World Cup 2014 Qualification: UEFA Begins Their Qualifying Cycle

Wesley Sneijder of Netherlands acknowledges the fans at the final whistle during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Netherlands and Germany. Holland plays Turkey in World Cup 2014 qualifying on September 7, 2012. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

World Cup qualifying gets underway for European teams on Friday. The Netherlands face a tough test, while England and Germany should coast to wins.

Since you've spent the last four days hating that the international break is a thing, the world has decided to be nice to you and at least put some games on television this Friday. UEFA kicks off qualifying for World Cup 2014 this week, and they didn't schedule too many of the important matchups for the first round. Sorry!

The biggest game of the round is easily a new-look Netherlands side facing off against Turkey, who have also changed managers since the European Championships cycle. The Oranje should win at home, but Louis Van Gaal has called in a young team that could look defensively shaky.

England, France and Portugal are all heavy favorites in their road games against relative minnows. Germany plays at home against the Faroe Islands and should have that game wrapped up five minutes in. There are two games on Saturday, and both are probably worth watching. Scotland hosts Serbia early, which is followed by Czech Republic - Denmark later in the day.

Schedule (All times ET, games on Friday unless otherwise listed)

Group A

Croatia vs. Macedonia - 2:15 p.m.
Wales vs. Belgium - 2:45 p.m.
Scotland vs. Serbia - 10 a.m., Saturday

Group B

Malta vs. Armenia - 2 p.m.
Bulgaria vs. Italy - 2:45 p.m.
Denmark vs. Czech Republic - 2:15 p.m., Saturday

Group C

Kazakhstan vs. Ireland - 12 p.m.
Germany vs. Faroe Islands - 2:45 p.m.

Group D

Estonia vs. Romania - 2 p.m.
Andorra vs. Hungary - 2:30 p.m.
Netherlands vs. Turkey - 2:30 p.m.

Group E

Albania vs. Cyprus - 2:30 p.m.
Slovenia vs. Switzerland - 2:30 p.m.
Iceland vs. Norway - 2:45 p.m.

Group F

Russia vs. Northern Ireland - 11 a.m.
Azerbaijan vs. Israel - 12 p.m.
Luxembourg vs. Portugal - 2:45 p.m.

Group G

Liechtenstein vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina - 1 p.m.
Lithuania vs. Slovakia - 2:15 p.m.
Latvia vs. Greece - 2:30 p.m.

Group H

Montenegro vs. Poland - 2:30 p.m.
Moldova vs. England - 2:45 p.m.

Group I

Georgia vs. Belarus - 1 p.m.
Finland vs. France - 2:30 p.m.

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