England are there – and so are holders Germany – however it guarantees to be a tense night time in Cardiff as Wales and the Republic of Eire attempt to seal their place on the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
Each Wales and the Republic can nonetheless high Group D by beating the opposite of their closing group recreation on Monday, though with leaders Serbia at house to Georgia they might nicely be battling it out for a play-off spot. A draw is sufficient for Chris Coleman’s Wales to complete second – however it’s win or bust for Martin O’Neill’s group.
Northern Eire are already assured a spot within the play-offs however Scotland fell brief, ending third in Group D after drawing their crunch closing recreation in Slovenia.
In the meantime, three-time runners up the Netherlands are all however out, Argentina are in hassle and Syria are in a play-off to maintain their unlikely World Cup dream alive.
Right here, we analyse the eventualities to ascertain who wants what as qualifying reaches its climax. Bear with us – it is difficult, however value it.
- Europe – World Cup qualifying tables
- Europe – World Cup scores and fixtures
- Who has already qualified for the World Cup?
Who has certified?
The event will encompass 32 groups, with hosts Russia joined by 31 qualifiers from across the globe.
The holders not qualify mechanically, however Germany have progressed as group winners with a 100% successful document in Group C.
There are 13 different sides assured to be there: Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, England, Nigeria, Poland and Egypt.
In Europe, the facet that high every of the 9 teams reaches the finals, whereas the perfect eight of 9 runners-up go into November’s play-offs.
What in regards to the house nations?
Monday: Republic of Eire (h) 19:45
“Do not take me house, please do not take me house,” sang the followers as Wales marched to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
Now they wish to cheer them in a second World Cup, with their solely earlier finals look coming in 1958.
On Friday, Wales received in Georgia, however the Republic of Eire additionally picked up three factors to arrange an enormous assembly on Monday between the edges.
The winners in Cardiff will end no less than second, with a draw sufficient for Wales.
Scotland’s attract Slovenia signifies that Northern Eire are assured a play-off place as one of many eight best-performing group runners-up.
Michael O’Neill’s facet misplaced their closing recreation as Chris Brunt’s personal purpose within the second half gave Norway victory in Oslo however nonetheless completed second with 19 factors, 4 forward of third-placed Czech Republic.
Northern Ireland wish to attain their first World Cup since 1986.
Leaders Serbia misplaced on Friday night time to a last-minute Austria purpose, which means both Wales or the Republic might earn computerized qualification if Serbia slip up. It is all up for grabs.
Serbia host Georgia on Monday and require a win to make certain of reaching their second finals.
Unbeaten England, with eight wins and two attracts, certified mechanically, regardless of following up Thursday’s lacklustre 1-Zero victory over Slovenia with an equally disappointing one-goal success in Lithuania on Sunday.
Russia 2018 will likely be England’s fifth successive look at a significant event, since failing to qualify for Euro 2008.
Their finest efficiency in that point was reaching the final eight on the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
There was heartbreak for Scotland in Slovenia.
It was all going to plan when Leigh Griffiths gave them the lead within the first half, however two targets from Roman Bezjak meant that not even Robert Snodgrass’ late leveller might rescue their qualification bid.
With solely 4 factors from their first 4 matches, few have been dashing to again Scotland to succeed in Russia and seal a primary World Cup look since 1998.
And so it proved, regardless of them claiming 14 factors from their final six video games.
The play-off puzzle
There is not any simple manner of explaining this, however right here goes…
Eight of the 9 European runners-up go right into a two-legged play off for 4 locations at subsequent yr’s finals. Meaning the runner-up with the fewest factors misses out.
You will need to observe that outcomes towards the underside facet in every group don’t rely within the closing play-off standings.
Due to this fact Slovakia, who’re seventh, didn’t enhance their factors tally within the closing spherical of video games with their Three-Zero win over Malta. They are often overtaken by the 2 sides beneath them – Wales and Croatia.
The rating of second-placed groups within the qualifying teams is set by the best variety of factors. If groups are equal on factors, positions are determined by purpose distinction, targets scored, targets scored away from house and truthful play factors.
Fifa says groups will likely be seeded for the draw on 17 October, with the highest 4 sides in response to its rankings on the time in a single pot and the remaining 4 in one other.
The groups at present in second place are Portugal (third in rankings), Wales (13), Italy (17), Croatia (18), Slovakia (19), Northern Eire (20), Sweden (23), Denmark (26) and Greece (47).
Whereas there are clearly loads of permutations, Northern Eire and/or Wales might be seeded.
Within the beneath desk, groups in daring are sure to be within the play-offs.
|Play-off desk because it stands|
|Place/Staff||Performed||Objective distinction||Objectives scored||Pts|
|5 Northern Eire||eight||+Four||10||13|
Wales and the Republic of Eire can safe second place in Group D however each might nonetheless doubtlessly be out of luck, as they will all nonetheless end ninth on this desk.
Remainder of Europe – Netherlands set to overlook out
Europe’s locations: 14 together with hosts Russia. Already certified: Belgium, Russia, Germany, England, Spain, Poland.
They could be three-times World Cup runners-up however the Netherlands’ hopes of reaching subsequent yr’s event are pretty much as good as over.
The Dutch are in third place in Group A, behind France and Sweden, and they should beat Sweden by an inconceivable seven targets on Tuesday with a view to attain the play-offs.
Shock Euro 2016 quarter-finalists Iceland, the smallest nation to qualify for a significant event once they reached Euro 2016, are in pole place to win Group I after a high-quality win in Turkey on Friday night time.
Portugal, whereas positive of no less than making the play-offs, face a crucial closing match at house to Group B leaders Switzerland on Tuesday as they goal to make up a three-point deficit.
Street to Russia: The important thing dates
- 17 October: Europe play-off draw (Zurich)
- 9-11 November: Play-off first legs
- 12-14 November: Play-off second legs
- 1 December: Teams are drawn
- 14 June – 15 July 2018: World Cup
Asia – The Syria story
Asian locations: Four (plus a play-off place). Already certified: Iran, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia
Now that is some story.
Syria stay in competition for the World Cup regardless of the percentages being stacked towards a nation that’s within the midst of a six-year battle.
The group don’t have any funding due to sanctions and play their house video games in Malaysia, a 9,000-mile spherical journey.
However they made it by to a play-off towards Australia, with Omar Al Somah’s late penalty incomes them a 1-1 first-leg draw on Thursday.
The return leg takes place in Sydney on Tuesday, 10 October (kick-off 10:00 BST).
The winner will face a Concacaf (North and Central America and the Caribbean) facet in one other two-legged tie the next month for a spot on the World Cup.
South America – Argentina in hassle
South America locations: Four (plus a play-off place). Already certified: Brazil
Wednesday 00:30: Ecuador v Argentina, Brazil v Chile, Peru v Colombia, Uruguay v Bolivia, Paraguay v Venezuela
It appears virtually inconceivable that Lionel Messi is not going to be at soccer’s largest event, however his Argentina facet are in critical hazard of lacking out.
The 2-time champions, who haven’t missed the World Cup since 1970, are out of the group qualifying spots after a 0-0 draw with Peru on Thursday.
Solely the highest 4 in South American qualifying are assured a spot in Russia – and Argentina are sixth with one recreation left.
Argentina should win their closing qualifier in Ecuador to assert no less than fifth spot, which units up a two-leg play-off towards New Zealand.
Overwhelmed finalists on the 2014 World Cup, Argentina are degree on each factors (25) and purpose distinction (+1) with fifth-placed Peru, who’re forward on targets scored.
So tight is the group that 4 factors separate Uruguay in second (28) and Paraguay (24) in seventh and a win for Argentina might see them qualify mechanically.
Nevertheless, they’ve drawn their previous three qualifiers and their latest document in Ecuadorian capital Quito, which is 2,900m above sea degree, is poor, dropping two out of their previous three and drawing the opposite. Ecuador have misplaced their earlier 5 qualifying video games.
Peru are internet hosting fourth-placed Colombia and will they draw, Argentina could be eradicated if they didn’t win.
Chile, who’re third, go to already-qualified Brazil, whereas Uruguay, who’re all-but assured of their place in Russia due to their vastly superior purpose distinction, want only a draw at house to already-eliminated Bolivia to ensure qualification.
Concacaf – Who will be part of Mexico?
North America, Central America and Caribbean locations: Three (plus a play-off place). Already certified: Mexico, Costa Rica
Mexico will compete at their seventh straight World Cup subsequent summer time having already certified from the Concacaf part, with 2014 World Cup quarter-finalists Costa Rica becoming a member of them following a 1-1 draw at house to Honduras on Saturday.
However a 3rd computerized berth continues to be up for grabs, whereas the fourth-placed facet may also qualify by the inter-continental play-offs.
On Friday night time, USA beat shock package deal Panama Four-Zero to maneuver into third and inside touching distance of computerized qualification.
They journey to backside of the desk Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday figuring out victory will seal their spot.
Panama now look destined for a play-off match towards both Syria or Australia to land a World Cup place for the primary time of their historical past.
Honduras, whose match in Costa Rica was put again a day due to Hurricane Nate, additionally stay within the combine. They might nonetheless seal an computerized berth although it might want them to beat group winners Mexico and for each USA and Panama to lose their closing video games.
Africa – Nigeria safe their place
African locations: 5. Already certified: Nigeria, Egpyt
Nigeria secured a sixth World Cup look with a 1-Zero win over Zambia, whereas Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah struck an injury-time winner as Egpyt defeated Congo to succeed in the event for the primary time since 1990, however Africa Cup of Nations champions Cameroon are out of the working.
There aren’t any play-offs in Africa, with the group that high every of the 5 qualifying teams going by. Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal are the opposite present group leaders.
Oceania – New Zealand await opponents
Oceania locations: One play-off place. Already certified: None
New Zealand beat the Solomon Islands over two legs (as winners of their respective teams) to e book their place within the inter-continental play-offs, and can tackle the fifth-placed group from South American qualifying in November.
Printed at Mon, 09 Oct 2017 15:41:24 +000Zero