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Under-21 qualifying – all you need to know

With UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying coming to a head from Wednesday, UEFA.com provides a rundown of the big games, key dates and standings.

Anthony Martial's France will be confident of securing progress from Group 10
Anthony Martial's France will be confident of securing progress from Group 10 ©AFP

With the 14 UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off slots to be determined over the next week, UEFA.com gives you a quick recap of where things stand in the qualifying group stage.

Key dates
• Final group games between 3 and 9 September
• Play-off draw is made on 12 September
 Ties will be played between 8 and 14 October
Final tournament draw on 6 November in Prague
Tournament starts in Czech Republic on 17 June

Big games
• Denmark meet Russia in potential Group 2 decider
• Win for Croatia at Latvia will secure Group 5
• Greece face Poland on final day to decide Group 7

State of play
• England and Portugal already through
• Netherlands, Spain, Germany and France on course
• Serbia, Belgium and Italy in three-horse race in Group 9

The ten group winners and four runners-up with the best records against first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections advance

Group 1
are assured of a play-off place with two fixtures left. Moldova lead the competitors in the race for second ahead of Finland and Wales – respectively four and six points behind with two games remaining to Moldova's one.

Russia are in contention
Russia are in contention©Shapaev Mikhail, Football Union of Russia

Group 2
The section is a straight shoot-out between Russia and Denmark, who are still unbeaten and hold a one-point advantage. The leaders host Nikolai Pisarev's side on Wednesday before, six days later, signing off at home to Bulgaria while Russia face Andorra.

Group 3
The Netherlands sit three points clear of Slovakia, with Scotland, still a possible for second spot, six further back. First play second in the final match on 8 September, but four days before that the Dutch will hope to wrap up pole position when they welcome Georgia. A victory coupled with dropped points for Slovakia against the Scots will ensure first place.

Group 4
Defending champions Spain have won all six fixtures so far, and lie six points ahead of the only team that can catch them, Austria. If Austria beat Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Spain lose in Hungary on Thursday, the holders still have a home game to go against the second-placed side on Monday.

UEFA.com's extensive stats section on the campaign so far

Group 5
lead Ukraine and Switzerland by three and four points respectively, yet both their rivals have a match in hand. Croatia travel to Latvia on Wednesday knowing success there will clinch top spot regardless of what happens when Ukraine play Switzerland the next day.

Group 6
Germany have a three-point cushion on Montenegro but their head-to-head advantage over the second-ranked team means victory against the Republic of Ireland on Friday would seal first place even if their closest rivals win in Romania – who still have the slimmest of chances of topping the section.

Group 7
Five points separate four contenders, with Poland currently top but with only one game to play, against Greece on the last day. The Greeks are three points behind – followed by Sweden and Turkey – and visit the Swedes on Friday, while Turkey end their campaign in Halmstad.

Group 8
six wins from six outings ensured they were the first country to book a play-off slot and second position is also sewn up in the section. Israel are three above Norway, who have just one match remaining, and the Israelis' superior head-to-head record confirms them as runners-up.

Serbia are group leaders
Serbia are group leaders©AFP

Group 9
head the group from Belgium, with both one point better off than Italy. The leaders go to Pescara to take on the Italians onFriday, the same day the Belgians conclude their campaign in Cyprus. The two other contenders have an extra game to play, Serbia finishing in Northern Ireland and Italy at home to Cyprus.

Group 10
, like Spain and Portugal, have a perfect record and are six points clear of Iceland, who will make certain of a top-two finish by defeating Armenia on Wednesday. France visit Kazakhstan on Thursday and entertain Iceland on Monday knowing one point is all they need.