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Luxembourg and Syria lead the way as Argentina, Netherlands, U.S. struggle

After a less than impressive 1-1 draw with Venezuela, FC's Gab Marcotti calls for patience with coach Jorge Sampaoli.

We have reached the stage of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers when it all feels like a local long distance charity race. The favourites, Brazil, crossed the line ages ago; Iran and Japan joined them soon after; we've politely applauded Mexico, Belgium, South Korea and Saudi Arabia and now we're anxiously looking down the track wondering where everyone else has gone.

Spain are striding effortlessly towards us; Costa Rica, grinning broadly, are right behind them. And, look... there's England, clad in...

 By PA Sport

Netherlands boss Dick Advocaat: No problem with Ruud Gullit over video

Following France's rout of the Netherlands, the FC crew assess the differing trajectories of the two European giants.

Netherlands boss Dick Advocaat insisted there was no problem between himself and Ruud Gullit after his assistant coach posted an ill-advised video clip on social media.

Gullit uploaded a video to his Twitter account showing the players celebrating, getting changed and checking their phones in the dressing room following Sunday evening's 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over Bulgaria.

Thursday's 4-0 thrashing in France left Netherlands with a big task on their hands to reach next year's showpiece event...

Louis van Gaal's hand in Netherlands decline as World Cup miss looms

Davy Propper and Arjen Robben gave the Netherlands hope in Group A with a 3-1 victory over Bulgaria.
The FC panel debate whether Belgium can win the World Cup or merely prove to be an entertaining side in Russia.

Netherlands have now given themselves a fighting chance of qualifying for Russia 2018, but even as Dick Advocaat's team milked the applause of the Johan Cruyff Arena following Sunday's crucial 3-1 victory against Bulgaria, there was a sense of it being a win which merely delayed the inevitable.

World Cup finalists in 2010, semifinalists in Brazil four years later, yet the Dutch are in need of a mathematical miracle to qualify for next year's tournament in Russia, even after the result against Bulgaria...