UEFA World Cup qualifying schedule and preview

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Hampden Park will play host to a crunch World Cup qualifying match as England heads north to face neighbors Scotland.

The two home nations, both in Group F of UEFA World Cup qualifying, are on two different trajectories. England is currently top of the group with 13 points and no defeats in five games while Scotland sit in fourth place on seven points, behind Slovakia and Slovenia.

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A loss for Scotland likely eliminates Gordon Strachan’s side from the 2018 World Cup, meaning even more than national pride is on the line Saturday for the noon eastern time kickoff.

Young Celtic starlet Kieran Tierney will have another chance to impress the scouts for Scotland while the Tottenham trio of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier will look to continue their strong form for the Three Lions.

Elsewhere in World Cup qualifying, the Netherlands, with Dick Advocaat back in charge, can boost itself into second place in Group A with a win over Luxembourg along with France winning on the road at Sweden. On Sunday in Group D action, Serbia and the Republic of Ireland look to put some distance from the rest of the pack at the top as Serbia takes on Wales and the Republic of Ireland faces Austria.

A couple of other matchups to watch are Iceland hosting Croatia, with Croatia having beaten Iceland last November and Poland, which are top of Group E, facing Romania.

Here’s a look at Friday through Sunday’s UEFA World Cup qualifying preview. Only the first-placed teams in the eight groups receive an automatic bid, so every game remains important from the team on top to the cellar dwellers.

Schedule


Friday

Group A

Netherlands vs. Luxembourg, 2:45 p.m.

Belarus vs. Bulgaria, 2:45 p.m.

Sweden vs. France, 2:45 p.m.

Group B

Faroe Islands vs. Switzerland, 2:45 p.m.

Andorra vs. Hungary, 2:45 p.m.

Latvia vs. Portugal, 2:45 p.m.

Group H

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Greece, 2:45 p.m.

Estonia vs. Belgium, 2:45 p.m.

Gibraltar vs. Cyprus, 2:45 p.m.

Saturday

Group C

Azerbaijan vs. Northern Ireland, noon

Norway vs. Czech Republic, 2:45 p.m.

Germany vs. San Marino, 2:45 p.m.

Group E

Kazakhstan vs. Denmark, noon

Poland vs. Romania, 2:45 p.m.

Montenegro vs. Armenia, 2:45 p.m.

Group F

Scotland vs. England, noon

Slovenia vs. Malta, noon

Lithuania vs. Slovakia, 2:45 p.m.

Sunday

Group D

Moldova vs. Georgia, noon

Republic of Ireland vs. Austria, 1 p.m.

Serbia vs. Wales 2:45 p.m.

Group I

Finland vs. Ukraine, noon

Iceland vs. Croatia, 2;45 p.m.

Kosovo vs. Turkey, 2;45 p.m.

Group G

FYR Macedonia vs. Spain, 2:45 p.m.

Israel vs. Albania, 2:45 p.m.

Italy vs. Liechtenstein, 2:45 p.m.