What to watch out for in Sunday's EURO qualifiers

Sunday could be a famous day in the football histories of Wales and Iceland, while a huge amount rides on Turkey v Netherlands and Norway v Croatia. Here is what is on.

There could be another victory huddle for Wales on Sunday
There could be another victory huddle for Wales on Sunday ©Getty Images

Group A
History beckons for Iceland
The expansion to a 24-team finals was always going to extend the map of final-tournament sides into uncharted waters, but given they were grouped with Turkey, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, few expected the boundaries to be pushed as far north as Iceland. Yet after a fine campaign, Iceland – like Wales – find themselves needing three points from three games. How dearly they would like to put it to bed on Sunday and avoid any stumbles with a maiden finals almost within reach.
Iceland v Kazakhstan – 20.45CET

Highlights: Turkey 1-1 Latvia
Highlights: Turkey 1-1 Latvia

Oranje ready for 'hell' in Turkey
Wesley Sneijder has the insider knowledge as the Netherlands travel to Konya to take on Turkey – last-chance saloon for both teams. But if his Oranje team-mates sought something to soothe nerves, the Galatasaray man did not provide it. "It is going to be hell for us," he said. "Turkey will do everything to make life hard, but we should not let ourselves get dragged into that. We have had a lot of bad luck, but some things simply must not happen any more. It is still in our hands. Confidence might be low but we can restore it fast."
Turkey v Netherlands – 18.00CET

Czech Republic limping over line
If the Netherlands fail to win in Turkey then victory here would all but seal progress for the Czechs. Pavel Vrba, though, is not burying his head in the sand. His charges' wait for their first victory of 2015 looked set to go on against Kazakhstan on Thursday before Milan Škoda struck twice to turn no points into three – the 29-year-old's reward could be a first international start. "We had difficulties in our home match against Latvia [1-1 draw] and look at their latest result in Turkey [also 1-1]," said Vrba. "I expect another hard game and we'll have to give it everything."
Latvia v Czech Republic – 18.00CET

Watch Bale's Wales winner
Watch Bale's Wales winner

Group B
Wales ready to take final step
"We can't hide from the facts – we are a win away from France," Chris Coleman said after Gareth Bale's sixth goal of the campaign on Thursday left Wales on the brink of their first major tournament since the 1958 FIFA World Cup. "But I promise you that the players have never mentioned it. They have never taken their eye off the goal. We are on our own path, we have our own structure and we've got our own plan." Most crucially of all, perhaps, they have their own Bale.
Wales v Israel – 18.00CET

While there's life, there's hope
In all likelihood, Bosnia and Herzegovina must win their three remaining fixtures to have any possibility of finishing in the top three and coach Mehmed Baždarević says it is time to stand up and be counted. The Dragons may ring the changes too, with Baždarević saying: "The Andorra match will be a chance to shine for some players who have not had a major role in qualifying. There is still time and this is a chance to start building momentum."

Bosnia and Herzegovina v Andorra – 20.45CET

Highlights: Belgium 3-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Highlights: Belgium 3-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina

Few home comforts for Cyprus
Having pushed leaders Wales hard on Thursday – a game which the hosts ended up dominating, only to fall to a late Bale header – Cyprus now face opponents rated as "the best team in the group" by forward Nestor Mytidis. "Belgium are one of the best sides in the competition," added Mytidis ahead of the match in Nicosia. The Cypriots' run of one win in their last seven home qualifiers hardly augurs well for an upset against such esteemed adversaries, however, despite the striker's assertion that "the results will follow if we are patient and keep up the hard work".
Cyprus v Belgium – 20.45CET

Group H
Conte keeps faith
Reports have suggested that Italy coach Antonio Conte will persevere with a central midfield tandem of Andrea Pirlo and Marco Verratti in his preferred 4-3-3 formation, despite the fact the Azzurri toiled to beat Malta on Thursday night. Roberto Soriano should join them in a three-man unit in a fixture that's a reprise of the two countries' 1994 FIFA World Cup semi-final showdown, won by a Roberto Baggio brace at Giants Stadium.
Italy v Bulgaria – 20.45CET

Highlights: Croatia 5-1 Norway
Highlights: Croatia 5-1 Norway

Croatia's conversion rate a concern
Group H seems to be going down to a three-way battle for two qualifying spots after Norway halved the deficit to Croatia on Thursday. Vegard Forren's second-half goal was enough to see off Bulgaria – the kind of clinical finishing notable by its absence as Croatia failed to convert any of their 18 chances against Azerbaijan. Croatia coach Niko Kovač remains quietly confident, though, even if he has promised personnel changes and pointed out that a win is not imperative in Oslo.
Norway v Croatia – 18.00CET

Progress check for Malta and Azerbaijan
"Everyone can feel that we are getting somewhere," defender Zach Muscat told UEFA.com after Malta's 1-0 loss in Italy. "It's tough to play good football against world-class sides, but we showed great quality at times. [The loss] was tough mentally and physically, but I believe that the will is there and we are on the right track. Let's hope we can show that on Sunday against Azerbaijan." Azerbaijan are on a high too after holding Croatia so this meeting should provide both countries with a barometer of their progress.
Malta v Azerbaijan – 18.00CET

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