt and Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt might deputise, the latter having made only seven Eredivisie appearances so far. De Ligt is not expected to start, but if he comes on (aged 17 years and 255 days) he would be the youngest Oranje international in 86 years.
Bulgaria v Netherlands, 20:45CET

Other games in Group A
Sweden v Belarus, 18:00CET
Luxembourg v France, 20:45CET

EURO 2016 highlights: Hungary 3-3 Portugal
EURO 2016 highlights: Hungary 3-3 Portugal

European champions' Hungary rematch
Second hosts third in Group B, with Portugal and Hungary having had quite a meeting in Lyon at UEFA EURO 2016, when Cristiano Ronaldo set up Portugal's opener and then scored two more equalisers in a 3-3 draw.

The average age of Hungary's squad has gone down by 1.5 years since then with the introduction of debutants Márton Eppel, Dávid Holman, Krisztián Adorján and Paulo Vinícius for this fixture, this young side out to ruin an age-old statistic: Hungary have yet to beat Portugal in 11 meetings (D4 L7). With Switzerland top of the section with a 100% record, this would be a great time to bring that run to an end.
Portugal v Hungary, 20:45CET

Other games in Group B
Switzerland v Latvia, 18:00CET
Andorra v Faroe Islands, 18:00CET

Highlights: Belgium put eight past Estonia
Highlights: Belgium put eight past Estonia

Can Belgium make it five wins on the bounce?
Far and away the top scorers in this round of European Qualifiers with 21 goals to date, Roberto Martínez's Red Devils have shredded all opponents in Group H, conceding just once so far – in an 8-1 defeat of Estonia in November. They have won their last eight qualifiers, but Greece – second in the section – have not lost in five competitive games (W4 D1) and, under German coach Michael Skibbe, are eager to prove that their miserable UEFA EURO 2016 campaign was just a one-off.
Belgium v Greece, 20:45CET

Other games in Group H
Bosnia and Herzegovina v Gibraltar, 18:00CET
Cyprus v Estonia, 18:00CET