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Sergio Markarian quits as Greece coach

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Euro 2016 Forecaster: Several seeded teams in danger of not qualifying

As a result of several disappointing results, the Netherlands faces a must-win match this week.
As a result of several disappointing results, the Netherlands faces a must-win match this week.

The penultimate week of Euro 2016 group qualifying begins on Thursday, and 17 different countries could clinch a spot in France by Tuesday. The qualifying campaign has been rife with upsets, resulting in only two of the nine seeded teams currently being on top of their groups.

With the forgiving nature of qualifying, not all of the seeds are in danger of being eliminated. Each group's top two teams qualify automatically for Euro 2016. The best team of the nine third-place clubs also gets a direct berth, and the other eight third-place teams enter playoffs for the final four spots.

But as it stands, ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) forecasts three seeded teams to finish outside the top two when the group stage concludes in October. Based on 10,000 simulations of the remaining games, here's how SPI sees the groups playing out, with a focus on how the top seeds are performing. (For more information on SPI, see Nate Silver's explainers here, here and here.)

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Greece coach Sergio Markarian quits after poor Euro 2016 qualifying form

Sergio Markarian has overseen poor results as Greece attempt to qualify for Euro 2016.

Sergio Markarian has quit as coach of Greece after a second loss to the Faroe Islands in qualifying for next year's European Championship. 

Markarian, 70, apologised for the poor results and announced his resignation in a statement on Tuesday.

The Uruguayan took over in February from Claudio Ranieri but failed to lift Greece from the bottom of Group F, securing only a 0-0 draw in Hungary and losing 2-1 to the Faeroe Islands last month.

Ranieri -- who has since taken over at Leicester -- was...

 By PA Sport

Udinese give Orestis Karnezis one-year contract extension

Udinese have rewarded goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis with a one-year contract extension after a strong first season in Serie A.

The Greek international started in 37 league games for Udinese, helping the Friuli outfit finish 16th in the standings in 2014-15.

A statement from Udinese read: "Udinese Calcio announces the renewal...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Portugal earn rare win over Italy; Poland and Greece play to draw in friendlies

Portugal defeated Italy for the first time in 39 years on Tuesday.

Portugal defeated Italy 1-0 in an international friendly on Tuesday to inflict Antonio Conte's first defeat as Azzurri coach.

With Cristiano Ronaldo unavailable, Eder netted his first goal for Portugal in the 52nd minute to help end a 39-year wait for a victory over Italy.

The result will be a blow to Italy's hopes of being seeded in the draw for 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Italy had won five of its previous nine matches since Conte replaced Cesare Prandelli as coach after last year's World Cup,...

 By Nick Miller

Portugal rely too much on Cristiano Ronaldo, Ireland's hopes are fading

The ESPN FC panel discuss Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick over Armenia, and whether Portugal can progress in qualification.

It's heading toward crunch time in the 2016 European Championship qualifiers. ESPN FC's Nick Miller takes a look at some of the biggest talking points from this week's games.

Portugal jump on Ronaldo's back ... again

We have seen this season for Real Madrid that Cristiano Ronaldo, as he continues his relentless pursuit of cartoon goal-scoring numbers, is rarely happier than when he's doing something on his own. Ronaldo looks positively irked when his teammates score, with the notion of it being...