Italy has looked more than fine so far in the qualifying process, having some ups and downs during matches but winning all six so far.
During September they had bit more difficult matches, but have won away to Armenia and Finland both. That marked seventh consecutive official victory for the Italians.
They might be able to already secure the ticket for the final tournament in case of a victory here, but it sure looks like an inevitable thing anyway in the next days. Italy leads the table with six points more than Finland and nine more than third-placed Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Italians will miss defenders Florenzi (34/2, Roma), Chiellini (103/8 Juventus) and De Sciglio (39/0, Juventus) out of more noticeable and recent absentee players.
After a bit shaky start in the qualifiers and a loss away to Hungary, the Croatians have upped their form and are now again red hot favorites to promote to the European championship directly from the first position.
Still, their form isn’t the best possible expected recently, coming from a very impressive 4:0 victory away to Slovakia, but disappointing in the next leg this September when they took a point in a 1:1 draw away to Azerbaijan.
They had an early lead and were very close to score the second as well, however, they paid the price of being a bit uninterested to seal that victory in the continuation of the game.
Ipswich did well to get a victory away to Fleetwood Town last Saturday afternoon, in a game where they looked like a slight underdog and weren’t given a lot of chances before the game.
Still, the team got rewarded for their fighting spirit winning the match thanks to a goal from Jackson in the 58th minute. They withstood some pressure during the match but managed to walk away with a clean sheet.
Towards the end, defender Wilson got red-carded but without further problems for the guests. Ipswich is now in a really good form, coming from straight-four victories and are now leading the table alone with four points more than second-placed Wycombe.
Osnabruck was a slight favorite away to Wehen in the previous round, but the team disappointed in a 2:0 loss.
The side had all of the ball possession in the match, however, looked far less creative than usual and didn’t threaten properly.
On the other side, the hosts simply had a great development of the match, scoring against the flow and later being able to threaten a lot via counters.
It was the third game with no victory for Osnabruck, as the side now stands at the thirteenth position with two points more than play-out placed Holstein Kiel.
The home side continues to miss a couple of long-term absentees who didn’t play so far anyway. They also can’t count at injured goalkeeper Korber (4/0). Midfielder Ouahim (7/2) is doubtful, as well as defender Susac (3/0).
St Etienne finally managed to get a victory last weekend, when the team visited Nimes and walked away with a narrow 1:0 three-pointer.
The only goal came in the 68th minute via Debuchy, completely against the flow of the match till then. they were in a position to threaten more after the goal via counters, but overall there’s no doubt that the players of Nimes did deserve more out of the clash.
As for the Europa League, they took a point in a 1:1 home game against Wolfsburg last Thursday night, even though they were slightly better against passive Germans.
The home side misses suspended offensive player Hamouma (7/3). Injured are right back Palencia (1/0) and goalkeeper Ruffier (6/0). The participation of defensive midfielder Aholou is doubtful for now.
After a great performance in front of their own fans against the Citizens and a memorable 3:2 victory, players of Norwich couldn’t do much in their back to back matches on the road.
Firstly they have suffered 2:0 loss against Burnley, but then also got outplayed by Crystal Palace with the same result, conceding from the penalty kick, trying to get back into the match but without success.
They had much more of the ball possession in the second halftime and just when they risked the most, they paid the price of conceding the second goal in the second minute of added time.
Defensive midfielder Trybull (4/0) is injured, as well as goalkeeper Fahrmann (1/0), central back Zimmermann (1/0) and left-back Lewis (7/0). Goalkeeper Krul (6/0) is doubtful, as well as midfielder Vrancic (2/0) for the moment.
After a really poor period and just one point earned out of four rounds played, players of Hertha reacted well with two back to back victories.
First, it was a 2:1 home win over Paderborn, but then on the road to Koln in a very impressive way and 4:0 result deserved.
In quite an open first halftime, the team got the lead in the 23rd minute via Dilrosun, while the hosts stood playing with a man less towards the end of the first halftime.
It’s something that made the game much easier for the team from Berlin, as they scored twice more via Ibisevic with Boyata sealing the victory with the fourth goal.
Wolfsberger couldn’t react better in the first round of the Europa League group stage, as the side walked away with a 4:0 victory away to Borussia Monchengladbach.
They were fully effective from the first moment, already having a three-goal lead after the first halftime, looking very threatening with the ball to their feet.
The side is also enjoying the start of the season, but most recently are coming from a 2:2 draw at home against Tirol last weekend.
They had the lead twice but failed to hold the lead, being now six points below the league leaders from Salzburg.
The home side should have no fresh injury worries for this one and should be able to field up their best eleven.
Genk was completely outplayed in the first round on the road to Salzburg in a 6:2 loss two weeks ago.
They have conceded five goals already in the first halftime (with one conceded too) and a catastrophe looked like smiling on them. However, the second halftime had a slightly weaker tempo which suited them.
As for the Jupiler League, they come from a 3:3 draw match away to St Truiden, completely collapsing in the last thirty minutes of the game.
They had a 3:0 lead after sixty minutes, without an impressive performance, while they couldn’t hold the opponent in the last phase of a match where they didn’t actually look dominant nor impressive.
After a too defensive, shaky and disappointing defeat in a local derby game against Partizan and a 2:0 loss, players of Crvena zvezda reacted pretty fine and now come from back to back 3:1 victories.
It was on the road to Vozdovac and in front of own crowd against Macva last weekend. As for the Champions League, they couldn’t do more in a 3:0 loss on the road to Bayern Munich, simply not being up to such level especially when away.
Progress to Europa League knockout phase is their goal, but knowing that a victory here almost a must in order to keep those chances high and realistic.