The Euro Zone qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia returns this weekend and the action gets underway tonight and continues through till Sunday. From a domestic perspective the Republic of Ireland and Wales, who are top and third in Group D respectively, meet tonight at the Aviva stadium in what is a crunch tie as only one team is guaranteed to qualify from each group.
Both teams will want to avoid the lottery of the play offs and with Ireland having a strong International home record, winning six and drawing three of their last ten and winning both home internationals against Wales, they will be quietly confident of increasing their lead tonight.
Serbia, who are second in Group D, could increase the pressure on Ireland tonight if they win away at Georgia who they play for the first time and Ireland fail to win. Other matches of interest tonight involve three of the world’s current heavyweight international teams Spain, Italy and Croatia and with Spain and Italy joint leaders of Group G and playing at home against Israel and Albania respectively there is likely to be no change at the top of their group. Group I leaders Croatia face a crunch tie against second place Ukraine tonight and with only two points separating them and both teams unbeaten so far in their group phase this is likely to be a highly entertaining match with plenty of goal mouth action.