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  1. Northern Ireland v Germany, Group C, (19:45 BST)
  2. England v Slovenia, Group F, (19:45 BST)
  3. Scotland v Slovakia, Group F, (19:45 BST)
  4. GET INVOLVED: Your meetings with sports stars #bbcsportsday

Live Reporting

By Jamie Lillywhite

All times stated are UK

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And that's where we leave you on our warm-up edition for today. I've played the Bobby Chariot role but the live text for tonight's international matches begins with Tom Rostance at 18:00 BST. Cheerio now.

5 live Sport

BBC Radio 5 live, 19:00 BST

BBC Radio 5 live

Tonight's 5 live Sport at 19:00 BST with Mark Chapman comes live from Wembley where there will be live commentary of England against Slovenia. Ian Dennis and John Murray are your commentators, with summaries from Chris Waddle and Phil Neville.

Roddy Forsyth reports from Scotland against Slovakia and Ali Bruce-Ball will have updates from Northern Ireland's match against Germany. Live commentary of Scotland's match is available on 5 live sports extra.


Charting history

We've heard that Neil Diamond is in town in Glasgow, but the last time Northern Ireland beat Germany, back in November 1983, Billy Joel was number one with Uptown Girl. There have been defeats for the Irish in the last six meetings but will their river of dreams still be afloat tonight?

Honours even in play-off opener

It has finished 1-1 in Malaysia and the tie is set up nicely for Tuesday's second leg in Sydney.

All square in Malaysia

An 85th-minute Omar Al Somah penalty has equalised for Syria against Australia in the first leg of their play-off.

Get Involved - sporting meetings

#bbcsportsday, Facebook or 81111 on text

We've enjoyed your meetings with sports stars today. How about this for a boy band promotional poster?

Chris Coleman

Get Involved - sporting meetings

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Sam Collins: Met my hero Graham Gooch, Lords 1988. Refused to give me an autograph. Curtly Ambrose saw, gave me a hug and autograph=new hero.

Australia ahead

Syria v Australia, play-off 1st-leg (Thursday, 13:30 BST)

Australia lead Syria 1-0 midway through the second half of the first-leg of their Asia qualifying play-off at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malaysia, where war-torn Syria play their home matches. VfL Bochum forward Robbie Kruse opened the scoring in the first period.

Forever in Blue (Jeans)

Scotland v Slovakia (Thursday, 19:45 BST)

Roddy Forsyth

Scottish Football Correspondent

Neil Diamond was staying at the Scotland team hotel. Which of his hits will be more appropriate for the Tartan Army - a toast of Red, Red Wine or a Song Sung Blue?

Sporting encounters - get involved

#bbcsportsday, Facebook or 81111 on text

We are still seeking your stories of encounters with sports stars and the effects they had on you. On the subject of Gary Lineker, my good lady's all-time favourite, I ventured across the Media City piazza last year with a life-sized cardboard cut out of his face superimposed on a muscle-bound body. It is still in the living room to this day.

Gary Lineker

Impressive away record

Northern Ireland v Germany (Thursday, 19:45 BST)

Alistair Bruce-Ball

BBC Radio 5 live

Just judging by the busy breakfast room in my hotel in Belfast this morning there are a lot of German fans who've made the trip for the game tonight just to sample the famous Windsor Park atmosphere.

The German players like Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller were very taken with Northern Ireland's Green and White Army when the two countries met in Paris at Euro 2016 and Hummels has already sent the fans a tweet from Germany's team plane saying "Look who is coming for you #gawa".

Northern Ireland actually beat West Germany home and away in qualifying for the 1984 European Championship but the frightening stat is that Germany have never lost a World Cup qualifier away from home - 46 games and counting!

Sane may start for unbeaten Germany

Northern Ireland v Germany (Thursday, 19:45 BST)

Germany have eight wins from eight matches as they head to Windsor Park to face second-placed Northern Ireland, but Joachim Low has a few regulars missing, striker Timo Werner the latest to withdraw after keeper Manuel Neuer, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and 2014 World Cup final goalscorer Mario Goetze were already ruled out.

Manchester City's Leroy Sane is a candidate to lead the line for the Germans, who have scored 35 goals and conceded only two in Group C.

Get involved - sporting encounters

#bbcsportsday or 81111 on text

After Rory McIlroy harked back to his boyhood meeting with Roy Keane we are seeking your encounters with sports stars on #bbcsportsday.

Ronaldo and Grant

Slovakia at the World Cup finals

Scotland v Slovakia (Thursday, 19:45 BST)

Slovakia have made just the one appearance at the World Cup finals, in 2010, but they finished runners up to Paraguay and progressed to round two, where they narrowly lost 2-1 to the Netherlands. They had qualified from the group after beating defending champions Italy, who finished bottom after failing to win a match.

Tough task ahead for Scotland

Scotland v Slovakia (Thursday, 19:45 BST)

Scotland have not been at the finals since France 1998 but 10 points from the past four games have increased their chances.

Gordon Strachan's team must win tonight against Slovakia and again in Slovenia on Sunday to guarantee second spot in Group F.

That will be no mean feat, Slovakia had won five in a row before a 2-1 defeat against England at Wembley in September, a run which included a 3-0 home win over the Scots in October last year.

Scotland training

Slovenia at the World Cup

England v Slovenia, (Thursday 19:45 BST)

Slovenia have reached the World Cup finals on two occasions, bowing out at the first stage both times. In 2002 they lost all three matches but they beat Algeria and drew with USA at South Africa in 2010, losing to England following a solitary Jermain Defoe goal in the first half.

Jermain Defoe scores at the 2010 World Cup
Getty Images

Sporting meetings - get Involved

#bbcsportsday, Facebook or 81111 on text

Please keep your encounters with sports stars coming in - and the effects they had on you. It's the glamour of this one I like.

Todos: Met Crouch in 2008 at a McDonalds drive thru after an England game and he signed my luminous green Chelsea shirt with a biro.

Slovenia in focus

England v Slovenia, (Thursday 19:45 BST)

Slovenia, coached by former Yugoslavia and Slovenia international Srecko Katanec, have lost just two of their last 11 matches in all competitions, winning five and drawing four.

They have only scored 10 goals in their eight matches to date, but with Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak impressing between the posts, they have conceded only four times.

Spurs strengthen England cause

England v Slovenia, (Thursday 19:45 BST)

No Dele Alli tonight for England of course because of suspension following that unfortunately raised central digit, but seven of England's last nine goals have either been scored or assisted by Tottenham players.

Hitman Harry Kane is England's top scorer under Gareth Southgate with five goals - more than twice as many as any of his team-mates.

Get involved - sporting encounters

#bbcsportsday or 81111 on text

After Rory McIlroy harked back to his boyhood meeting with Roy Keane we are keen to hear your encounters with sports stars on #bbcsportsday.

David Seaman with james dodds
James dodds

England-Slovenia history

England v Slovenia, (Thursday 19:45 BST)

Victory against Slovenia at Wembley tonight will ensure England of a place at the World Cup in Russia next year and the omens are good, with only one defeat in their last 18 matches at home, and none in the last eight, winning seven and drawing one.

England have scored nine goals in their four home matches to date, but they were indebted to goalkeeper Joe Hart when they fought out a goalless draw in Ljubljana in the reverse fixture in October last year.

Sporting meetings - get involved

Thebigun: Bumped into Ian Botham in Barbados. Asked him to eat 3 Weetabix. He walked away not impressed.

Syria with home advantage, in Malaysia

Syria v Australia, play-off 1st-leg (Thursday, 13:30 BST)

The first qualifying match of the day is about to begin in Malaysia, with the first leg of a play-off between Syria and Australia.

Syria, in the middle of a six-year war, has no funding because of sanctions and play their home games in Malaysia, which is a 9,000-mile round trip.

Unbeaten in their temporary home, where Ayman Hakeem’s team claimed wins over Uzbekistan and Qatar, Syria also secured victory in China and a final-day 2-2 draw with group winners Iran to seal third place and a date with Australia, with the second leg in Sydney on Tuesday.

The winner will face a Concacaf (North and Central America and the Caribbean) side in another two-legged tie the following month for a place at the World Cup.

Sporting meetings - get involved

#bbcsportsday or 81111 on text

Please keep your encounters with sports stars coming in to #bbcsportsday and they don't all have to be happy ones. Remember Rory McIlroy was rebuffed as a youngster by Roy Keane. Maybe it was that incident that inspired him to become a major champion?

Stevie with Warney

Featuring Temuri Ketsbaia with hair

Georgia v Wales (Friday)


Wales travel to Georgia tomorrow knowing that a win would be good enough to secure a top-two spot in World Cup qualifying Group D providing the Republic of Ireland fail to beat Moldova at home.

Chris Coleman's side will hope the trip goes better than the first Wales trip to the country in 1994.

Back then Wales suffered a 5-0 defeat on an eye-opening visit involving gunfire, vodka and burned out armoured cars.

Wales Online have headed back 23 years with this interesting feature.

Commentary quiz

On the subject of commentators, have you tried the 5 live quiz?

BBC App users may need to click the link to view the full tweet.

View more on twitter

Building up

England v Slovenia, (Thursday 19:45 BST)

All quiet at Wembley seven hours before kick-off and we hope to hear some thoughts from our commentary team later this afternoon as they prepare for tonight's 5 live coverage.


Sporting meetings - get involved

#bbcsportsday, Facebook or 81111 on text

Paul Salmon: Tour to Munich. Met Stephen Hendry in airport. We asked for picture with one of us dressed as middle aged woman. Not impressed. Even less impressed when he saw he was on the same flight as us.

Scotland on sports extra

Scotland v Slovakia (Thursday, 19:45 BST)

BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

BBC Scotland's commentary of Scotland against Slovakia from Hampden Park will be simulcast on Radio 5 live sports extra from 19:40 BST, with Roddy Forysth providing updates on the main 5 live station, where there will also be reports from Ali Bruce-Ball on Northern Ireland against Germany.

Live England commentary

England v Slovenia, (Thursday 19:45 BST)

BBC Radio 5 live

Let's get some coverage details ahead of tonight's big matches and the live commentary on 5 live comes from Wembley where an England victory against Slovenia will guarantee them a place at Russia 2018 as Group F winners.

Ian Dennis and John Murray will be your commentators, with summaries from Phil Neville and Chris Waddle.

Rebel yell


Simon Stone

BBC Sport

National League North club FC United of Manchester have had a few financial headaches to deal with recently.

The club is desperately trying to drive up profits so they can pay costs associated with their £6m ground move to Broadhurst Park.

FC United's birth, rise and subsequent damaging in-fighting has been chartered in a book written by one of the club's founder members John Paul O'Neill.

O'Neill was there on Tuesday night to witness one of its most notable nights as, despite being reduced to nine men inside the first half following two red cards, FC United managed to beat local rivals Stockport to book an FA Cup final qualifying round meeting trip to AFC Telford on 14 October.

BBC Sport
Red Rebels

Sporting meetings - get involved

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Edward Layland: 2001 at sports cafe, Alan Smith sat at the bar and I asked him something about Wenger and he looked straight through me

Can linked to Juve - report

Emra Can

Juventus are planning a January bid for Liverpool midfielder Emre Can, who will be free to agree a pre-contract deal with an overseas club in January according to CalcioMercato.

Juventus chief executive Beppe Marotta told the Italian website that the club "will not want to miss a player like that".

The 23-year-old, who signed from Bayer Leverkusen for £10m in 2014, is out of contract at the end of this season

Man United join race for Goretzka - report

Leon Goretzka.

A little bit of transfer tittle-tattle from the continent this morning where Tuttosport (via Sport Witness), claim Manchester United have joined Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Liverpool and Juventus in chasing for Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka.

The 22-year-old is out of contract at the end of this season.

Dier backs foreign legion

England v Slovenia (Thursday)

Eric Dier
Getty Images

England midfielder Eric Dier has backed the recent raft of young players who have moved aboard to further their footballing education and bypass the first-team logjam at Premier League sides.

Under-20 England international Chris Willock swapped Arsenal for Benfica in the summer with club and country team-mate Kaylen Hinds leaving the for Wolfsburg,

Isaac Buckley-Ricketts - who was also part of the England Under -20 side - is on loan at Twente from Manchester City while Under-17 international Jadon Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund from City in the summer.

Born in Cheltenham, Dier came through the Sporting Lisbon academy after his family moved to Portugal when he was seven.

"If they’re willing to go abroad somewhere with an open mind and are willing to embrace a different culture and environment then I think it’s something that they should really consider," said Dier.

"It’s not easy. From my own experience, I really do respect people that do it."

Get Involved - sporting meetings

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Alex Goodwin: Met Soʪkjaer ㏌ St Tropez, lovely guy. I do have a great pic but I'm wear㏌g 3/4 length jea㎱ so will save myself the embarrassment.

Taking on the leaders

Northern Ireland v Germany (Thursday, 19:45 BST)

A big test for Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland at Windsor Park tonight then, but victory would guarantee a place in the play-offs and put them only two points behind Joachim Low's side, who have a 100% record coming into the contest and need only a point to qualify as group winners.

Group C table

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Pablo: I once met Kriss Akabusi when he came to visit my primary school in Devon & asked him to do "that laugh" - he didn't.

'We couldn't ask for much more'

Scotland v Slovakia

Charlie Mulgrew

Scotland defender Charlie Mulgrew says that his team are grateful to be in control of their own destiny after successive 3-0 defeats by England and Slovakia at the end of 2016 seemed to have them as outsiders to qualify for the finals.

“To have it in our own hands at this stage, we couldn’t really ask for any more,” he said.

“We always kept believing within the group that we could put ourselves in this position. But it obviously wasn’t looking great for us at one stage.”

Scotland have taken 10 points from a possible 12 in 2017 and need to beat both Slovakia and Slovenia in their final two games to stay in contention for a play-off spot.

Get Involved - sporting meetings

#bbcsportsday, Facebook or 81111 on text

Please keep your encounters with sports stars coming in to #bbcsportsday and they don't all have to be happy ones. Remember Rory McIlroy was rebuffed as a youngster by Roy Keane. Maybe it was that incident that inspired him to become a major champion?

Edgar Davids