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Your guide to the next European Qualifiers for the World Cup

The road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup resumes on Thursday with teams able to clinch places in Russia in the penultimate European Qualifiers double-header.

Will Germany book their place in Russia?
Will Germany book their place in Russia? ©Getty Images

• The nine group winners will advance directly to join Russia in the 32-team FIFA World Cup final tournament.
• The eight runners-up with the best records against the sides first, third, fourth and fifth in their groups proceed to play-offs to decide the remaining four finals berths allocated to Europe.

European Qualifiers: The story so far

Thursday 31 August
• The Netherlands need a result in France while Sweden face a Bulgaria side also in the Group A running.
• Switzerland defend their perfect record against Andorra as Portugal, whose goal difference is better by ten, aim to keep pace.

Group A: Bulgaria (9 points) v Sweden (13), France (13) v Netherlands (10), Luxembourg (1) v Belarus (5)
Group B: Hungary (7) v Latvia (3), Portugal (15) v Faroe Islands (5), Switzerland (18) v Andorra (4)
Group H: Belgium (16) v Gibraltar (0), Cyprus (7) v Bosnia and Herzegovina (11), Greece (12) v Estonia (4)

Late drama: Scotland 2-2 England

Friday 1 September
• The Czech Republic need to end world champions and FIFA Confederations Cup winners Germany's perfect record to stay in touch with Group C's second-placed team, Northern Ireland.
• Poland could move to the verge of the finals with victory in Denmark.

Group E: Kazakhstan (2) v Montenegro (10)

Group C: Czech Republic (9) v Germany (18), Norway (4) v Azerbaijan (7), San Marino (0) v Northern Ireland (13)
Group E: Denmark (10) v Poland (16), Romania (6) v Armenia (6)
Group F: Lithuania (5) v Scotland (8), Malta (0) v England (14), Slovakia (12) v Slovenia (11)

The first meeting: Italy v Spain

Saturday 2 September
• Spain and Italy meet in Madrid with the home side top of Group G on goal difference.
• Ukraine play Turkey in Group I. Both know victory is likely needed to keep their automatic qualifying chances alive.

Group D: Georgia (3) v Republic of Ireland (12), Serbia (12) v Moldova (2)
Group G: Albania (9) v  Liechtenstein (0)
Group I: Finland (1) v Iceland (13)

Group D: Wales (8) v Austria (8)
Group G: Israel (9) v FYR Macedonia (3), Spain (16) v Italy (16)
Group I: Croatia (13) v Kosovo (1), Ukraine (11) v Turkey (11)

Ronaldo double in Portugal win over Hungary

Sunday 3 September

• Portugal and Switzerland want to avoid away slip-ups as they prepare for their October decider.
• Belgium will hope victory against Greece will take them to Russia, or at least to the verge of qualifying.

Group A: Belarus v Sweden, Netherlands v Bulgaria
Group B: Faroe Islands v Andorra
Group H: Estonia v Cyprus

Group A: France v Luxembourg
Group B: Hungary v Portugal, Latvia v Switzerland
Group H: Greece v Belgium, Gibraltar v Bosnia and Herzegovina

Watch: Norway 0-3 Germany

Monday 4 September
• Germany could be closing in on a finals place as nearest rivals Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic meet.
• Poland might also be able to qualify while England will aim to open up a virtually unbridgable advantage.

Group C: Azerbaijan v San Marino
Group E: Armenia v Denmark

Group C: Germany v Norway, Northern Ireland v Czech Republic
Group E: Montenegro v Romania, Poland v Kazakhstan
Group F: England v Slovakia, Scotland v Malta, Slovenia v Lithuania

Tuesday 5 September
• The Republic of Ireland and Serbia meet at the Group D summit.
• The four challengers in Group I are all matched as Iceland host Ukraine and Croatia go to Turkey.

Group D: Austria v Georgia, Moldova v Wales, Republic of Ireland v Serbia
Group G: Italy v Israel, Liechtenstein v Spain, FYR Macedonia v Albania
Group I: Iceland v Ukraine, Kosovo v Finland, Turkey v Croatia

Next Week of Football: 5–10 October