Sexy Europe: What It’s Fucking An International Break Already?!

Just when things are getting rolling, leagues are playing matches, European competitions are set, we get a goddamn international break! The hell, FIFA!? For European squads looking to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, this is Matchday 7 & 8 out of 10. While some of the big boys (Germany, England) are all but qualified, there are some teams still duking it out.

Last Weekend

Chelsea 2 v 0 Everton – Chelsea did the business in another professional win. Alvaro Morata got a goal and assist and the Blues look back on track. They did lose out on signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, but that wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Also, fuck Chelsea!

Dortmund 2 v 0 Hertha Berlin – Dortmund looks hella good, even without Ousmane Dembele. Christian Pulisic couldn’t quite get on the board though he was dangerous all game. They also continue to bring in players to shore up their backline with the likes of their fellow German competitors.

Roma 1 v 3 Inter Milan – Former Roma manager Luciano Spalletti nipped all three points on his first trip back as manager of Inter. Eden Dzeko got the first goal of the match for Roma, but a controversial call opened the flood gates for Inter. Mauro Icardi, whom we talked about last week, got a brace!

Liverpool 4 v 0 Arsenal – When they write the obituary of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal career this match won’t be the breaking point, but it probably should be. Wenger and Arsenal were absolutely curb stomped by Jurgen Klopp’s Gegenpressen. Lacazette sat on the bench and weirdly Aaron Ramsey got the start. Bellerin looked out of his element and Liverpool just punched Arsenal in the face repeatedly. Arsenal did not even register a shot on goal and while Karius got the start, they could’ve literally started me in goal.

Real Madrid 2 v 2 Valencia – Marco Asensio’s brace saved Real Madrid’s ass at home and this clearly superior La Liga team fucked up and dropped points at home. Not something you want to be doing this early in the season. Carlos Soler (and his €80 million buy-out clause) is starting to look really good as he scored a goal on the road.

What’s on Tap?

UEFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!

Let’s go group-by-group and tell you who’s fucked and the best game of the week coming up! Cool? Cool. Let’s go!

Group A

Sweden (13), France (13), Netherlands (10), Bulgaria (9), Belarus (5), Luxembourg (1)(E)

Sweden and France are battling it out for the automatic qualifying spot from Group A with 13 points each. The Dutch are sitting in third on 10 points and have a huge match coming up today with France. They more or less need to take all three points or the Dutch could miss out on their second straight international tournament. At least we know there’s one team in the Netherlands that can win an international tournament!

Group B

Switzerland (18), Portugal (15), Hungary (7), Faroe Islands (5)(Y), Andorra (4)(Y), Latvia (3)(Y)

Those last three teams are all eliminated form winning the group and will all be eliminated from possible qualification today. Portugal can eliminate Hungary with a win today and a Hungary loss or draw, or a win and a win against Hungary on Sunday. This group will ultimately come down to Portugal hosting Switzerland on October 10th.

Group C

Germany (18), Northern Ireland (13), Czech Republic (9), Azerbaijan (7), Norway (4)(Y), San Marino (0)(E)

Minnows San Marino are eliminated and have given up 30 goals with four matches still to play. If Northern Ireland drops any points and Germany takes all six this weekend, they will qualify. Northern Ireland themselves are four points clear of the Czech Republic who host Germany on Friday at home and need to take points before making the trek to Northern Ireland on Monday!

Group D

Serbia (12), Republic of Ireland (12), Wales (8), Austria (8), Georgia (3), Moldova (2)

The only group left where everyone is still technically able to win thanks to a lot of draws. 2016 Euro darlings Wales are currently tied for third (on 8 points) with Austria behind Serbia and the Republic of Ireland tied for first (on 12 points). The best match of the break will be Serbia traveling to Ireland. The winner of that match will be in the driver’s seat for the automatic spot.

Group E

Poland (16), Montenegro (10), Denmark (10), Romania (6), Armenia (6), Kazakhstan (2) (Y)

Let’s pour one out for Kazakhstan:

God, anytime I get a chance to link that video you gotta take it!

Poland is 6 points clear of the surprising second place team (on goal differential) Montenegro. Montenegro, however is currently the worst second place team and wouldn’t actually qualify for the playoffs. Denmark hosting the first place Polish team on Friday is the highlight of this crap Group.

Group F

England (14), Slovakia (12), Slovenia (11), Scotland (8), Lithuania (5), Malta (5)(E)

Scotland has struggled mightily, in spite of a thrilling 2-2 match with England during the last break. They have little to no chance to make the playoff. Slovakia and Slovenia couldn’t be less intimidating. They battle on Friday in Slovakia and I will definitely mix up these two teams when talking about this game next week!

Group G

Spain (16), Italy (16), Albania (9), Israel (9), Macedonia (3) (E), Liechtenstein (0)(E)

This is a two horse race obviously and it’s not really even close. Spain and Italy battle on Saturday afternoon at the Bernabeu in the only match that matters for the rest of the Group Stage!

Group H

Belgium (16), Greece (12), Bosnia and Herzegovina (11), Cyrpus (7), Estonia (4), Gibraltar (0)(E)

Belgium is in the driver’s seat and a win in Greece on Sunday would pretty much lock everything up for the Belgians. Greece is also in pole position to qualify for the playoff spot as they only go on the road once (to Cyrprus) and host Estonia today and Gibraltar on the last qualifying day.

Group I

Croatia (13), Iceland (13), Turkey (11), Ukraine (11), Finland (1)(E), Kosovo (1)(E)

Probably the most even of the groups (at least in terms of the top four). All four teams and they all play each other over the course of the last four match days. Turkey has two big matches and could vault themselves into contention or be effectively eliminated after this break. The Turks go to the Metalist Stadium (still a really fucking cool name) in Kharkiv in the Ukraine on Saturday and host Iceland on Tuesday, a hugely important six points.

 

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