Mbappé and France host Ireland in European Championship qualifying

A look at what’s happening in European Championship qualifying on Thursday.
Kylian Mbappe. (File Photo | AP)
Kylian Mbappe. (File Photo | AP)

A look at what’s happening in European Championship qualifying on Thursday:

Two-time champion France will look to maintain its perfect start in Group B when it hosts Ireland at Parc des Princes. That’s the home stadium of World Cup star Kylian Mbappé, who will look to add to his 40 international goals and could likely be paired in attack with veteran Olivier Giroud. France has not conceded a goal. Ireland is struggling with only one win from its first three matches. Netherlands faces Greece in Eindhoven, where a win would move the Dutch level with the Greeks on six points.

Poland is already in trouble after losing two of its opening three games, including a loss to low-ranked Moldova last time out. Another slip-up at home to the Faeroe Islands would be costly. Poland has not missed out on qualifying for a European Championship since 2004. The Czech Republic and Albania occupy the group’s two qualifying spots ahead of their game in Prague.

The two unbeaten teams at the top of the group meet as Serbia hosts Hungary. It’s the first game for Serbia since two of its key players, midfielder Sergej Milinković-Savić and forward Aleksandar Mitrović, opted for lucrative transfers to Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal. Montenegro can close the gap on the top two by beating last-place Lithuania.

Kazakhstan hosts Finland in a battle for the top spot. Both teams have nine points after four games, with Finland ahead on goal difference. Third-place Denmark hosts winless San Marino. Slovenia, trailing Denmark only on goal difference, hosts Northern Ireland.

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