A few stories to chew on ahead of today's qualifiers:
Italy needs a win in Ukraine. Worst-case scenario for the World Cup champs is to lose in Ukraine and have Scotland win in France. That would put four points between the Scots and Italians and would mean that Italy would need quite a bit of help to reach Euro 2008. Italy still plays Scotland and they likely need to be ahead of Scotland by that point to avoid facing a potentially fatal match.
England, meanwhile, may go with Peter Crouch up front against Russia instead of Emile Heskey. Russia's defense won't give up much so one well-placed cross might all Crouch needs to put the game away. Question is, will England get that cross?
Scotland's hoping for a point from France, meanwhile, as Scotland manager Alex McLeish said "it would be tremendous if we could return from France with something."