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Three knockout places left as group stage ends

With Croatia, Spain, Germany, Belgium and France through to the quarter-finals, seven of the eight teams in Group C and D action on Wednesday will attempt to fill the last three berths.

Bruno Tedino's Italy face the Netherlands on Wednesday for a place in the last eight
Bruno Tedino's Italy face the Netherlands on Wednesday for a place in the last eight ©Sportsfile


Group C

France (6pts) v Greece (4), (16.00CET, Sozopol)
• More of the same, please – that is the message from coach Jean-Claude Giuntini ahead of already-qualified France's encounter with Greece. "We want to play the same in the last group match," Giuntini, whose side have maximum points, told UEFA.com. "We want to keep that dynamic and to feel good about ourselves going into the knockouts."

• Greece will join their opponents in the quarter-finals if they avoid defeat. Having seen his players collect four points from their first two games, Vassilis Georgopoulos wants one last push to get over the line. "France have a very strong team with a lot of physical strength and talent, so we must put in a very disciplined performance so that our results so far don't go to waste."

Greece edged out Scotland on Sunday
Greece edged out Scotland on Sunday©LAP.bg

Russia (1) v Scotland (0), (16.00, Sliven)
• The equation for Russia is simple after their 1-0 loss to France on Sunday: they must win and hope Les Petits Bleus make it three victories from three to stand any chance of advancing. "We have some background on Scotland after their first match and we'll watch the Greece game," said coach Mikhail Galaktionov. "Unfortunately, [No10 Boris] Tsygankov will not be able to play because of two yellow cards and some of the others have injuries."

• Semi-finalists a year ago in Malta, Scotland will head home after facing Russia, Scot Gemmill's charges having failed to register a point so far. "We'll be trying to do everything we can to win the last match," he said. "It's about the players showing the maturity and the professionalism to carry on even when they know they can't qualify. At this level, anything else is unacceptable."

Suspended: Boris Tsygankov (Russia), Liam Burt (Scotland)

Group D

England (4) v Republic of Ireland (1), (18.00, Stara Zagora)
• That the holders need only a draw will not affect how they approach this 'derby' – manager John Peacock said England will adopt a "positive frame of mind, like we do for every game". "We focus everything on the Irish and it'll be a tough, tough game, I know that," he explained. England dominated the first half of their 1-1 draw with the Netherlands without being able to turn their superiority into more than a one-goal interval lead. "If we're a little bit disappointed it would be in the sense that we should've been more clinical in the last 25 yards."

Highlights: Netherlands 1-1 England

• A one-goal success for the Republic of Ireland would not be enough if the Netherlands and Italy draw. A victory and any other result in Burgas would send the team in green through. "We're depending on other results now and we've just got to get the players recovered as quickly as possible and get their minds focused on England and take it from there," said manager Thomas Mohan. "England are a good side, there's no doubt about it. They were very good against Italy. We've got to lift ourselves and get on with it."

Netherlands (2) v Italy (3), (18.00, Burgas)
• Netherlands coach Maarten Stekelenburg is relishing the Jong Oranje's winner-takes-all meeting with the Azzurrini. "Maybe it's better knowing what you have to do, otherwise maybe you get doubts," he said. "We have to beat them and I'll make the players ready for the game. We played them earlier in the season [a 3-1 triumph in September]. They're a very organised team and it will be tight. Now we have to do something against Italy. It's nice to be here and playing in this type of game."

• Italy gave their campaign a boost by defeating Ireland 2-0 on Sunday, a result that will have gone a long way to banishing any disappointment they felt after a narrow opening-day loss to England. "We will play against the Netherlands as though it is a final – like we did with Ireland," said coach Bruno Tedino. "We have the European champions and last year's runners-up [the Netherlands] in the group, so it's very hard. They're a good team and won't be a surprise for us."

Through to the quarter-finals
Group A: Croatia, Spain
Group B: Germany, Belgium

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