Continental qualifying takes center stage in this version of the Weekend Watch:
Mozambique vs. Zambia, African Cup of Nations qualifying, Saturday at 6 a.m.
The first of two recent African champions whose hopes of returning to the tournament are in severe danger (see below), Zambia enters match-day five even with its hosts in second place in Group F on five points.
Congo vs. Nigeria, African Cup of Nations qualifying, Saturday at 6:30 a.m.
The Stephen Keshi soap opera rumbles on. The coach that led Nigeria to the knockout rounds of the World Cup before temporarily losing his job has returned to try to salvage the defending champions’ fading qualification hopes.
Belgium vs. Wales, European Championship qualifying, Sunday at 9 a.m.
The Welsh have ridden on Gareth Bale’s back all the way to the top of Group B. They’re unlikely to finish there, but a surprise result in Brussels could help with the much-more-manageable fight for second place.
Italy vs. Croatia, European Championship qualifying, Sunday at 11:45 a.m.
In the last Euro, Italy finished a single point above the Croatians in Group C en route to the final, leaving the visitors to rue a brutal draw that included champion Spain. Sunday, Croatia can both get revenge and go all alone atop this qualifying group.
Czech Republic vs. Iceland, European Championship qualifying, Sunday at 11:45 a.m.
These two are not only both ahead of powerhouse Netherlands in Group A, they’re both six points clear through three matches. Neither is likely to ultimately top the group, but this could be the match that decides which takes the other automatic qualifying berth.