The road to Qatar for European countries continues on Monday with more World Cup Qualifiers involving Wales, Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands.
Wales started their qualification campaign with a spirited defeat away in Belgium, but will look to build on Saturday’s friendly win over Mexico when they host an in-form Czech Republic in Cardiff.
European champions Portugal will be keen to atone for their contentious draw in Serbia when they travel to a Luxembourg side revelling in their shock win away to the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland face Qatar in an international friendly which, along with all of Tuesday’s World Cup European Qualifiers, will be shown live on either Sky Sports Football, Main Event, Premier League, or on the red button.
World Cup 2022 Euro Qualifiers on Sky Sports
Watch Sunday’s 2022 World Cup Qualifiers and international friendlies live on Sky Sports from 2pm; also follow via our dedicated live blog, plus watch in-game clips and free match highlights on Sky Sports’ digital platforms.
Not only that, but you can also watch in-game clips and free match highlights on Sky Sports’ digital platforms via our dedicated live blog, so there is plenty to look forward to, including these fixtures:
Group A: Can Portugal erase the pain of a nation?
Azerbaijan vs Serbia – kick-off 5pm, live on Sky Sports Football & Main Event
Luxembourg vs Portugal – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Football red button
Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal set about healing the harm caused to the Portuguese nation after their contentious 2-2 draw in Serbia on Saturday.
Ronaldo stormed off the pitch after his stoppage-time winner was ruled not to have crossed the goal line as 10-man Serbia held the reigning European champions in an incident-packed clash in Belgrade.
The point denied Portugal a perfect start to World Cup qualification and kept Serbia top of Group A by virtue of goals scored ahead of Tuesday’s meetings with Luxembourg and Azerbaijan respectively.
Victories would see the top two open up a seven-point lead at the top of the table, effectively ending Azerbaijan and the Republic of Ireland’s hopes of reaching Qatar 2022, and all-but ending Luxembourg’s.
Group E: Can Wales get first win on the board?
Wales vs Czech Republic – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Main Event
Belgium vs Belarus – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Football red button
Wales welcome the Czech Republic to Cardiff for their second 2022 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday with ground already to make up after losing their opener in Belgium and the Czechs taking four points from two games.
The early Group E table does not make pretty reading for Wales fans. Opening wins for Belgium and the Czech Republic saw them hit the front and the pair shared a 1-1 draw in Prague on Saturday as Wales stepped away from World Cup qualifying action.
Lose to the Czechs and a seven-point gap would appear insurmountable for Wales, even at this ridiculously early stage and with a game in hand. Belgium, the world’s top-ranked team, remain favourites to take top spot, but a Wales win against the Czechs would open up a group that also contains Belarus and Estonia.
The presence of West Ham’s Tomas Soucek in the Czech Republic midfield spells big danger for Wales. Soucek has nine goals in the Premier League this season and has taken that scoring form on to the international stage, with the 26-year-old captaining his country for the first time against Estonia last week and promptly netting a hat-trick in a 6-2 World Cup qualifying victory.
Group G: Can Turkey maintain grip on the group?
Gibraltar vs Netherlands – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League
Montenegro vs Norway – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Football red button
Turkey vs Latvia – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Football red button
Turkey look to keep the Netherlands and Montenegro at arm’s length with their third consecutive victory in World Cup qualifying Group C.
The Turks followed up their thrilling 4-2 victory over Holland on Matchday 1 with a 3-0 win away at 10-man Norway, and entertain Latvia on Tuesday night knowing another three points would keep them on course to reach their first World Cup finals appearance since 2002.
Holland bounced back from their defeat in Turkey with a victory over Latvia last time out, and a trip to minnows Gibraltar, coupled with Montenegro and Norway facing each other, gives Frank de Boer’s side the opportunity to establish themselves as chief challengers to Senol Gunes’ side.
Group H: Can Croatia apply pressure on Russia?
Cyprus vs Slovenia – kick-off 5pm, live on Sky Sports Football red button
Croatia vs Malta – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Football red button
Slovakia vs Russia – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Football red button
Croatia, World Cup finalists in 2018, have made a slow start on the road to Qatar 2022, winning one and losing one of their first two games but have not lost too much ground and should build more momentum when Malta visit on Tuesday night.
Russia currently lead the way after victories over Malta and Slovenia, who could themselves move top of Group H if they win in Cyprus in the early kick-off.
International friendlies – Can Ireland erase Luxembourg memory?
Qatar vs Republic of Ireland – kick-off 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports Football
Stephen Kenny’s fledgling reign as Republic of Ireland manager has been thrust under the spotlight following a dismal 1-0 World Cup qualifier defeat by Luxembourg.
The Dubliner has presided over 10 games to date and won none of them, though Ireland’s record of just six wins from their previous 29 internationals under Kenny, Mick McCarthy and Martin O’Neill point to deep-rooted issues.
Live International Football
Tuesday 30th March 7:40pm
A defiant Kenny insisted in the wake of the Luxembourg debacle that he could do “a very good” job”, and later received the backing of Football Association of Ireland chairman Roy Barrett.
In the very short term, Tuesday night’s friendly against World Cup hosts Qatar in Debrecen, Hungary, has assumed much more significance as a result of Saturday’s events.
Qatar, of course, beat Luxembourg 1-0 last week, and a similar result for Ireland would only pile more pressure on Kenny’s beleaguered side ahead of September’s difficult trip to Portugal in the first of six remaining Group A World Cup Qualifiers before the end of the year.
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