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Last Updated: Monday, 15 October 2007, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Lawro's predictions
Mark Lawrenson
By Mark Lawrenson
BBC Sport football expert

WEDNESDAY'S EURO 2008 QUALIFIERS

Russia v England
(1600 BST)

Russia v England

Will this game be tougher than the match against Estonia at Wembley? Just slightly!

Playing on a plastic surface is a definite advantage for Russia.

The fixture is being played at a great stadium and I think it is a disgrace they will be using an artificial surface - I do not understand why they do not have under-soil heating which would melt the snow before it hardened.

I think the surface will have an effect on tactics. As a player you cannot slide in as you would on grass, your touch must be better and your passing more accurate.

McClaren will probably pack his midfield, sit deep and tell his players to have a look at the situation in the early phase of the game.

However, I think England are playing well at the moment and enjoying the run of the ball and I do not expect them to lose.

Russia looked distinctly average at Wembley - Steve McClaren's team were better in all areas.

Prediction: 1-1


Georgia v Scotland
(1800 BST)

Georgia v Scotland

I thought Scotland's match against Ukraine on Saturday would be close.

When Ukraine scored to reduce Scotland's lead to 2-1, I was slightly concerned but they went on to win the game 3-1 - another fantastic result.

However, when a team plays back-to-back international fixtures it is always difficult to produce two good results.

Often one good performance is followed by an average outing and I think Scotland will draw in Georgia.

Scotland have had a fantastic campaign but they will go into this away fixture as favourites.

That is a tag they are not used to and you don't just go to places like Georgia and roll teams like them over any more.

Will Scotland qualify? I'm not sure. It is too early to say at the moment.

Scotland's final game is at home to Italy and a lot can happen between now and then.

Prediction: 0-0


San Marino v Wales
(1915 BST)

Sam Marino v Wales

Wales lost 3-1 in Cyprus on Saturday and there was speculation that coach John Toshack was considering his future.

People think Cyprus is an excellent destination for a fixture, after all Cypriots speak English and drive on the left side of the road, but their record at home is good.

The Republic of Ireland were thrashed 5-2 in Cyprus and it really is a tricky place to visit.

Having said that, it was a poor performance by Wales in Cyprus after taking the lead but against San Marino on Wednesday I cannot see anything but victory for Toshack's side.

I don't think that San Marino should automatically be part of qualifying.

They, along with the Faroe Islands, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Andorra, should play their own tournament with the winning team then entering a qualifying group.

Prediction: 0-3


Republic of Ireland v Cyprus
(1930 BST)

Republic of Ireland v Cyprus

Steve Staunton needs a win to silence a few people who are starting to moan.

This campaign was always going to be a struggle, with the long-term focus perhaps more on qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

The next crucial period for Staunton will be from August to December 2008, with his team looking to make a positive start to their 2010 qualifying campaign.

The Republic are good one week, not so the next.

They have some good players but they also have some who are fairly average. Asking these average players to perform above their level on a regular basis is perhaps part of the reason why they are inconsistent

But Ireland are strong at home and I expect them to beat Cyprus.

Prediction: 2-0


Sweden v Northern Ireland
(1930 BST)

Sweden v Northern Ireland

Nothing doing here for Northern Ireland, I'm afraid.

Whereas Scotland had a smooth transition when Alex McLeish took over from Walter Smith. you could not say the same about Nigel Worthington succeeding Lawrie Sanchez as Northern Ireland boss.

Northern Ireland have been playing above themselves in this qualifying campaign but you can only do that for so long.

Given that they are in a group with Sweden, Denmark and Spain, it would be a fantastic achievement if they managed to finish third.

But it might feel like something of a disappointment after they enjoyed such a great run that included wins over Sweden and Spain, as well as a draw in Denmark.

Given their final fixtures are away to Sweden and Spain with a home tie to Denmark sandwiched between them, I think they will struggle to pick up any more points.

Though having said that, they might be able to draw with the Danes.

Prediction: 2-0

Mark Lawrenson was talking to Paul Fletcher.

SEE ALSO
Guide to Euro 2008
27 Jan 06 |  Internationals
England 3-0 Estonia
13 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Terry passed fit for Russia test
16 Oct 07 |  Internationals
England match reaction to follow
16 Oct 07 |  Internationals
McClaren dismisses pitch concerns
15 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Terry Butcher's view
15 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Scotland 3-1 Ukraine
13 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Scots keep changes to a minimum
16 Oct 07 |  Internationals
McLeish upbeat for Georgia match
16 Oct 07 |  Internationals
McLeish hails 'best Hampden win'
13 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Fletcher primed for Scotland role
15 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Cyprus 3-1 Wales
13 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Toshack vows to stick with Wales
14 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Collins pulls out of Wales squad
14 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Gabbidon hits out at his critics
15 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Rep of Ireland 0-0 Germany
13 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Republic boosted as O'Shea trains
15 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Staunton proud of Republic team
13 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Robson backs under-fire Staunton
15 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Long pulls out of Republic squad
15 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Worthington praises NI attitude
16 Oct 07 |  Internationals
McAuley set to get N Ireland nod
16 Oct 07 |  Internationals


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