There’s plenty of international football to look forward to on Thursday, so here’s a selection of games not to be missed from Euro 2024 qualifying, CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, International friendlies and more.
Euro 2024 qualifying
Georgia vs Scotland, Cyprus vs Spain, Liechtenstein vs Portugal, Bulgaria vs Hungary & more
Nine teams have already booked their place at next summer’s European Championships, while a couple more can rubber stamp their tickets this evening.
Starting in Group J, Portugal are aiming to end a campaign with a 100% record for the very first time, with Roberto Martínez’s team set to hammer rock-bottom, pointless Liechtenstein in Vaduz.
In a more important fixture, Slovakia will join Portugal in wrapping up a top two finish should they beat Iceland at Tehelné pole.
Luxembourg and Bosnia, who also meet, as well as Iceland, will all get a second shot at qualification via the play-offs.
In Group G, unbeaten Hungary are on the cusp of qualifying for a third successive Euros, a feat Marco Rossi’s side will achieve should they avoid defeat against bottom of the table Bulgaria at Vasil Levski National Stadium.
Montenegro must win against Lithuania at Stadion pod Goricom to keep their slim hopes alive.
It’s already been decided who will qualify from Group A, with both Scotland and Spain securing top two finishes last month with two games to spare.
La Roja’s bid to remain in first place takes them to Limassol, where they’ll demolish pointless Cyprus.
The Tartan Army meantime travel to play-off bound Georgia, hoping it’ll be third time lucky in Tbilisi, having lost both previous visits without scoring, these in 2007 and 2015.
We also already know the identity of the top two in Group F, with both Belgium and Austria looking forward to next summer’s finals.
Ralf Rangnick’s team conclude a very successful campaign in Estonia, likely to swat aside the Blueshirts, who do have a place in March’s play-offs secured.
Sweden meantime have failed to qualify for a first Euros since 1996, so Janne Andersson’s side may not be relishing the long journey east to Bakı, seeking a repeat of the 5-0 win they enjoyed over Azerbaijan in March.
Hungary, Sweden, Austria, Montenegro & Slovakia to win + Georgia vs Scotland- under 2.5 goals + Spain HT/FT + Luxembourg to win or draw + Portugal to win, over 4.5 goals & Cristiano Ronaldo to score.
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Euro 2024 qualifying
November 16, 2023
5:00 pm GMT
CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying
Argentina vs Uruguay, Colombia vs Brazil, Chile vs Paraguay, Bolivia vs Peru & Venezuela vs Ecuador
World Cup qualifying continues in South America, with all ten CONMEBOL nations in action.
The pick of the fixtures comes from La Bombonera, where world champions Argentina will be seeking to continue their 100% record, with la Albiceleste yet to even concede a goal after four matches.
This streak will be sorely put to the test this week, with Lionel Scaloni’s side traveling to the Maracanã on Tuesday but, before then, Uruguay are the visitors to Buenos Aires.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have been a strong start to this campaign, currently sat second, so can la Celeste cause a big upset, or will Lionel Messi fire his team to another victory?
Elsewhere, Brazil need to get back on track following a shaky October in which they were held to a 1-1 draw by Venezuela, before a 2-0 defeat in Montevideo.
The Seleção travel to Barranquilla, where they’ll meet a Colombia team who are still unbeaten, albeit they’ve drawn each of their last three; this one is tough to call.
Venezuela, the only CONMEBOL nations to have never featured at a World Cup, are dreaming of changing that fact, currently fourth at this early stage, so can la Vinotinto claim another win, taking on Ecuador in Maturín?
Bolivia meantime are yet to get off the mark, but la Verde can always rely on their home form in La Paz, so will Peru be the latest visitors to succumb to defeat at altitude?
Lastly, Chile and Paraguay, both of whom have four points on the board, go head-to-head in Santiago, with Eduardo Berizzo’s la Roja hoping to make home advantage count.
CONCACAF Nations League/ Copa América play-offs
United States vs Trinidad & Tobago & Costa Rica vs Panama
Over in North America, there’s plenty to play for if you’re one of the region’s top eight teams.
These are the CONCACAF Nations League quarter-finals, played over two legs, with a spot at March’s Finals, held in Dallas, up for grabs.
However, more importantly, the winners will qualify for next summer’s Copa América, while the defeated sides will get a second chance in the play-in games.
Given that the United States will host the Copa América, they’re under enormous pressure to be there, but Gregg Berhalter’s team should cruise through this tie.
USA have won both editions of the Nations League so far, retaining their trophy in Las Vegas earlier this year.
Last time out, the Stars and Stripes smashed Ghana 4-0 in Nashville, so will be hoping for a similarly emphatic scoreline in Austin, ahead of the second leg in Port of Spain on Sunday.
Opponents Trinidad & Tobago meantime have done extremely well just to get here, with the Soca Warriors enjoying surprise wins over Curaçao, El Salvador and Guatemala in the group phase.
Nevertheless, they’re likely to be steamrollered at Q2 Stadium.
A tie that’s significantly tougher to call sees two Central American rivals go head-to-head in San José.
Costa Rica pipped Panama to a place at the Qatar World Cup but, since then, los Canaleros have won all three meetings, so do they come into this clash as favourites?
Los Ticos will therefore feel this first leg at Estadio La Cueva del Monstruo is must win.
1) USA to win, over 2.5 goals, both teams to score NO and Folarin Balogun to score anytime. 2) Costa Rica to win or draw and under 2.5 goals.
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CONCACAF Nations League quarter-finals
November 17, 2023
2:00 am GMT
CAF World Cup qualifying
Nigeria vs Lesotho, Algeria vs Somalia, Egypt vs Djibouti & more
It’s a busy day of World Cup qualifying in Africa, with eight matches taking place, some of which feature the continent’s heavyweights, beginning their bid to reach 2026.
Nigeria have featured at six of the last eight World Cups and most would expect to see the Super Eagles stateside, with José Peseiro’s side highly-likely to swat Lesotho aside in Uyo.
Similarly, record seven-times AFCON champions Egypt welcome Djibouti to the Cairo International Stadium, with Mohamed Salah feeling confident about adding to his 51 international goals.
Like Egypt and Nigeria, Algeria also missed out on 2022, beaten in the play-offs, but the Desert Foxes will make light work of Somalia at Nelson Mandela Stadium.
As only the group winners qualify directly for the finals, these heavyweights can ill-afford many slip-ups.
One team hoping to make their World Cup debut are Cape Verde and, given that the Blue Sharks are in Group D, alongside Cameroon, their opener against Angola feels imperative to win.
1) Algeria HT/FT. 2) Nigeria to win & over 2.5 goals. 3) Egypt HT/FT. 4) Cape Verde to win. 5) Gambia or draw. 6) Sudan vs Togo- under 2.5 goals. 7) Gabon vs Kenya- under 2.5 goals. 8) Botswana vs Mozambique- under 2.5 goals.
Back the above eight-fold World Cup qualifying acca at 16/1!
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CAF World Cup qualification
November 16, 2023
1:00 pm GMT
AFC World Cup qualifying
Japan vs Myanmar, Korea Republic vs Singapore, Iran vs Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia vs Pakistan, Australia vs Bangladesh & more
A bumper 18 matches are taking place in Asian World Cup qualifying today, as the second round gets underway.
The day commences at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium where Australia, who’ve featured at each of the last five World Cups, are likely to hammer group minnows Bangladesh.
Fellow-2022 participants Saudi Arabia, IR Iran, Qatar, Korea Republic and Japan are poised for comfortable home wins.
The Samurai Blue welcome Myanmar to Suita and, given that they prevailed 10-0 when the pair last met in May 2021, Hajime Moriyasu’s team will have plenty of goals to celebrate.
To date, 12 Asian countries have qualified for the World Cup, with the expanded format, which guarantees eight spots, giving more teams than ever a chance to make it.
Of all the nations dreaming of making their debut in 2026, we’ve picked out Uzbekistan, with Srečko Katanec’s side looking to make a winning start away to Turkmenistan.
1) Australia HT/FT & over 4.5 goals. 2) Japan HT/FT & over 7.5 goals. 3) South Korea HT/FT & over 4.5 goals. 4) Iran to win to nil. 5) Oman to win to nil. 6) Qatar to win & over 3.5 goals. 7) Saudi Arabia to win & over 4.5 goals. 8) Uzbekistan to win.
Back the above eight-fold World Cup qualifying acca at 19/1!
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AFC World Cup qualification
November 16, 2023
9:00 am GMT
Norway vs Faroe Islands
The day’s sole international friendly comes from Oslo, with two Nordic nations going head-to-head.
Norway haven’t appeared at any major tournament since Euro 2000, a fact that may not change next summer, after the Lions’ hopes of automatic qualification were ended by a 1-0 home defeat against Spain in October.
Ståle Solbakken’s side conclude their campaign at Hampden on Sunday, and it is out of their hands whether or not they’ll earn a play-off place; this seems highly unlikely at this stage.
Visitors Faroe Islands have endured a torrid 2023, beginning this calendar year with a 1-1 draw in Chișinău, but then losing all seven fixtures subsequently.
Håkan Ericson’s side face group leaders Albania in Tirana on Monday, so a first victory since September 2022 doesn’t appear to be in the pipeline.
In their only other friendly this year, Norway hammered Jordan 6-0 at Ullevål, with another high-scoring home win likely here.