The final four Euro 2016 berths will be decided in the next week, as eight teams jockey for those coveted summer spots in France.
Let’s take a look at the quartet of ties headed our way this week and next.
Hungary vs. Norway – Thursday and Sunday
FIFA ranks: Hungary 33, Norway 46
History: Norway is 3-0. Most recent meeting Nov. 2012.
Scuttlebutt: This has a chance to be a thrilling two-legged tie, and MLS fans will be excited to see Sporting KC’s Krisztian Nemeth throw down for his country, a side that also has familiar named Zoltan Gera and Adam Bogdan. Norway’s well-rounded team is led in part by Borussia Monchengladbach defender Håvard Nordtveit and Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen.
Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Republic of Ireland – Friday and Monday
FIFA ranks: BNH 20, Ireland 42
History: Ireland won at home in 2012.
Scuttlebutt: The Irish will be without John O'Shea and Jonathan Walters for leg one in Zenica, but the weight of this tie is heavy on the favorites. BNH was tagged by many as the dark horses of the 2014 World Cup, only to finish third in its group. Now it could miss the next major tournament, and is missing Muhamed Besic for leg one.
Ukraine vs. Slovenia – Saturday and Tuesday
FIFA ranks: Ukraine 28, Slovenia 64
History: Met twice in 1999, with Slovenia 1W-1D.
Scuttlebutt: Ukraine is without suspended Oleksandr Kucher and Taras Stepanenko for leg one, which comes at home on Lviv. Slovenia is on the brink of missing a second-straight major tournament.
Sweden vs. Denmark – Saturday and Tuesday
FIFA ranks: Sweden 45, Denmark 35
History: Denmark 22W-5D-9L; Sweden’s last win: April 2000
Scuttlebutt: A juicy Scandinavian rivalry could see Zlatan Ibrahimovic miss a second-straight major tournament, and that certainly does not qualify as “Daring to Zlatan”. But a Danish absence would be a Euro without Christian Eriksen, Kasper Schmeichel, Daniel Agger (see above: he had a lot fewer tattoos in 2009) and… Nicklas “Lord” Bendtner.