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England and Turkey ready to seize Euro chance

MILAN, Nov 21 (Reuters) England and Turkey are poised to wrap up Euro 2008 qualification today after being thrown lifelines at the weekend.

Portugal and Sweden are also best-placed to take the other two remaining spots for Austria and Switzerland next June with qualification coming to a close.

England were on the brink of missing out in Group E before Israel's shock 2-1 home win over Russia on Saturday. Steve McClaren's men now just need a point at Wembley against already-qualified Croatia with Peter Crouch set to lead the line in the absence of the injured Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney.

Turkey won 2-1 in Oslo on Saturday to leapfrog Norway into second place and now need to beat Bosnia at home to go through.

Anything less than a victory though would let the Scandinavians snatch back Group C's second spot with a win in Malta.

Sweden are big favourites to join Spain in qualifying from Group F with Northern Ireland needing to beat the Spanish away as well as hoping Latvia stun Lars Lagerback's side in Stockholm.

Portugal will go through from Group A with a home draw against qualification rivals Finland despite Serbia, who host Euro-bound Poland, having an extra game against Kazakhstan on Saturday following a postponement at the weekend.


Story first published: Wednesday, November 21, 2007, 11:09 [IST]
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