Portugal, Switzerland, Russia and Denmark chase early progress but the likes of England and France are in peril.
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Portugal, Switzerland, Russia and Denmark could all clinch UEFA European Under-21 Championship quarter-final places with a game to spare as the groups continue on Sunday England, France, Iceland and Croatia are staring early elimination in the face.
- Russia are through if they beat France and Iceland do not beat Denmark.
- Denmark are through if they beat Iceland and France do not beat Russia.
- Iceland will be out of contention if they lose to Denmark and France do not beat Russia.
- France will be out of contention if they lose to Russia and Iceland do not beat Denmark.
Iceland vs Denmark (Győr, 15:00 CET)
Alberto Capellas’ Denmark, having pipped France to three points in their opening match on Thursday, know that victory here will end a run of two straight U21 finals group exits. Iceland, meanwhile, had the misfortune to come up against an emphatic Russia here on Matchday 1, and must take something from this contest if they’re to keep qualification hopes alive. Extra spice is added to this Nordic encounter by the fact that no fewer than seven of Davíd Snorri Jónasson’s squad play their club football in Denmark.
Russia vs France (Szombathely, 21:00 CET)
Semi-finalists in Italy two years ago, France approach this fixture in a spot of bother after defeat by Denmark. “We’re going to have to do a lot better,” said defender Jules Koundé, while coach Sylvain Ripoll added that “there are no more calculations … we need to win the next two games”. By contrast, Russia are in high spirits after the resounding 4-1 success over Iceland in which Fedor Chalov contributed a goal and two assists, and 17-year-old debutant Arsen Zakharyan and Denis Makarov also shone.
- Portugal are through if they beat England and Croatia do not beat Switzerland.
- Switzerland are through if they beat Croatia and England do not beat Portugal.
- Croatia will be out of contention if they lose to Switzerland and England do not beat Portugal.
- England will be out of contention if they lose to Portugal and Croatia do not beat Switzerland.
Croatia vs Switzerland (Koper-Capodistria, 18:00 CET)
Switzerland stunned England on Thursday when Dan Ndoye scored a spectacular decider with a slice of good fortune, but their victory was no fluke. They handled their opponents well throughout and proved a constant menace in the attacking third. For Croatia, though, there is no room for error after their 1-0 defeat by Portugal. Igor Bišćan's men will want to retain their general defensive solidity while also performing more effectively and clinically further up the field. "Switzerland are a great team but we have to focus on ourselves and our qualities," said Croatian goalkeeper Adrian Šemper.
Portugal vs England (Ljubljana, 21:00 CET)
"There's no point sulking," said England manager Aidy Boothroyd, who'll be hoping his side can increase their attacking threat after registering just one shot on target in defeat by Switzerland. Portugal coach Rui Jorge says their opponents have players "who can decide any match" – his major decision is whether to change a winning team after substitute Fábio Vieira's strike claimed the points against Croatia.