World Cup qualifiers are still taking place all around the world and on Sunday, European teams start their second part of the September internationals. After matches on Thursday, groups A, B and H play again.
Several Manchester United players will be in action. Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini are part of Belgium’s squad, Paul Pogba will play for France, while Victor Lindelof and Daley Blind also have a job to do.
Romelu Lukaku And Marouane Fellaini To Seal Qualification
Belgium is in the position of all sides having Manchester United players. They are top of group H ahead of Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Belgium’s lead is six and eight points respectively. Therefore, a win tonight in Athens would mean qualification for the World Cup.
With a win, they would have at least eight points more than the second placed team with two games two play. A draw could a job for Lukaku’s and Fellaini’s national team, but only in case of Bosnia not winning in Gibraltar.
After a 9-0 win against Gibraltar on Thursday and Lukaku’s hat-trick, Belgium have a great opportunity to become first European side to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year.
Another Easy Triumph For Paul Pogba’s France
However, group A will have most of Manchester United players in action tonight. Paul Pogba will be part of Didier Deschamps’ squad against minnows Luxembourg. Nothing but the win is expected from a side that so smoothly dispatched Netherlands in Paris three days ago. This should be an easy job once again for Pogba and his team-mates.
With a win, France will firm their place at the top of the table. After a shocking last minute loss to Sweden three months ago, France recuperated with a win against Netherlands. Things are going well for them now, with three points more than the second placed team. Sweden, Bulgaria and Netherlands all have realistic chances of reaching the play-off spot, should France finish things expectedly and claim the first place after the October matches.
There Is Still Hope For Daley Blind’s Netherlands
Netherlands are among the teams in Group A fighting for the play-offs, but with displays like on Thursday they will not qualify for Russia. Netherlands were very poor, unable to threat Hugo Lloris in France’s goal.
Yet, if they improve, three points less than second placed Sweden is not impossible to compensate. Netherlands will play Bulgaria tonight, before matches against Belarus and Sweden in October. With three wins, Daley Blind’s national team will definitely reach the play-offs but even seven points could be enough for them.
Direct clashes with Bulgaria and Sweden are now a must win for Dick Advocaat’s side. Even though this has been a horrific campaign for the Netherlands, it is not over yet. They won just three matches in seven games and have already capitulated thrice. Their defence must improve – and Blind should be part of that – as they have conceded 10 goals so far. A win against Bulgaria tonight is a great way to start changing things.
Also, Victor Lindelof will be part of Sweden’s squad against Belarus.