The road to Brazil continues this week as the latest qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup take place on Friday, October 12, and Tuesday, October 16.
England’s match against San Marino and their away trip to Poland will both be shown live on ITV1, and the highly anticipated home nations clash between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff is exclusively live on Sky Sports.
Full details of how to follow all the action on Matchdays 3 & 4 below:
Fri 12 – v SAN MARINO (Wembley) – 20:00 – ITV1 Tue 16 – v POLAND (Warsaw) – 20:00 – ITV1 (Postponed – see below)
England face minnows San Marino and a challenging away clash against Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland in their latest Group H qualifiers.
Roy Hodgson’s charges required a late penalty from Frank Lampard to salvage a draw in their last match against Ukraine.
But with San Marino considered to be the weakest side in the group, the England coach will expect nothing less than three points and a number of goals on Friday night in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium.
The sides last met in this country in 1993, with England running out 6-0 winners thanks to four strikes from David Platt and goals from Carlton Palmer and Les Ferdinand at the old Wembley.
On Tuesday, England travel to the National Stadium in Warsaw to face Poland, where Hodgson’s men seek a vital victory.
Following their draw at home to Ukraine in their second fixture, England need to ensure they do not lose any ground on their rivals for the sole automatic qualification place, and Poland are expected to be among them.
Like England, the Poles claimed four points from their opening two games after drawing away to Montenegro before beating Moldova on home soil.
They will also be aiming to remain in the hunt for top spot in the group table, as well as overcoming the disappointment of Euro 2012, when they failed to win any of their games in front of a fervent and expectant home crowd.
Adrian Chiles presents live coverage of both games on ITV1 and ITV HD, with commentary by Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend, and analysis from Roy Keane, Lee Dixon and Gareth Southgate.
UPDATE: England’s World Cup qualifier against Poland has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 17, after the match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch in Warsaw on Tuesday.
Heavy rain had been falling in the Polish capital for most of the day and massive pools of water had appeared on the pitch.
Italian referee Gianluca Rocci inspected the pitch at 9pm local time (8pm BST), when the match was due to start at Warsaw’s National Stadium.
In the end, though, with rain continuing to fall, there was no chance of the game being played properly and the decision to postpone was taken.
Poland v England will now take place on Wednesday afternoon, kicking off at 4pm. Coverage on ITV1 from 3.30pm.
Fri 12 – v WALES (Cardiff) – 19:45 – Sky Sports 1 Tue 16 – v BELGIUM (Brussels) – 19:45 – BBC One Scotland / ESPN
Friday sees the first of two home nations clashes in Group A as Wales meet Scotland at the Cardiff City Stadium, where both teams are desperate for a victory.
The Scots drew 0-0 with the Serbians and then 1-1 against Macedonia at Hampden Park, and can ill-afford any more slip-ups with the likes of Belgium and Croatia still to play.
Scotland won the last meeting between the two sides in their Carling Nations Cup clash in Dublin in May 2011 but that was the first time they had beaten Wales since February 1984.
While Wales have lost both of their 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Scotland have taken two points from their opening two games, but the Scots have only won once in Cardiff in 50 years.
On Tuesday, Scotland travel to the Koning Boudewijn Stadion in Brussels for their vital clash against Belgium, a match which will be shown free-to-air on BBC One Scotland in Sportscene and also on ESPN.
Craig Levein’s side will face a stern test from a hugely talented Belgian squad featuring Premier League stars Hazard, Kompany, Fellani and Dembele.
The Scots are likely to have to be at their combative best to earn a result against the talented hosts.
Rob Maclean presents BBC Scotland’s live coverage, with analysis from Pat Nevin and Craig Gordon.
Fri 12 – v SCOTLAND (Cardiff) – 19:45 – Sky Sports 1 Tue 16 – v CROATIA (Osijek) – 19:00 – Sky Sports 2
Chris Coleman’s Wales side began their World Cup qualification campaign in the worst possible fashion.
They lost 2-0 at home to Belgium before suffering a 6-1 thumping away to Serbia, ensuring they are the only nation in the group without a point after two matches.
To add to the anguish ahead of a crucial home nations clash against Scotland, the Wales manager will be without the experienced trio of Neil Taylor, James Collins and Craig Bellamy.
Both Gareth Bale and Adam Matthews are expected to be fit for despite not yet training fully with the squad.
Wales assistant manager John Hartson confirmed winger Bale and full-back Matthews are suffering from heel and ankle problems respectively.
Coleman has lost his first four matches in charge and Wales have scored just one goal in all internationals so far in 2012.
Can his side bounce back from two straight defeats? Its a must-win World Cup qualifier against Scotland on home turf at the Cardiff City Stadium on Friday night.
Following the Scotland game, Wales then travel to Osijek to face Croatia on Tuesday. No matter the result from Friday’s match, they already face a difficult battle to progress to the tournament that will be staged in Brazil in two years’ time.
Both games are exclusively live on Sky Sports. Free-to-air highlights of the Wales/Scotland clash will be shown on BBC Two Wales.
Tue 16 – v PORTUGAL (Porto) – 20:45 – Sky Sports 1
Northern Ireland’s only World Cup qualifier of this international period sees them face Portugal at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto.
Michael O’Neill’s men face an uphill struggle to retain any lingering hopes of qualification, having drawn with Luxembourg at home in their last fixture.
The home side will go into this match as firm favourites to register a victory over the Northern Irish, who lost 2-0 to Russia in their only previous away match of the campaign.
Portugal have started their campaign strongly, winning 2-1 in Luxembourg and 3-0 at home to Azerbaijan.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in the Portugal squad to face Northern Ireland, despite spraining his left shoulder in the 2-2 draw in the El Clasico clash against Barcelona, but his club has confirmed that the injury is not serious.
Fri 12 – v GERMANY (Dublin) – 19:45 – Sky Sports 2 Tue 16 – v FAROE ISLANDS (Torshavn) – 19:00 – LIVESPORT.TV
Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland side welcome Euro 2012 quarter-finalists Germany to the Aviva Stadium.
The Irish face the favourites to progress from this group and a side packed with star names, including Arsenals Lukas Podolski and Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira.
They will need a much-improved performance than the one that saw them scrape past Kazakhstan in their opening fixture last month, when goals in the closing minutes by Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle salvaged a 2-1 victory.
Republic of Ireland’s away match against the Faroe Islands will not be shown on UK television. It will be broadcast online via pay-per-view service LIVESPORT.TV – CLICK HERE for details.
CLICK HERE for full list of FIFA World Cup Qualifying fixtures (Europe)
Fri 12 – v SERBIA – 1st Leg (Carrow Road) – 18:00 Tue 16 – v SERBIA – 2nd Leg (Krusevac) – 17:00
In addition to the World Cup qualifiers, the play-offs for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship are also taking place.
Both legs of England’s tie with Serbia will be shown exclusively live on ESPN.
Stuart Pearce’s men won seven of their eight group games, while Serbia went unbeaten.
The first leg is at Norwich’s Carrow Road, where England will hope they can establish a lead against a side that was twice held by Norway and once by Macedonia in the group stage.
The pressure will be on England, who have qualified for the past three international tournaments.
Friday 12th October England U21 v Serbia U21 – Euro 2013 Qualification Play-off, 1st leg Kick-off: 18:00 | LIVE – 5.30pm-8.00pm – ESPN England v San Marino – Group H Kick-off: 20:00 | LIVE – 7.30pm-10.10pm – ITV1 Wales v Scotland – Group A Kick-off: 19:45 | LIVE – 7.00pm-10.00pm – Sky Sports 1 / Sky 3D Republic of Ireland v Germany – Group C Kick-off: 19:45 | LIVE – 7.30pm-10.00pm – Sky Sports 2 Argentina v Uruguay – CONMEBOL Qualifying, Matchday 9 Kick-off: 01:00 | LIVE – 12.55am-3am (Sat) – Premier Sports Russia v Portugal – Group F DELAYED – 9.45am-11.30am (Sat) – ESPN Match Highlights: England v San Marino 10.45pm-11.45pm – ITV1 Wales v Scotland 11.00pm-11.40pm – BBC Two Wales Tuesday 16th October Serbia U21 v England U21 – Euro 2013 Qualification Play-off, 2nd leg Kick-off: 17:00 | LIVE – 4.30pm-7.15pm – ESPN Poland v England – Group H Kick-off: 20:00 | LIVE – 7.30pm-10.10pm – ITV1 Portugal v Northern Ireland – Group F Kick-off: 20:45 | LIVE – 8.30pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Croatia v Wales – Group A Kick-off: 19:00 | LIVE – 6.45pm-9.15pm – Sky Sports 2 Belgium v Scotland – Group A Kick-off: 19:45 | LIVE – 7.15pm-10.00pm – ESPN Coverage also on BBC One Scotland (7.30pm-10.00pm) Faroe Islands v Republic of Ireland – Group C Kick-off: 19:00 | LIVE – 6.55pm-9.00pm – LIVESPORT.TV (Online only) CLICK HERE for details of how to watch this match Spain v France – Group I DELAYED – 10.00pm-11.45pm – ESPN Germany v Sweden – Group C DELAYED – 12.15am-2.00am – ESPN Iran v South Korea – AFC Qualifying, Group A Kick-off: 17:30 | LIVE – 5.30pm-7.30pm – British Eurosport Match Highlights: Poland v England 10.50pm-11.50pm – ITV1 . . .
ITV1’s live England coverage, as well additional video clips, interviews and analysis, is available to watch for free via the ITV football website – CLICK HERE
BBC One Scotland’s live coverage of Belgium/Scotland will be available to watch online via the BBC Sport website.
Highlights of Wales/Scotland on BBC Two Wales will be available to view via BBC iPlayer shortly after broadcast.
A selection of live games that do not have UK rights holders from across Europe will be available to watch for free on YouTube – CLICK HERE
Online streaming available to UK users only. . .