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2022 World Cup Qualifying – Monday Preview

The 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign has reached the crunch period.

The 2020 European Championships finalists will train their sights on locking down a place at next year’s tournament in Qatar, while Denmark have a piece of history to fight for in Glasgow.

Let’s have a quick look at the most intriguing World Cup qualifying match-ups to watch out for on Monday.

Scotland and Denmark both fighting for a piece of national history

Scotland and Denmark go head-to-head in their last 2022 World Cup qualifying fixture at Hampden Park.

Monday night’s match in Glasgow is anything but a dead rubber, with both sides having plenty to play for in terms of national records.

While Scotland’s five-match winning streak in the ongoing qualifying campaign brought them on the cusp of making history, the Danes are one win away from achieving an unprecedented feat of their own.

The Tartan Army have never won six World Cup qualifiers on the trot, meaning a third consecutive home victory over Denmark would help them go down in the history books.

Meanwhile, Kasper Hjumland’s men have won all nine Group F fixtures by an aggregate score of 30-1, setting the tone for another potentially eye-catching major tournament campaign.

Denmark booked a ticket for Qatar 2022 in October, becoming the second European nation after Germany to secure automatic qualification for next year’s showpiece. 

However, the Danes won’t be lacking motivation here, as they could complete a 100% World Cup qualifying winning record for the first time in their history.

Nerve-shredding finale in Group C

Another Jorginho miss from the spot during Italy’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland last time out left everything to play for in the Group C finale.

Going into the final World Cup qualifying matchday, Italy and Switzerland are sitting level on points at the summit, with Roberto Mancini’s side boasting a two-goal advantage over the Nati. 

Northern Ireland won’t be making their first World Cup finals appearance since 1986 but could still play a significant role in helping Switzerland reach next year’s tournament. 

Ian Baraclough’s men have yet to concede a goal at home in this World Cup qualifying campaign (W1, D2), showing how hard they are to break down in Belfast.

After scoring one goal or less in six of their last eight internationals, Italy could find cracking Northern Ireland open at Windsor Park more difficult than expected.

In the meantime, Switzerland have a winnable task on their hands as they host doomed Bulgaria to the Swissporarena in Luzern, having won the reverse fixture 3-1 in Sofia.

You have to go back to September 2018 to find Bulgaria’s last triumph on foreign soil, with Yasen Petrov’s side going winless in their 17 international travels since (D8, L9).

Therefore, it is fair to say that Jorginho’s dreadful penalty at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday could undo Italy’s hard work under Mancini over the past couple of years.

England missing out on Group I triumph beyond the realm of the imagination

A 5-0 thrashing of Albania at Wembley last time out brought England onto the 2022 World Cup threshold, but they are not there yet, at least officially.

Gareth Southgate’s men hold a three-point lead over second-placed Poland, and a point against Mediterranean minnows San Marino will do the trick for the Three Lions.

FIFA’s worst-ranked nation can hardly do anything to hinder England’s qualification for Qatar 2022, having lost their nine Group I matches by an aggregate score of 36-1. 

Overwhelming favourites to grab another effortless victory in Serravalle, the Euro 2020 runners-up have won their seven historical H2Hs by an aggregate scoreline of 42-1.

England’s three previous visits to San Marino have all yielded comprehensive triumphs via at least six goals, summing up the hosts’ underdog status in a nutshell. 

Southgate is likely to hand some fringe names an opportunity to shine in the white jersey.

But even then it would be hard to make a case for England not to post another landslide victory against a side that last won a point in a World Cup qualifiers back in April 2001.

Read: Football Today – Premier League gravy train rolls on, Norwich give themselves hope with Smith.

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