England and Turkey ready to seize Euro chance

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MILAN, Nov 21 (Reuters) England and Turkey are poised to wrap up Euro 2008 qualification today after being thrown lifelines at the weekend.

Portugal and Sweden are also best-placed to take the other two remaining spots for Austria and Switzerland next June with qualification coming to a close.

England were on the brink of missing out in Group E before Israel's shock 2-1 home win over Russia on Saturday. Steve McClaren's men now just need a point at Wembley against already-qualified Croatia with Peter Crouch set to lead the line in the absence of the injured Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney.

Turkey won 2-1 in Oslo on Saturday to leapfrog Norway into second place and now need to beat Bosnia at home to go through.

Anything less than a victory though would let the Scandinavians snatch back Group C's second spot with a win in Malta.

Sweden are big favourites to join Spain in qualifying from Group F with Northern Ireland needing to beat the Spanish away as well as hoping Latvia stun Lars Lagerback's side in Stockholm.

Portugal will go through from Group A with a home draw against qualification rivals Finland despite Serbia, who host Euro-bound Poland, having an extra game against Kazakhstan on Saturday following a postponement at the weekend.

REUTERS RAR VC1050

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