UEFA World Cup qualifying: Holland-France headlines; Portugal, Belgium in action

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We have another big day of 2018 World Cup qualifying in Europe.

UEFA’s stacked qualifying groups often dish up some delicious duels and we have one of those in Amsterdam on Monday: Netherlands vs. France.

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Danny Blind’s Dutchmen have opened up Group A of UEFA qualifying with a draw at Sweden and a win against Belarus and sit top of the table as the EURO 2016 runners up roll into town. Dimitri Payet was on the scoresheet in France’s win against Bulgaria last week in Paris as Didier Deschamps’ side sit joint-top with the Dutch with four points from their opening two games in Group A.

Remember, only the top team in each of Europe’s eight qualifying groups qualify for the 2018 World Cup automatically, with the eight second-placed teams forced to battle it out in the playoffs for one of the four remaining spots.

Elsewhere in Group A Sweden host Bulgaria in a massive clash to see who can stay in touch with Holland and France.

In Group B the reigning European champs Portugal head to the Faroe Islands after their 6-0 thumping of Andorra. Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals in that rout as Portugal aim to get back on track following their defeat to Switzerland in their opening game of qualifying. The Swiss head to Andorra in what will likely be another big away win.

Belgium and Roberto Martinez look to keep their 100 percent record as they head to minnows Gibraltar in Group H, while the only other team with a perfect record in that group, Greece, head to Estonia.

Below is the full schedule for the games in the UEFA region on Monday, which all kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET, plus we will have reaction to them later here at ProSoccerTalk.


Full schedule of Monday’s UEFA 2018 World Cup qualifying games

Group A
Belarus vs. Luxembourg
Netherlands vs. France
Sweden vs. Bulgaria

Group B
Andorra vs. Switzerland
Faroe Islands vs. Portugal
Latvia vs. Hungary

Group H
Bosnia and Herzegovnia vs. Cyprus
Estonia vs. Greece
Gibraltar vs. Belgium