Struggle for second in Group B

A look ahead to Tuesday night's World Cup qualification matches in Group B, including Italy's clash with Armenia.

Last Updated: 14/10/13 at 16:24 Post Comment

Cesare Prandelli: Italy coach expects 'interesting finish'

Cesare Prandelli: Italy coach expects 'interesting finish'

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Four teams are competing for second place in European World Cup qualifying Group B but face missing out on a spot in next month's play-offs.

Bulgaria are best placed to finish second, behind group winners Italy, but currently have the lowest points total of all the nine second-placed teams in the European section and are therefore on course to miss out on the play-offs, which will be composed of four two-legged ties.

Denmark, the Czech Republic and Armenia can all still finish the group in second place. Denmark are behind Bulgaria only on goal difference, while the other two are a point behind.

Bulgaria host the Czechs while Denmark take on bottom side Malta and Italy welcome Armenia to Naples.

"With the exception of Malta, they all have the possibility to finish second in the group," Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "It's going to be an interesting finish."

Bulgaria's play-off chances suffered a hit in a 2-1 defeat away to Armenia on Friday, their second loss in qualifying.

Bulgaria coach Luboslav Penev will be without defender Nikolay Bodurov and midfielder Svetoslav Dyakov, with both suspended after being sent off against Armenia.

The Czechs, by contrast, go into the encounter in Sofia on the back of a 4-1 triumph in Malta - their biggest win in qualifying.

Denmark are still coming to terms with Friday's 2-2 home draw against Italy.

The Danes were close to achieving a win which would have seen them leapfrog Bulgaria into second but conceded a late equaliser.

"It was quite a blow," Denmark midfielder William Kvist said.

"We came so close and it really hurts."

Denmark, coached by Morten Olsen, face Malta in Copenhagen looking for their first home win in qualifying.

Malta lie at the foot of the standings with just three points taken from a possible 27.

Italy host in-form Armenia looking to end their qualifying campaign in style.

The Azzurri have won six of their nine group games but came close to seeing their unbeaten run end last Friday.

Prandelli hopes to have AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli back, after he missed the game against Denmark with the flu.

Armenia travel to the Stadio San Paolo having won three of their last four qualifiers.


New Sky Bet customers: Claim free £5 bet every week


More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e doesn't need a caoch. He needs a bus. A bloody big one, that he can park across the goal line. And when he gets one, he can do us a favour and let us know where we can buy one from as well.

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: No defence coach

Y

ou are wrong Per, thats the right way the play. Its everyone elses' fault that it doesnt work.

delboy
Mertesacker urges style change

A

s it's panto season coming soon, let me be the first Oh yes you do

munchie
Rodgers: No defence coach

Footer 365

Sky sources: Mike Ashley proposes an emergency loan offer to Rangers

Sky Sports understands that Mike Ashley is proposing an emergency loan offer to Rangers.

Europa League: Everton investigating trouble in Lille before Thursday's match

Everton will work with Merseyside and French police to establish the facts about Thursday's crowd trouble in Lille.

Premier League: Tottenham to commemorate Bill Nicholson at Sunday's game against Newcastle

Tottenham will commemorate Bill Nicholson by bathing White Hart Lane in white when they face Newcastle on Sunday.

Mail Box

'Goals Like That Can Make You Pregnant'

Those being sniffy about Erik Lamela's rabona are given short shrift in the afternoon mailbox, where criticism of Brendan Rodgers is smashed out of the park...

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property