The route to Euro 2012 continues this week with a large programme of matches on Friday 8th October featuring four of the home international sides and on 12th October 2010 all 5 sides play.
Scotland have two very difficult games traveling to the Czech Republic on Friday and then entertaining World Champions Spain. Two draws here would be a magnificent result and anything better than 2 points would set them up nicely even at this early stage.
Wales also have taxing matches facing Bulgaria at home before traveling to Switzerland and again they will probably regard anything better than draws as a bonus.
Northern Ireland will go into their tie against Italy in good heart following a great win in Slovenia in their opener and follow this up with another winnable away tie against the Faroe Islands. A draw and a win will set them up nicely in the group in second place and keep them in touch with the leaders.
The Republic of Ireland are currently top of Group B, but they are facing their first real test against a talented Russia side who will probably regard themselves as group favourites. A win here would be a great result and with another crunch match coming up against Slovakia, two wins would set them up nicely. We will know a lot more about Ireland’s chances of making the finals after these two games.
Finally England have just the one game this week, against group G surprise package Montenegro who are also unbeaten following god wins over Wales & Bulgaria. They have to play against Switzerland on the Friday so the schedule has done them no favours. England are slightly below strength especially up front, however having been given extra time to prepare and with the supposed quality of their squad anything less than an emphatic win will not go down well with the fans.
Overall this could be a difficult week for the British clubs with only England & Northern Ireland looking likely to gain a win.
The Fixtures Involving British Clubs:
Friday, 8 October 2010
Czech Republic v Scotland
Wales v Bulgaria
Northern Ireland v Italy
Rep of Ireland v Russia
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Faroe Islands v Northern Ireland
Slovakia v Rep of Ireland
Switzerland v Wales
England v Montenegro
Scotland v Spain