ITALY v . MALTA Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence Thursday 3rd September, 2015, 19:45 GMT *** Italy host Malta at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Thursday, as they bid to keep pace at the top of European Championship Qualifying Group H. The Azzurri are one point behind leaders Croatia, who meet Azerbaijan away on the same day, while Norway are three points off the summit in third place. 1968 Euro champions Italy have won all seven of their contests with Malta. The pair also met in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, with the Italians overcoming their unfancied opponents 2-0 both home and away. Though Antonio Contea s men are unbeaten throughout this qualification campaign so far, they have drawn their last three Euro 2016 encounters in a row. Malta, meanwhile, are without a competitive success in their last 10 matches, stretching back to a 1-0 win over Armenia in 2013. Maltaa s solitary point and goal of this group phase […]

The Russians were beaten in Moscow after Marc Janko’s first-half strike, which leaves Russia third, eight points adrift of Austria at the top of the group. With just 8 points from their 6 qualifying matches so far, Russia face a battle to qualify as they trail second-placed Sweden by four points with only the top two going to the finals automatically. “It’s a dead end for the national squad,” Sport Express’ front page headline declared after Russia suffered their second defeat in as many meetings with Austria in their qualifying campaign. “Our national team’s performance is a disgrace, nothing else,” the newspaper quoted Sergei Ivanov, the head of the Russian president’s administration, as saying following Sunday’s encounter. “It’s high time to start looking for those millions,” said the headline of Sport Express’ match report, a reference to the huge sum needed to buy Capello out of his contract. “I’m very upset like the millions of Russia’s football lovers, who for […]

David Silva fired home to give Spain a crucial Euro 2016 qualifying win in Belarus. A solitary first-half strike by David Silva was enough for reigning European champions Spain to win 1-0 in Belarus in Euro 2016 qualifying on Sunday in coach Vicente del Bosque’s 100th game in charge. The Manchester City star struck on the stroke of half-time at the Borisov Arena in Barysaw to give the Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 winners a fifth win in six qualifiers in Group C as they close in on a place at next year’s tournament in France. Spain remain second in the group, three points behind leaders Slovakia, who maintained their perfect record by defeating Macedonia 2-1. More importantly, La Roja remain three points better off than third-placed Ukraine, who were 3-0 winners at home to Luxembourg earlier in the day. One year and one day after their infamous 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands at the World Cup in Brazil, this […]

England will be looking to make it five wins from five in Euro 2016 qualifying when they host Lithuania at Wembley on Friday evening.Roy Hodgson‘s side have been perfect so far in Group E and hold a six-point lead over Slovenia, Switzerland and Lithuania. They are one of only four teams with 100% records in qualifying and will be expected to preserve that record in their first-ever senior meeting with Lithuania. Much of the focus will be on Hodgson’s team selection and whether Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is rewarded for his fantastic club form with a first international cap. Harry Kane’s “incredible season” will reach a new high with an England debut this week, Roy Hodgson has confirmed. The Tottenham striker earned a first senior call-up on the back of 29 goals at club level in his first campaign as a regular first-team player. Hodgson would not be drawn on his selection plans for Wembley or Tuesday’s friendly in […]