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Italy, France and Denmark in pole positions

Published: Friday 25 November 2011, 9.36CET
Only Italy, France and Denmark still hold perfect records while neither 2009 winners Germany nor runners-up England lead their groups and Norway are in peril.
by Paul Saffer
Italy, France and Denmark in pole positions
The Netherlands are the only one of the four 2009 semi-finalists leading their group ©Eric Verhoeven
Published: Friday 25 November 2011, 9.36CET

Italy, France and Denmark in pole positions

Only Italy, France and Denmark still hold perfect records while neither 2009 winners Germany nor runners-up England lead their groups and Norway are in peril.

Only Italy, France and Denmark still hold perfect records in UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying, while neither 2009 winners Germany nor runners-up England lead their groups, and two-time champions Norway are in real peril after this year's last fixtures.

The group winners and best runners-up (not counting results against the sixth-placed teams in the larger Groups 1, 2 and 3) progress to the July 2013 final tournament alongside hosts Sweden and the other six runners-up go to the play-offs. UEFA.com looks at the state of play going in 2012, with qualifiers resuming on 15 February and a full programme at the end of March.

Group 1
Italy beat Poland 5-0 away and Greece 2-0 at home to move on to five perfect wins at the halfway point. Russia, with a game in hand, and Poland are both six points adrift after each getting one November victory. The next fixture on 15 February matches Greece with Bosnia and Herzegovina, who visit Italy 31 March, when Russia play the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Poland also go to Greece that day but the cruch comes on 4 April with Russia against Italy.

Group 2
For the first time since 2001 qualifying, Germany have dropped points, having been held 2-2 in Spain, who lead by three points, though the seven-time champions have a game in hand. Romania are a point back in third but have played two more games than Germany, with Switzerland three further adrift in fourth but still to play both the top two at home. Germany play their extra game in Turkey on 15 February before welcoming Spain for the likely group decider on 31 March.

Group 3
Iceland did not play in November but they remain the only unbeaten team in the group and lead the section by three points. Belgium's two wins against Bulgaria in five days have lifted them to seven, three ahead of Northern Ireland, who shocked Norway 3-1 before behind pegged back for a draw by Hungary. Norway, who like Northern Ireland have a game in hand, are a further point back in fourth and in danger of an unlikely elimination. Belgium and Northern Ireland play on 15 February while Norway return to the fray in Bulgaria on 31 March. Five days later Iceland resume in Belgium.

Group 4
In the only November game, Wales overcame Israel to join Scotland – unbeaten with two games in hand – on four points. At the top France have four perfect wins and are six points ahead of the Republic of Ireland, who have played a match fewer. France have home games against Scotland on 31 March and Wales five days later. Ireland visit Scotland on 6 April.

Group 5
Slovakia and Belarus are the surprise leaders by three points from Finland and Ukraine. Slovakia and Ukraine have both played three games, Belarus four and Finland just two. The unbeaten pair, Slovakia and Finland, are matched home and away on 31 March and 5 April, the date Ukraine play Estonia.

Group 6
The Netherlands picked up wins against Slovenia and Croatia to move five points ahead of England, who have a game in hand and reclaimed second place from Serbia with a 2-0 victory in Doncaster. England go to Croatia on 31 March and the Netherlands welcome Slovenia on 5 April but the crucial date is 17 June when the top two are matched, having drawn 0-0 in Zwolle in October.

Group 7
Denmark have scored 22 unanswered goals in their four wins, 11 of them in their most recent defeat of Armenia. The Czech Republic, also unbeaten, are five points behind and play their game in hand in Portugal on 31 March, five days before playing host to Denmark. Austria, after winning 1-0 in Portugal, are level on points with the Czech Republic but have played a game more. On 1 April, they go to Armenia and later that week host Portugal, who themselves take on Armenia on 15 February.

Last updated: 25/11/11 16.14CET

Related information

http://www.uefa.com/womenseuro/news/newsid=1722029.html#italy+france+denmark+pole+positions

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