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Year ends with vital qualifiers

Germany's trip to Spain, Poland's game against Italy, Northern Ireland against Norway and England's rematch with Serbia are among the key games in the last set of qualifiers this year.

Year ends with vital qualifiers
Year ends with vital qualifiers ©uefa.com 1998-2012. All rights reserved.

The last set of UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifiers begin on Saturday with key matches in many of the groups including the toughest test holders Germany are likely to face. UEFA.com looks at the state of play in the seven groups so far and the games being played next weekend and midweek.

Group 1
Italy's 2-0 defeat of Russia last month took them three points clear of their main rivals, with Poland also level in second. On Saturday Italy go to Poland in a fixture the home side cannot afford to lose while Russia visit Greece, who welcome the Azzurre four days later.

Group 2
Two teams have 100% records – Spain after three games and Germany one fewer. Both will hope to maintain that this weekend, Germany at home to Kazakhstan on Saturday and Spain in Romania the next day, before coming face to face in Motril next Thursday. It will be a tough task for Spain as Germany last dropped a qualifying point in 1999.

Group 3
Iceland are seven points clear and are the only unbeaten team but are not in action this week allowing their rivals to make up games in hand. Norway are second having played two games fewer and hope to reduce the gap in Northern Ireland on Saturday. Alfie Wylie's side have – like Norway – only dropped three points and played just two, and also have a Wednesday trip to Hungary. Belgium, the only side to hold Iceland and two points behind Norway, play Bulgaria home and away on Saturday and Wednesday.

Group 4
France have all won four games and are six points ahead of the Republic of Ireland and eight clear of Scotland, who have one and two matches in hand respectively. However, the only November game matches the bottom pair, Israel hoping to get off the mark on Sunday at home to a Wales side who held Scotland to a 2-2 draw last time out.

Group 5
Four teams have four points from two games – Finland, Belarus, Ukraine and Slovakia. Belarus had an impressive 2-2 draw with Finland last month and face tests of their credentials in the only games in the group, visiting Slovakia on Saturday and Ukraine five days later.

Group 6
The predicted two-horse race between the Netherlands and England is tight after their 0-0 draw in Zwolle last month. The Netherlands lead the side that beat them in the 2009 semi-finals by two points with Serbia, who have held England, one further adrift. England and Serbia – who have a Saturday meeting with Croatia – are rematched in Doncaster next Wednesday. The Netherlands play Croatia the following evening.

Group 7
Denmark have won all three games, while the Czech Republic have four points from their two. Both will expect to increase their tallies at home to Armenia, who visit the Czech Republic on Sunday and Denmark three days later.