Favourites England did not expect to be going into their final group game outside the qualifying places but that is where they stand ahead of their showdown with the surprise section leaders Slovenia. With only three points separating the four sides, however, Group C remains wide open – only a final-day victory will provide a sure guarantee of progress for every team bar the Slovenians.
According the Regulations of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, the ranking of each team in each group will be determined as follows:
a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
b) goal difference in all group matches;
c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.
If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings will be determined as follows:
d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
f) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;
g) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.
– If Slovenia win or draw against England, they are guaranteed a first-ever last-16 berth.
– If Slovenia win they will finish first. If they draw they will finish first if USA fail to beat Algeria.
– If Slovenia draw and USA win, first place will go down to goal difference.
– If USA beat Algeria they will progress. If they draw they can progress so long as England fail to beat Slovenia, although this will go down to goal difference if England also draw.
– If England beat Slovenia, they will progress. If they draw they can progress only if the USA-Algeria match ends in a draw and goals scored will be the deciding factor.
– If Algeria beat USA, they are guaranteed qualification if England fail to win. If Algeria win and England beat Slovenia, Algeria and Slovenia will be tied on four points with goal difference deciding.