By Nate Jacobson
World Cup qualifying in Europe just started last month but there are four teams that face must win games on Tuesday. Serbia, Ireland, Turkey and Ukraine all must pick up three points in their matches tomorrow. If they don’t their chances of earning a spot in Brazil will be in jeopardy.
Serbia makes a short trip to Skopje for a match against Macedonia on Tuesday. The Serbians trail Belgium and Croatia by three points in a highly competitive group. Serbia is coming off an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat against Belgium on Friday. Dropping early points away to Scotland last month was another result that could haunt the Serbians.
Ireland was out classed by Germany 6-1 in Dublin on Friday. Trapattoni’s Army hasn’t played well after their struggles at Euro 2012 in June. Ireland must respond on Tuesday when they play against the Faroe Islands away. This seems like an easy game but the Faroe Islands played Sweden very closely on Friday and only lost 2-1. If Ireland can’t win on Tuesday then it will be very challenging to catch Germany or Sweden in the group.
Times have been tough for Turkish soccer. They failed to make Euro 2012 and lost two of their first three qualifiers. The most disappointing loss occurred on Friday at home against Romania. Both Romania and Netherlands have perfect records in the group and Hungary is also ahead of Turkey in the group standings. Turkey can start turning around their campaign with a trip to Budapest, Hungary on Tuesday. A win for Turkey is vital especially since Romania and Netherlands are playing each other on Tuesday.
One of the Euro 2012 co-hosts are in an intriguing group with England, Montenegro, Poland, Moldova and San Marino. Ukraine is fourth in the group after an impressive draw in England and a lackluster stalemate with Moldova. Ukraine faces Montenegro in Kiev on Tuesday. This will be Ukraine’s first home fixture so three points would put them in a solid position going forward. A draw or loss will put the Ukrainians in a hole.
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