The October international break is a crucial moment in finding out the 24 teams playing next summer for the European Championship 2024.
During this international break, many countries will play critical matches that will decide their chances of qualifying for the tournament. Here are three of those contests.
Albania vs Czechia - October 12th 11:45 am MST - Air Albania Stadium, Tirana
1. Albania 10pts
2. Czechia 8pts
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3. Moldova 8pts
4. Poland 6pts
5. Faroe Islands 1pts
Following a famous home win against Poland in September, Albania will once again host a massive match on Thursday night against group rivals Czechia.
Albania has made only one appearance at the EURO’s, appearing in the 2016 edition in France. Sylvinho’s side can take one step closer to reaching Germany next summer on Thursday against Czechia.
It’s a tight Group E that’s got plenty of competition. For now, Albania holds the top spot with 10 points. Czechia and Moldova are not far behind, sitting on eight points each. Poland sits with six points in fourth. The top two countries in the group will qualify directly to the tournament.
Albania has only one match this window, while Czechia and Poland will play two. The Czechs will host bottom-of-the-group Faroe Islands on October 15th, while Poland hosts Moldova on the same day.
Thursday has potential to be a historical night in Tirana, as both Albania and Czechia battle it out at the Air Albania Stadium in the Albanian capital. With the winner of Poland and Moldova primed to possibly jump into the top two, the heat is on both sides to hold off their contenders in this window.
Denmark vs Kazakhstan - October 14th 11:45 am MST - Parken, Copenhagen
1. Slovenia 13pts
2. Denmark 13pts
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3. Finland 12pts
4. Kazakhstan 12pts
5. Northern Ireland 3pts
6. San Marino 0pts
It’s been a soccer revolution in Kazakhstan in 2023, with the nation on the brink of qualifying for its first European Championship in history.
The Eurasian nation has had a historic qualifying campaign, getting four wins from six games and currently sitting just one point out of an advancing position. Currently, Denmark holds that second spot, whom Kazakhstan beat in March 3-2 after trailing 0-2 at halftime. With the head-to-head tiebreaker, a win for Kazakhstan will put them firmly in control of their destiny with three games remaining.
Group H also consists of Finland, Slovenia, Northern Ireland, and San Marino. With San Marino and Northern Ireland practically eliminated, the race for the top two will be between Kazakhstan, Slovenia, Denmark, and Finland.
This October window will also see Kazakhstan play Finland, who are fighting for a ticket for next summer to Germany as well. This match could be the deciding moment for Kazakhstan’s chances at attending the EURO’s next summer, which is why their first match against Denmark is going to be crucial on who qualifies out of Group H. If they can take both legs from the Danish, Kazakhstan will be in great position to advance.
Wales vs Croatia - October 15th 11:45 am MST - Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
1. Croatia 10pts
2. Turkey 10pts
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3. Armenia 7pts
4. Wales 7pts
5. Latvia 0pts
It’s another four horse race in Group D, as four teams battle out for two qualifying spots.
Croatia will play two games in this window: the first against Turkey before making the trip to play Wales.
The match on October 15th in Cardiff will be more important to Wales, however. After qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, Robert Page’s side has only won two games since qualifying for Qatar. Wales has three games remaining, but will only play one game this October.
Wales made history in the 2016 EUROs, advancing to the semi-finals of the competition. In the most recent 2020 edition, Page’s side exited in the Round of 16 after a defeat to Denmark.
Croatia can take total control in Group D with wins against Turkey and Wales. For the Welsh, this might be their last chance of qualifying directly for next summer. With a loss, Wales can find themselves possibly six points adrift from the qualifying spots if other results go against them this window.