Euro 2016 Qualifying: Spain face Ukraine test

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The race for places at the 2016 European Championship in France hots up with a full round of qualifying matches.

With several groups wide open and the likes of holders Spain and world champions Germany far from guaranteed an automatic qualification place, the next round of fixtures could prove vital.

Here we take a look at the encounters in the nine Euro 2016 qualifying groups.

Group A

Group A has already thrown up its share of surprises with Netherlands having suffered defeat to the Czech Republic and Iceland. The Dutch, who last failed to qualify for the tournament the last time France held the Euros in 1984, face a crucial encounter against Turkey in Amsterdam. The Czech Republic protect a 100 per cent win record at home to Latvia, while Iceland - who welcome record goalscorer Eidur Gudjohnsen back from international retirement - head to Kazakhstan.

Group B

Belgium face a potentially crucial double header having drawn two of their first three matches. First up is a clash with Cyprus - who sit in the play-off spot - on Saturday, before they travel to Israel for a rearranged qualifier on Tuesday. Group leaders Israel are also in action twice and host unbeaten Wales, who are seeking to play a first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup, on Saturday. Bosnia-Herzegovina aim to kickstart their campaign in Andorra.

Group C

A group expected to be dominated by Spain remains wide open thanks to the defending champions' defeat to Slovakia in October. Vicente del Bosque's side host Ukraine with both teams on nine points, while Slovakia will hope to make it five wins from five against Luxembourg. Elsewhere, Macedonia host Belarus.

Group D

It remains all to play for in Group D, where world champions Germany are among three teams on seven points chasing leaders Poland. Joachim Low's men face a difficult trip to Georgia, while Republic of Ireland look to derail unbeaten Poland in Dublin. On paper Gordon Strachan's Scotland have the easiest task against Gibraltar - for whom David Wilson will take temporary charge against his native country.

Group E

Wayne Rooney sits three goals shy of tying Bobby Charlton's goalscoring record for England and he will look to take a step closer when the runaway leaders host Lithuania at Wembley. Slovenia and Switzerland will expect points in home encounters against San Marino and Estonia respectively.

Group F

Northern Ireland have never played in the Euros, but a victory at home to Finland would go a long way to changing that fact. Group leaders Romania host a Faroe Islands outfit buoyed by a shock victory over Greece last time out. Winless Greece are in desperate need of three points in Hungary.

Group G

With three wins and a draw, Austria have proved the team to beat in Group G and a trip to Liechtenstein offers a great chance to add more points to the board. Just one point separates second-placed Sweden - who face Moldova  - and Russia - who head to Montenegro - one spot below them. 

Group H

With just one point separating the top three, Group H heads into a potentially vital weekend. Croatia head the way on goal difference and host third-placed Norway in Zagreb. Italy will hope to take advantage of any dropped points in that match when they face Bulgaria, while former Croatia star Robert Prosinecki takes charge of Azerbaijan for the first time against Malta.

Group I

With only five teams in the group, leaders Denmark do not have a qualifying fixture. Portugal can subsequently go top by beating Serbia, while Albania attempt to move level on points with Denmark as they welcome Armenia.