What to watch out for in Tuesday's qualifiers

Turkey's moment of truth, the Netherlands' moment to dread, Cyprus's long shot and Italy's 38-game unbeaten run are among the highlights on the last day of qualifying.

Fatih Terim's Turkey need a point to book a play-off spot
Fatih Terim's Turkey need a point to book a play-off spot ©AFP/Getty Images

Group A
Turkey's moment of truth draws near
"I told my players that collecting four points would guarantee a play-off spot and I won't accept any excuses for a failure to do so," Fatih Terim told his Turkey side ahead of their 2-0 win in the Czech Republic. That result means they only need one point at home against Iceland to condemn the Netherlands to a fourth-placed finish.

Given the groans that greeted his side's 1-1 home draw with Latvia on 3 September, Terim has worked a minor miracle in getting Turkey to this point. However, they would be wise not to underestimate an Iceland side that beat them 3-0 in their opening game of the campaign and are eager to be confirmed as Group A winners.
Turkey v Iceland: 20.45CET

Oranje clutching at straws
The situation for the Oranje is a dire one. To avoid becoming by far the most high-profile side not to reach UEFA EURO 2016, Danny Blind's men must win at home against the Czech Republic – who have an eye on top spot in the section – and hope Turkey fall apart against Iceland.

Blind fielded three debutants in the 2-1 win in Kazakhstan on Saturday – Kenny Tete, Virgil van Dijk and Anwar El Ghazi – and said he was "very happy with their performances". However, the mood in the camp cannot have been helped by goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen suffering a back problem during the warmup and replacement Tim Krul sustaining a knee injury with ten minutes to go. Kenneth Vermeer and Maarten Stekelenburg have been drafted in to replace them.
Netherlands v Czech Republic: 20.45CET

Group B
Long shot at glory for Cyprus

Cyprus are fifth in the section but the momentum may be with them as they take on the side ranked third. Win and Charalampos Christodoulou's side will be in the play-offs – provided Israel do not get a shock away result against top side Belgium. "The fans of Cyprus will be with us once again on Tuesday," the coach said. "I hope that whatever the result, the fans will applaud these players because they have a great future."

Highlights: Israel 1-2 Cyprus
Highlights: Israel 1-2 Cyprus

The Bosnians, meanwhile, beat Wales 2-0 at home last time out and will be eager to avenge a 2-1 home loss to Cyprus in their Group B opener.  Edin Džeko is battling to be fit, but coach Mehmed Baždarević struck a positive note. "Our destiny is in our hands," he said. "With a win we will finish third. We have strength and belief but it will be very hard, because the hosts want exactly the same thing as us."
Cyprus v Bosnia and Herzegovina: 20.45CET

Demoralised Israel still in the running
Jason Demetriou's 80th-minute winner for Cyprus in Jerusalem on Saturday was a huge body blow to Israel, who have come unstuck since winning their opening three Group B games. However, a win in Belgium would still take them into the play-offs – in the event that Bosnia and Herzegovina fail to win in Cyprus.

After the Cyprus result, coach Eli Gutman was in no mood to talk through the permutations. "As things stand, we don't deserve to be in the play-offs," he said. "I don't even want to talk about our chances. Doing so after losing at home to Cyprus would be pathetic."
Belgium v Israel: 20.45CET

Highlights: Azerbaijan 1-3 Italy
Highlights: Azerbaijan 1-3 Italy

Group H
Azzurri welcome battling Norway
Italy are unbeaten in 38 competitive home games, and beat Norway 2-0 in Oslo in the sides' opening Group H assignment. However, on a run of three straight competitive wins, and having not conceded in 360 minutes of European Qualifiers, Per-Mathias Høgmo's side are in with a chance of winning in Rome and condemning Croatia to the play-offs.

After the Malta game, the coach was eager to focus on the bigger picture. "My task is to continue to develop this team," he said. "We are a young team, but we keep improving." Having reverted to rock-solid basics, Norway are not a side that loses easily, but a draw in the Eternal City is unlikely to be enough. Should they fail to take three points, Croatia would snatch second place with a win in Malta.
Italy v Norway: 20.45CET

Heated encounter awaits Croatia
Croatia are in Ta' Qali for their final game, but most of the nations' press are more concerned about what is happening in Rome. 'Forza Azzurri' is the headline in 24sata, the Croatian media well aware that the national team's hopes of qualifying directly hinge on Italy taking at least a point at home against Norway. Večernji list quotes Croatian Football Federation (HNS) president Davor Šuker as saying: "Italy: stop Norway."

Highlights: Croatia 3-0 Bulgaria
Highlights: Croatia 3-0 Bulgaria

Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj expected to replace the injured Luka Modrić in Malta with new coach Ante Čačić insisting that his side can take the heat. "In Malta it will be 30C – it will be tough, but we are ready," he said. Should Croatia do their job – which looks more likely now than it did a month ago – it could be a nervy night for Norway.
Malta v Croatia: 20.45CET

Bulgaria's eight-year wait
Not since 17 November 2007 – a 1-0 defeat of Romania – have Bulgaria won a European qualifier at home. Since then, across almost two entire campaigns, they have lost five and drawn three. Such a desperate sequence is even more surprising considering they were unbeaten at home throughout UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying, winning four and drawing two of their six fixtures. They will hope to start a similar run with a long overdue victory this evening.
Bulgaria v Azerbaijan: 20.45CET

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