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Barry Bannan Has Recovered! And More Euro News

Keith Fahey is not an Aston Villa player. Give it time.
Keith Fahey is not an Aston Villa player. Give it time.

Less than two hours remain until the final matches in Euro 2012 qualification kick off, and Aston Villa fans can take comfort in the fact that Barry Bannan has recovered from a nasty heel cut to take his place in the Scotland starting XI. I've been chided for mocking wee Bazza, as some seem to believe that a cut on the heel would be mighty painful, so I'll just say I'm glad he's back. Let's face it, Scotland need all the help they can get against Spain. The Group I leaders showed no mercy against the Czech Republic, and with the Czechs just one point back from Scotland and playing Lithuania, the Scots absolutely need to find a way to get three points. Perhaps Alan Hutton will save the day?

Surprisingly enough, Aston Villa players are involved in two of the three most interesting matches of the day (now that France have forgiven most of the players involved in World Cup 2010: Le Sulk, Charles N'Zogbia comes nowhere near that team as they face Bosnia). But Ireland host Armenia at 19:45 CET -- 1:45 ET -- in a match that will most likely decide who moves on to the playoff round. Sure, if Russia lose to Andorra (who have yet to collect a point, mind you) a win for Ireland could see them take an automatic berth in Euro 2012. But I'm doubting Richard Dunne and Shay Given are holding their breath.

Speaking of unlikely scenarios, go check out my Euro Qualification article on all nine groups to read just how Croatia can secure an automatic spot.