What to watch: Saturday's EURO qualifiers

Gareth Bale could help Wales over the line, history favours Belgium, Robin van Persie hopes to aid the Netherlands on a landmark day and Croatia's new coach is in at the deep end.

Robin van Persie traIns ahead of his 100th Netherlands appearance
Robin van Persie traIns ahead of his 100th Netherlands appearance ©Getty Images

Group A
Van Persie's century
Robin van Persie could become the eighth Netherlands centurion in history on Saturday when the Oranje play Kazakhstan desperate for victory in their play-off race with Tuesday's opponents Turkey. The 32-year-old Fenerbahçe striker made his senior international debut in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Romania in June 2005, opening his account against Finland four days later. Van Persie is his country's all-time leading scorer with 49 goals.

The Netherlands' other centurions are: Edwin van der Sar (130), Wesley Sneijder (117), Frank de Boer (112), Rafael van der Vaart (109), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (106), Dirk Kuyt (104) and Phillip Cocu (101).
Kazakhstan v Netherlands: 18.00CET

Iceland's new experience
Iceland have often gone into their penultimate qualifier without the result mattering, only in this case it is because they clinched their first senior men's final tournament berth last month. Ahead of the Czech Republic on goal difference with head-to-head level, the Icelanders have first place in their hands, and good results this week will also be useful for future seeding, as indeed they would be for eliminated Latvia.
Iceland v Latvia: 18.00CET

Čech has Poborský in his sights
Czech Republic captain Petr Čech has 116 caps to his name, just two shy of Karel Poborský's all-time national record. However, the Arsenal No1 is likely to have to wait to make it to 118, with coach Pavel Vrba revealing that he will use two different goalkeepers in the upcoming qualifiers against Turkey and the Netherlands, as a finals place is assured.
Czech Republic v Turkey: 20.45CET

Watch Bale beat Belgium
Watch Bale beat Belgium

Group B
Bale boosts Wales bid
Just one point in Zenica will lead Wales to their first UEFA EURO final tournament, and only their second qualification after the 1958 World Cup. Gareth Bale should feature for the visitors after his injury comeback for Real Madrid last weekend, but Edin Džeko's knee problem makes him a doubt for the home side for whom victory is paramount as they too seek a UEFA EURO debut.
Bosnia and Herzegovina v Wales: 18.00CET

Can Andorra deny Belgium?
Andorra have lost all 48 UEFA European Championship qualifiers they have contested and Belgium will book their finals place by inflicting a 49th defeat on the principality. In fact, Andorra have lost 52 competitive games in a row since a 0-0 draw with Finland in September 2005, during the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign where they picked up the only five competitive points they have ever managed.
Andorra v Belgium: 20.45CET

Israel hold leaders
Israel hold leaders

Cyprus happy to be in the mix
Having never figured at a major finals, Cyprus are content still to be in with a chance of getting to France. Charalampos Christodoulou's team need to beat Israel and Bosnia and Herzegovina – and hope that Israel do not defeat Belgium – if they are to finish third. "For us still to be competing with two games left is a success," said Christodoulou.
Israel v Cyprus: 20.45CET

Group H
Italy's Baku banana skin?
Italy require a victory against Azerbaijan in Baku to clinch a place in the finals with one match to spare and ensure they do not need a result on Tuesday at home to in-form Norway. "We must focus only on Azerbaijan because they have proved a very good team," Azzurri coach Antonio Conte said.

"They haven't lost since [Robert] Prosinečki took over as coach and got draws in Norway and against Croatia. There will be 60,000 fans to support them with the inauguration of their new stadium. We will have to be extremely focused because this game has all the characteristics for becoming a banana skin."
Azerbaijan v Italy: 18.00CET

Norway 2-0 Croatia: highlights
Norway 2-0 Croatia: highlights

Norway on the verge
Norway's brilliant September, where they beat Bulgaria and Croatia, cemented at least a play-off place and lifted them into the top two. Indeed, a success here will give them a nervous two-hour wait to see if Croatia fail to win and possibly seal Norway's berth in France – saving them needing something from Tuesday's trip to Italy. Exactly one year ago Norway won 3-0 in Malta, and visiting coach Pietro Ghedin says: "Norway have changed their style of play since their win in Malta. We played badly that day. We made three mistakes and they scored three goals."
Norway v Malta: 18.00CET

Čačić prepares for bow
Croatia's fixtures against Bulgaria and Malta will be Ante Čačić's first at the helm. Niko Kovač was replaced following last month's 0-0 draw with Azerbaijan and 2-0 defeat by Norway. Despite those results, Čačić's new team are well positioned to finish at least third in the group. The coach oversaw his first training session on Monday, helped by new assistants Josip Šimunić, Ante Miše and Marijan Mrmić.
Croatia v Bulgaria: 20.45CET

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