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Page last updated at 17:36 GMT, Friday, 8 October 2010 18:36 UK

Euro 2012 qualifiers as they happened

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

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By Chris Bevan

2218: Last but not least, we've got England's trip to in-form Montenegro to look forward too as well. After three wins out of three in their qualifying campaign so far, the tiny Adriatic sea state will be buzzing ahead of their trip to Wembley. I'm back in the chair for that one, and I hope you will join me too. Bye for now.

2212: Wales are back in action too, against Switzerland, in a game that has must-win written all over it for Brian Flynn's men. And, as you know, Northern Ireland face the Faroe Islands and the Republic of Ireland travel to Slovakia... both of those matches are pretty crucial too, to be honest.

2208: Scotland play Spain on Tuesday by the way. Now, Craig Levein has promised a different formation for that game... how does '10-0-0' sound?

OptaJoe on Twitter: "6 - Bulgaria had failed to win any of their last six games before tonight. Lions."

2207: There are still a couple of games going on that I really should tell you about. In Scotland's group, world champions Spain were being held 0-0 at the break by Lithuania... but have just taken the lead through Fernando Llorente, two minutes after the restart. And Portugal are beating Denmark 2-0 thanks to a double by Nani.

Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin on Craig Levein's tactics in Prague on BBC Scotland: "This was ultra-negativity. As Scotland we're aware of our limitations but this was far too defensive. There will be a lot of fans watching tonight who are demoralised."

Euro 2012 qualifying Nathan: "No problems for Germany who see off Turkey 3-0 in Group A. Two goals for Miroslav Klose and one for Mesut Ozil prove too much for the Turks in Berlin. Slovenia go level on points with Northern Ireland in Group C after a crushing 5-1 win over the Faroe Islands, while Slovakia, who had started with two wins from two in the Republic of Ireland's group, slip to a shock 3-1 defeat in Armenia. Elsewhere there are wins on the road for Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands."

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce after his side's 2-1 win over Romania in the first leg of their Euro 2011 play-off: "We are very pleased to get our noses in front. We knew it was going to be difficult over two legs. We are disappointed with the goal as we gave it away a bit sloppily. To a man I was delighted with their performance. As it stands at the moment I think Jack Wilshere is going to the seniors for next week."

From anon, via text: "I've always considered myself a football fan before a Scotland fan. What Craig Levein did tonight was embarrassing. To to put it in perspective, New Zealand put a striker out in the World Cup against Italy, who were the world champions. I'm glad we got beat, and although I'm not one for knee jerk reaction, Levein should question his position in the team and the game."

Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington after his side's 0-0 draw with Italy: "We've not played as well as we can but the shape of the team on the night, and their courage, was absolutely fantastic. Without singling anyone out, I thought the work-rate of the team was fantastic. Now we need a bigger performance in the Faroe Islands and we will try to be ultra-professional and do that because I want to be on seven points on Tuesday night.

2154: Elsewhere, the Republic of Ireland mounted a late but fruitless comeback after going three goals down against Russia. Giovanni Trapattoni's side are still joint-top of Group B on six points but now they badly need a positive result on Tuesday when they travel to Slovakia.

2150: Scotland and Wales emerge with much less credit, particularly the Scots - who were so negative in the early stages of their defeat by the Czech Republic that it beggared belief. Wales gave it a good go against Bulgaria at times but they came up short and, after two games and two defeats, qualification already looks a distant dream.

2147: Right then, no disputing the best result of the night for the home nations. Northern Ireland held Italy at Windsor Park thanks to a battling display and, although they are now third in Group C, they have a game in hand on the two teams above them (the Italians and Estonia) and play whipping boys the Faroe Islands on Tuesday.

From Cliff Jones in Bristol, via text: "Very disappointing display from Wales tonight, another false dawn again for the national team. Unfortunately we just don't have enough quality throughout the team to challenge for the second spot in the group. Well done to Montenegro, though - fifth seeds and top of the group!"

Euro 2012 qualifying Nathan: "Surprise result in Northern Ireland's Group C as Estonia win 3-1 in Serbia. It doesn't do the Irish many favours, mind. The Estonians leapfrog Nigel Worthington's men into third place, regardless of Northern Ireland's result against Italy at Windsor Park."

Full time
2140: FULL-TIME Northern Ireland 0-0 Italy

2140: It is Northern Ireland who are doing all the attacking in injury time at Windsor Park.

Full time
2139: FULL-TIME Republic of Ireland 2-3 Russia

2138: We are deep in injury time at the Aviva Stadium, and Russia should really have just wrapped up their win. Yuri Zhirkov crosses from the left and Pavel Pogrebnyak scuffs his shot with the goal gaping. Can the Republic of Ireland make them pay?

2136: Hang about. After all that Italy pressure, Northern Ireland break forward thanks to some neat passing and Steve Davis has a shooting chance. If they win it now, Windsor Park will be rocking... but Emiliano Viviano gets down at his near post to save.

2135: England Under-21s showed character and determination to deservedly beat their Romanian counterparts 2-1 at Carrow Road in the first leg of their Euro 2011 play-off, but the away goal they conceded could yet prove crucial in the return on Tuesday. We shall see.

2134: What the!? How did Italy fail to score then? I'm not sure... but Northern Ireland won't care. Giampaolo Pazzini meets Antonio Cassano's cross at the far stick but heads downwards and back across goal rather than towards it. There's still danger for the hosts but Guiseppe Rossi cannot quite reach the ball at the opposite post and fires into the side netting.

2130: Oops, Steven Davis just kicked the corner flag instead of the ball when he tried to take a quick corner for Northern Ireland. That was a rare foray forward for the home side, but they only have five minutes of the 90 to hang on for to claim what would be an impressive point.

Scotland boss Craig Levein on the 6-4 formation he employed in his side's 1-0 defeat by the Czech Republic: "I was happy with the system I played and thought it worked well. The game opened up after we made the substitutions but once you go a goal down everything changes. I'll play a different system against Spain on Tuesday night at Hampden."

Full time
2129: FULL-TIME Wales 0-1 Bulgaria

Red card
Wales red card: A bad night for Wales just got worse. I'm not sure whether Chris Gunter could get out of the way of Dimitar Rangelov, as he ran in on goal, but he is the last man and referee Jonas Eriksson had little choice but to send him off.

2127: RED CARD Wales' Chris Gunter

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Republic of Ireland goal: Aiden McGeady's half-volley is saved but the rebound falls to Shane Long, who steers the ball into the corner from 10 yards out - the comeback is definitely on now! Still 10 minutes left at the Aviva...

2124: Wales will have five minutes of added time to find an equaliser. Hal Robson-Kanu has just headed over from close range for the home side but they have to be careful when Bulgaria break forward. Mind you, Lothar Matthaus's side are more bothered about time wasting at the moment.

2122: GOALFLASH Republic of Ireland 2-3 Russia (Long)

2121: Another chance for Italy. Stefano Mauri crosses from the left and that man Antonio Cassano sends a powerful header goalwards. Maik Taylor has to stick out a hand to tip it over.

2120: Italy's Antonio Cassano is starting to take a hold of this match. The playmaker clips a perfect cross to the back post for Simone Pepe, who can only guide his side-foot effort across the face of goal and wide. Northern Ireland breathe again.

Full time
2120: FULL-TIME England U-21 2-1 Romania U-21

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Cardiff City Stadium: "Time is running out for Wales to get back into this game and keep their Euro 2012 qualification hopes alive. They are trying to bombard the Bulgaria box but the visitors are back in numbers."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Republic of Ireland goal: Robbie Keane wins the spot-kick when he is barged over by Yuri Zhirkov inside the area - there wasn't much contact, but there was enough. Keane steps up to take it himself, and sends the keeper the wrong way. Hope for the Republic, but they need to get their skates on because there are only 17 minutes left.

2117: GOALFLASH Republic of Ireland 1-3 Russia (Keane pen)

2116: PENALTY to Republic of Ireland

Euro 2012 qualifying Nathan: "Montenegro, joint top of Group G with England lead Switzerland through Simon Vukcevic's effort. With England not in action until Tuesday, the home side will top the group if they can hang on there. It could make qualification even trickier for Wales though. Switzerland, who are still searching for their first point, welcome Brian Flynn's side on Tuesday, while the top two meet at Wembley. Two crucial ties you feel."

2114: Italy are still pressing hard and Antonio Cassano has just had a shot blocked after a neat build-up. Northern Ireland have brought on Kyle Lafferty for David Healy, which might signal a change of approach when they come forward.

Billy_McCroy on Twitter: "A terribly depressing match at Aviva. What did we expect? Keane and Given don't even have club sides to play for."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
England U-21 goal: A lot scrappier than Jordan Henderson's opener but it doesn't matter - England are back in front. Daniel Sturridge heads a corner back across goal, Jack Wilshere helps it on and Chris Smalling is in the right place to smash the ball over the line from close range. About five minutes to go of the 90 at Carrow Road.

2108: GOALFLASH England U-21 2-1 Romania U-21 (Smalling)

Full time
2108: FULL-TIME Czech Republic 1-0 Scotland

2108: Half a chance for Wales. James Collins meets a Gareth Bale free-kick at the back post but he directs his header up and over the bar.

From David in Fulham, via text: "Fellow Scotland fans we are getting what we deserve for the most negative tactics I have ever seen."

2106: We are into added time in Prague now - there will be four minutes of that. Still no sign of a Scotland equaliser, and I can't imagine their travelling fans will be too happy with their team's approach, or performance tonight. They started with a 6-4 formation, remember.

2104: Italy have come out very strongly since the restart at Windsor Park, and Antonio Cassano is pulling the strings for them in the middle of the park. Northern Ireland are hanging on a bit, but they are defending well.

2102: Simon Church has just come on for Wales but his first effort on goal, a looping shot from the edge of the box, is about a mile off target. Brian Flynn's side have less than 20 minutes left to find an equaliser.

From Stevie in Glasgow, via text: "Never been so embarrassed as a football fan - Craig Levein should be run outta town for his tactics tonight."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Romania U-21 goal: Romania equalise against the run of play as an Ioan Hora cross is deflected in off England left-back Ryan Bertrand.

2100: Scotland have made a third change, with Barry Robson on for James Morrison, but they are yet to create any chances. Bulgaria, meanwhile, have ridden a bit of a storm from Wales and gone close twice in quick succession from a free-kick and corner. That one is finely poised because the Welsh have to chase the game.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Russia goal: Calamity for the Republic, who already had a mountain to climb at the Aviva Stadium. Roman Shirokov lets fly from the edge of the box, and his shot takes a huge deflection off Richard Dunne before trundling into the bottom corner. Shay Given had just dived in the opposite direction.

2056: GOALFLASH England U-21 1-1 Romania U-21 (Hora)



2055: GOALFLASH Republic of Ireland 0-3 Russia (Shirokov)

2053: Right then, here come the cavalry for Scotland, or a couple of strikers anyhow. Kenny Miller and Chris Iwelumo are on for Jamie Mackie and Gary Caldwell. Oh, and we are back under way in Dublin and Belfast now too.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
England U-21 goal: Romania don't concede many goals but this is something special by Jordan Henderson. A corner is cleared to him on the edge of the area and he meets it first time and on the volley with a dipping shot that bounces under Silviu Lung and into the net. That one left me and the Romania keeper feeling breathless.

2048: GOALFLASH England U-21 1-0 Romania U-21 (Henderson)

2046: After a dreadful few minutes at the other end, Wales should really be level. Steve Morison rides a challenge and makes for goal... he has the legs to leave the Bulgaria defence behind but his shot is too close to Nikolay Mihaylov, who pushed it away.

2045: Martin Petrov comes forward for Bulgaria this time, but skews his shot well wide from the edge of the box. Wales need to change things round, and quickly, because they are in real trouble at the moment.

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Cardiff City Stadium: "What a disastrous start for Wales in the second half. Bulgaria have come out with some intent and got the opening goal after Popov was allowed to run free in the box and fire home with the help of the post. Now Wales have it all to do."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Czech Republic goal: Tomas Rosicky's corner is flicked on at the near post by Roman Bednar and Roman Hubnik steals in to head it home from point-blank range. Allan McGregor had just made a brilliant save from Jan Polak to keep Scotland level but their resistance was finally broken with 20 minutes to go. Craig Levein's side will have to attack now, won't they? Won't they?

2042: GOALFLASH Czech Republic 1-0 Scotland (Hubnik)

Euro 2012 qualifying Nathan: "Barring Hungary's 8-0 dismantling of San Marino, there's not a great amount of goals to be had in Europe so far. Miroslav Klose has bagged one for Group A leaders Germany against second-placed Turkey and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has put the Netherlands ahead in their Group E fixture in Moldova. In Northern Ireland's Group C opponents Slovenia lead whipping boys the Faroe Islands 2-0 at the break."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Bulgaria goal: A big setback for Wales, and a bigger test for their caretaker boss Brian Flynn. The impressive Ivelin Popov latches on to a cross on the edge of the area, skips over a couple of challenges and fires a ferocious shot past Wayne Hennessey, via his left-hand post.

2038: GOALFLASH Wales 0-1 Bulgaria (Popov)

2037: The second half has started at Carrow Road too.

From Richard, via text: "I'm at the Wales game. Great atmosphere thanks to the Cardiff fans. Better venue for our games this. Should be winning."

2036: Wales get the second half started.

2035: HALF-TIME Northern Ireland 0-0 Italy

2034: Andrey Arshavin was close to making it a truly miserable first 45 minutes for the Republic of Ireland, just before the half-time whistle went. He picked up a loose ball on the edge of the home side's area and sent a skidding shot wide of the post.

2033: HALF-TIME Republic of Ireland 0-2 Russia

OptaJoe on Twitter: "0 - Northern Ireland have failed to score in their last three encounters with Italy and in seven of their last eight games overall. Drought."

2031: Things haven't changed in Prague. Scotland are happy to sit back and frustrate the Czechs, who have forced a couple of corners in the last few minutes but nothing more.

2027: Italy miss a glorious chance of their own soon after David Healy's howler. Marco Borriello finds himself one-on-one with Maik Taylor, but the keeper stands his ground and holds out a glove to palm the chance clear and keep the scores level.

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Cardiff City Stadium: "There's no score at half time and it's not a thriller, but this game is there for the taking and Wales can still deliver a first win for caretaker manager Brian Flynn. Not that all supporters nearby would agree."

From Cliff Jones, via text: "Wales should be at least one goal up. Too many missed chances we can't afford to squander if we are to get a result."

2024: It's right at the start of the second half and the Czech Republic are already knocking on Scotland's door. Tomas Rosicky's corner is headed goalwards by Michal Kadlec but Allan MacGregor tips the ball over the bar.

2022: HALF-TIME Wales 0-0 Bulgaria

2021: Wales have just had a decent opportunity too. Steve Morison rose highest to meet a cross from the left but Nikolay Mihaylov got down well to keep his header out. Much better from Brian Flynn's men.

2021: A real chance for Northern Ireland. Chris Brunt's cross finds David Healy, unmarked and in front of goal, but he directs his header wide. That was a waste.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2020: Chances have been rare at Carrow Road so far but, just before half-time, England survive a scare as Romania striker Gabriel Torje's powerful shot comes back off the post.

2020: We are back under way in Prague.

Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin on Czech Republic v Scotland on BBC Scotland: "It's not been good to watch but it has been effective. We've broken out once or twice and I'm sure that was Craig Levein's game plan to score from one of those chances."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Russia goal: Big, big problems for the Republic of Ireland now. Aleksandr Anyukov runs clear down the right and his pull-back finds Alan Dzagoev, who had lost Aiden McGeady in the box. Dzagoev doubles Russia's lead with a cool finish - making it 2-0 (not 21-0!). Work to do for the home side in Dublin.

2014: GOALFLASH Rep of Ireland 0-2 Russia (Dzagoev)

2013: England Under-21s are enjoying most of the possession at Carrow Road but Romania are sitting back and proving to be a tough nut to crack. I wish I had more to tell you about that game, but that is the long and the short of it.

2011: Bulgaria have been forced into a change in Cardiff, where Pavel Vidanov is on for injured defender Valentin Iliev. As soon as Vidanov came on, Wales had a decent opening... but Gareth Bale could not connect properly with a cross from the left and the chance was gone.

2008: Things are wide open in the game between Republic of Ireland and Russia, and Dick Advocaat's men are definitely not sitting back on their lead.

2005: We're a bit short of goals around Europe tonight, and I think I know why: The Hungarians hogged all the action and beat San Marino 8-0 in a game that has just finished. San Marino only had 10 men, though, and I reckon they might have edged it if they weren't a man short.

Jailender on Twitter: "Scotland to throw caution to the wind in the second half with a 8-1-1 formation."

2004: HALF-TIME Czech Republic 0-0 Scotland

2003: Domenico Criscito drives the ball across the face of the Northern Ireland goal but none of his Italian team-mates can get near it. The visitors are definitely on top, mind.

2000: Looks like a fantastic atmosphere at Windsor Park, where the Northern Ireland are enjoying themselves. It's still 0-0 in that one by the way. Meanwhile, in Prague, Scotland keeper Allan McGregor is forced into action to keep out Tomas Hubschman's shot from Jaroslav Plasil's free-kick.

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Cardiff City Stadium: "We're midway through the first half and still awaiting the first goal. Both sides have had chances but it's starting to get a bit scrappy on the pitch and quiet off it. Gareth Bale could be the key for Wales."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Russia goal: Moments after Robbie Keane hit the bar for the Republic of Ireland with a chipped shot, Russia take the lead. Andrey Arshavin's free-kick is parried by Shay Given but the ball is whipped back across goal by Sergei Ignashevich and swept into the net at the back post by Aleksandr Kerzhakov. The ball took a deflection off Sean St Ledger on its way into the net.

1956: GOALFLASH Rep of Ireland 0-1 Russia (Kerzhakov)

1954: A first sniff for Italy too. Northern Ireland keeper Maik Taylor has to palm away a dangerous Marco Borriello cross with Antonio Cassano lurking in the six-yard box.

1952: What's this? A Scotland attack! James Morrison feeds Alan Hutton down the right and his cross causes Petr Cech a few problems. Basically, he can't collect it... and the Czechs are grateful to hoof the ball to safety.

1950: And we are under way at Windsor Park too. All we need now is some goals....

From YankeeHaggis in New York, via text: " A 4-6 formation for Scotland is just plain embarrassing when you have a striker who has scored 10 goals already this season, and who knows how to play as a lone striker, available."


YankeeHaggis is talking about Rangers striker Kenny Miller, who has been left on the bench.

1947: We have just got started at the Aviva Stadium, where the Republic of Ireland are playing Russia.

1946: Scotland are still being pinned back in their own half, but are soaking up all the Czech Republic pressure. This could be a long night for Scots fans, I'm afraid.

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Cardiff City Stadium: "Former Match of the Day commentator Ian Gwyn Hughes is looking dapper in a suit as part of his new role as the Welsh FA's head of public affairs and handing out the team sheets. On the pitch Wales look lively and Chris Gunter has just sent a shot inches wide."

1944: Problems for Wales. Ashley Williams is lucky to get away with that one. The new Welsh captain surrenders possession near the halfway line and Bulgaria have men over as Ivelin Popov feeds Martin Petrov. We know all about the Bolton winger's left foot... and he duly smacks in a powerful drive that Wayne Hennessey does well to turn around his near post.

1942: Chances at both ends in Cardiff to tell you about. First, Georgi Peev's deflected shot from the edge of the area is well saved by Wayne Hennessey, before Wales break forward down the left and Joe Ledley's pull-back is slammed an inch wide of the post by Chris Gunter. Unlucky.

1940: It's quite cagey at Carrow Road too but England Under-21s have had a shot, which is a start I suppose. Sunderland's Jordan Henderson had his volley from the edge of the box saved by the Romanian keeper.

1937: Tomas Rosicky fires wide from a narrow angle for the Czech Republic. Scotland are still keeping things very tight indeed.

1936: Give this page another manual refresh and you can listen to Wales v Bulgaria (in the UK only) too. Gareth Bale is seeing plenty of the ball in the early stages for the home team but no chances yet.

Rep of Ireland v Russia team news
The Republic of Ireland line up for the key Euro 2012 qualifier against Russia with the same team that beat Andorra last month. Richard Dunne had been the big doubt but has recovered from a knee problem to take his place in the side at Dublin's Aviva Stadium. Russia coach Dick Advocaat makes two changes from the team beaten 1-0 by Slovakia in their last qualifier, with Alexander Kerzhakov and Igor Denisov coming in while striker Pavel Pogrebnyak is surprisingly only a substitute.

1934: We are under way in Cardiff too.

Yellow card
1932: Tomas Necid, who just went down in the area looking for a penalty (unsuccessfully!), has been booked for diving on the edge of the box. Pretty blatant that one. Steven Whittaker had become the first man in referee Ivan Bebek's book a few minutes earlier for a foul on Tomas Rosicky.

1931: England Under-21s have kicked off against Romania. Wales are currently blasting out their anthem, and that one will get started very soon indeed.

1930: Fabio Capello is at Carrow Road to watch the England Under-21 side tonight. If you fancy going to a game, get down to the Cardiff City Stadium - there are quite a few empty seats there for the Wales-Bulgaria game that need filling.

1928: Scotland are defending well and frustrating their hosts so far. It's just a shame about their total lack of threat at the other end of the pitch. By the way, Darren Fletcher is carrying on for the time being at least. Let's hope he's OK.

Rep of Ireland v Russia line-ups
Rep of Ireland: Given, O'Shea, Dunne, St. Ledger, Kilbane, Green, Whelan, Lawrence, McGeady, Keane, Doyle. Subs: Westwood, Fahey, McShane, Long, Gibson, Keogh, Cunningham.
Russia: Akinfeev, Aniukov, Ignashevich, Vasili Berezutsky, Zhirkov, Denisov, Shirokov, Zyryanov, Dzagoev, Arshavin, Kerzhakov. Subs: Gabulov, Alexei Berezutsky, Semshov, Pogrebniak, Bystrov, Bilyaletdinov, Bukharov.
Referee: Kevin Blom (Holland)

Northern Ireland v Italy line-ups
Northern Ireland: Taylor, McAuley, Hughes, Craigan, Jonathan Evans, Brunt, Baird, Davis, McCann, Feeney, Healy. Subs: Tuffey, Clinghan, Corry Evans, Lafferty, McGinn, Patterson, Gorman.
Italy: Viviano, Criscito, Bonucci, Chiellini, Cassani, De Rossi, Pirlo, Mauri, Pepe, Cassano, Borriello. Subs: Sirigu, Marchisio, Bovo, Palombo, Zambrotta, Pazzini, Rossi.
Referee: Tony Chapron (France)

1924: The Czechs are enjoying most of the early pressure and Lukas Magera has just smashed a free-kick into the Scotland wall from about 30 yards out. More worrying for Craig Levein, however, is the fact that his skipper Darren Fletcher has picked up a knock and might have to come off.

Northern Ireland v Italy team news
Manchester United's Jonny Evans returns to the Northern Ireland team in place of Craig Cathcart at left full-back. Kyle Lafferty made be scoring for Rangers but Nigel Worthington sticks with Warren Feeney and David Healy in attack. Italy coach Cesare Prandelli gives Roma striker Marco Borriello the nod ahead of Giampaolo Pazzini and Giuseppe Rossi. The Italians are rebuilding and the combined number of caps in the line-up is less than half of their opponents.

Wales v Bulgaria line-ups (1930 BST KO)
Wales: Hennessey, Gunter, Danny Collins, James Collins, Ricketts, Ledley, Edwards, Williams, Bale, Vaughan, Morison. Subs: Myhill, Blake, Ribeiro, King, Crofts, Robson-Kanu, Church.
Bulgaria: Mihailov, Zanev, Iliev, Bodurov, Ivanov, Peev, Georgiev, Stiliyan Petrov, Martin Petrov, Makriev, Popov. Subs: Stoyanov, Vidanov, Angelov, Yankov, Rangelov, Domovchiyski, Dimitrov.
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

1920: As suspected, Scotland are playing without a single central striker. The middle of the pitch has been very congested in the first few minutes.

1917: The Czech Republic get things under way.

1916: We've had the anthems in Prague. Apparently, Scotland are going to line up in a 4-6 formation, which sounds more like a tennis score to me. Should be interesting to see how that works out...

England U21 v Romania U21 line-ups
England U21: Fielding, Mancienne, Smalling, Jones, Bertrand, Cleverley, Henderson, Muamba, Rose, Wilshere, Welbeck. Subs: Loach, Lansbury, Albrighton, Cork, Walker, Sturridge, Delfouneso.
Romania U21: Lung, Rapa, Papp, Barboianu, Gaman, Gardos, Torje, Neagu, Bicfalvi, Hora, Alexe. Subs: Lungu, Matel, Rusescu, Sburlea, Ionescu, Chiriches, Radut.
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (Italy)

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Cardiff City Stadium: "We're not expecting anywhere near sell-out for Brian Flynn's first match in charge of Wales, but the atmosphere is starting to build and the couple of hundred Bulgaria fans who here are in good voice."

1914: Scotland boss Craig Levein on his side's approach tonight: "I've been watching the Czech Republic closely for the last 2-3 months and I think this line up is the best way for us to approach them. There is no point us going gung-ho - we need to keep it tight and see how it goes to give us options later on in the game. Counter-attack is important, if it works out we have a great chance of winning."

1912: The players are in the tunnel at the Synot Tip Arena in Prague, where there are a fair few Scottish fans in attendance by the looks of things. You can either follow that game with me... and keep an eye on all the other matches too, or check out BBC Scotland's dedicated match commentary here.

The29 on Twitter: "I thought that Halloween came early with the Scotland team announcement. It sure scared the hell out of me!"

1909: New Bulgaria coach Lothar Matthaus on his side's crunch clash with Wales at Cardiff City Stadium: "I know Bulgaria have good players but they have started badly in qualification for the Euros. For Wales it is the same and this is like a final. We will concentrate from the first moment and I am confident we can get the points from an away game in Cardiff."

1907: If you give this page a manual refresh (and you are in the UK), then you can watch the Czech Republic v Scotland live on this website, or listen to Northern Ireland v Italy. You could even do both. Or neither. Your choice.

From collie21 on 606: "Armenia a great result for the Republic. If the boys in green can do the business tonight then it's a fantastic result. Ireland to win 3-1 I wish. Reality, Russia will probably score two."

1904: BREAKING NEWS
Phil Jagielka has been ruled out of England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro with a hamstring injury. Bolton's Gary Cahill is called up as his replacement.

Czech Republic v Scotland team news
Scotland boss Craig Levein named his side on Thursday, and surprised a few people by dropping Kenny Miller to the bench and handing a debut to Jamie Mackie instead. Expect Mackie and Naismith to lurk in the wide areas while the Scots pack the midfield and try to keep things tight.

1859: Here's some England Under-21 team news too. Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere starts for the England Under-21s in the first leg of their Euro 2011 play-off against Romania, with Danny Welbeck, on loan at Sunderland from Manchester United, spearheading the attack. Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge has to be content with a place on the bench along with Ason Villa midfielder Marc Albrighton.

Czech Republic v Scotland line-ups
Czech Republic: Cech, Suchy, Michal Kadlec, Hubnik, Hubschman, Pospech, Plasil, Polak, Rosicky, Magera, Necid. Subs: Lastuvka, Holek, Rajnoch, Pudil, Bednar, Vaclav Kadlec, Stajner.
Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Whittaker, McManus, Weir, Caldwell, Darren Fletcher, Morrison, Dorrans, Mackie, Naismith. Subs: Gordon, Miller, Robson, Maloney, Bardsley, Iwelumo, Berra.
Referee: Ivan Bebek (Croatia)

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Cardiff City Stadium with team news for Wales v Bulgaria: "Stoke's Danny Collins starts for Wales after a three-year absence from the national team and, as announced earlier this week, Ashley Williams captains. Wales team: Hennessey, Gunter, D Collins, Williams (c) J Collins, Ricketts, Edwards, Vaughan, Ledley, Bale, Morison. Subs: Myhill, Blake, Ribeiro, King, Crofts, Robson-Kanu, Church."

1854: There's simply no excuse if you don't provide me with international-class chat tonight - your country needs you, and I do too. So, Tweet me at chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter, get involved on 606 or text me via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide).

1853: As it happens, the Republic of Ireland have already had some good news today. Armenia beat Slovakia 3-1 a little earlier, meaning Giovanni Trapattoni's men are the only unbeaten side in their group and remain top, for now at least.

1851: In Group C, Northern Ireland will be hoping for another night to remember at Windsor Park as they prepare to take on Italy (1945 KO). And the Republic of Ireland will do their qualification hopes the power of good if they can beat Russia in Group B (1945 KO). Two legendary coaches will go head to head at the Aviva Stadium with Republic boss Giovanni Trapattoni pitting his wits against Dick Advocaat.

1849: Scotland, who let's face it were far from convincing in their last Group I outing, when they scraped a last-gasp win over Liechtenstein, have a much bigger test ahead of them against the Czech Republic (1915 KO). The Scots have got a new man involved too, with in-form QPR striker Jamie Mackie leading the line for them in Prague in place of Kenny Miller.

1847: I know this is internationals night, but here's some news for you: Newcastle striker Andy Carroll has just signed a new five-year contract at St James' Park. I'm pretty sure that Magpies fans will be happy with that.

1844: It's a big night for Wales caretaker boss Brian Flynn, with his side taking on Bulgaria (KO at 1930 BST) in his first match in charge. Flynn's named a new captain, Swansea defender Ashley Williams, in the absence of Craig Bellamy and has promised a fresh attacking approach too. With the way Group G is shaping up, Wales are badly in need of a win to keep their hopes of reaching Poland and Ukraine alive even at this ridiculously early stage (they have only played one game). England, who currently sit atop the table, will watch their neighbours - and Montenegro v Switzerland - with interest.

1841: What's going on then? Lots and lots. For a start, all the home nations apart from England are in action tonight - and even they are not completely left out because Stuart Pearce's Under-21 side are playing Romania at Carrow Road in the first leg of their Euro 2011 play-off. That one kicks off at 1930 BST.

1837 BST: Hello folks, have you got that Friday football feeling? Me too, because I know what the next few hours have in store for all of us. A whole host of Euro 2012 qualifying action, that's what. Stay right here, because this is going to be good...



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08 Oct 10 |  Football


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