Italy, France and Denmark put their perfect records on the line while Germany face Spain in a potential group decider as UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying resumes this weekend.
Article top media content
In the first full sets of UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying group games running from Saturday to next Thursday, Italy, France and Denmark put their perfect records on the line while holders Germany are rematched with Spain in a likely group decider.
The group winners and best runners-up (not counting results against the sixth-placed teams in the larger Groups 1, 2 and 3) progress to the July 2013 final tournament alongside hosts Sweden and the other six runners-up go to the play-offs. UEFA.com looks at the games coming up in the seven sections.
Italy, with five wins, are six points ahead of Russia, who have a game in hand, and Poland, who do not. On Saturday the Azzurre are at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina while Russia play the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia but the key date is Wednesday when the top two meet in Trud. Italy won their home game against Russia 2-0 so a second victory would leave them in sight of Sweden; Poland will hope to prevail in Greece on Saturday to keep up their bid for a play-off.
Germany's winning qualifying run of more than a decade was ended with a last-gasp 2-2 November draw in Spain. The holders then won 5-0 in Turkey last month, before going on the lift the prestigious Algarve Cup, and on Saturday face Spain again in Mannheim with the pair level at the top. Switzerland, under new coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, are not out of play-off running and face Turkey on Saturday before welcoming Germany on Thursday, when Spain meet Kazakhstan.
This has been the group of shocks and Norway find themselves in fourth, though will move above Northern Ireland with a win in Bulgaria on Saturday. They then visit Hungary on Wednesday when the top two, Belgium and Iceland, meet. Unbeaten Iceland dropped their only points at home to Belgium in the autumn but are two ahead with a game in hand.
This month's Cyprus Women's Cup champions France have four wins but are yet to play Scotland, with four points from two games. That is corrected in Le Havre on Saturday and France then welcome Wales four days later, the night before Scotland play the Republic of Ireland, second and six points behind Les Bleues with a game in hand.
Slovakia and Belarus are the surprise leaders by three points from Finland and Ukraine. Slovakia and Ukraine have both played three games, Belarus four and Finland just two. The unbeaten pair, Slovakia and Finland, are matched home and away on Saturday and Thursday, the date Ukraine play Estonia.
This is looking a two-horse race between 2009 runners-up England and semi-finalists the Netherlands, who lead their fellow unbeaten side by five points having played a game more. England use up that extra game on Saturday in Croatia, then the Netherlands meet Slovenia on Thursday.
Denmark have scored 22 unanswered goals in their four wins, 11 of them in their most recent defeat of Armenia. The Czech Republic, also unbeaten, are five points behind and play their game in hand in Portugal on Saturday, five days before the crucial visit of Denmark. Austria, level with the Czechs but having played a match extra, visit Armenia on Sunday then welcome Portugal on Thursday.