Groups C, E and F of the European qualifying competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ reach their conclusion on Sunday, with nine matches on the card. We take to you through all the qualification permutations in the three sections.
*Who has already qualified from the three groups? *Germany and England.
*Who is out of the running? *Czech Republic, Norway, Azerbaijan, San Marino, Romania, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and Malta.
*What's at stake? *The group winners qualify directly for Russia 2018, with the eight best second-placed sides going into the play-offs. The four play-off ties will be played over two legs (home and away), with the winners of each tie progressing to next year’s world finals.
**The best second-placed sides will be confirmed after all the group matches have been played. *
**- Germany have already won the group, while Northern Ireland have made sure of second place and are now fighting to finish among the eight best second-placed sides.
- Poland will qualify directly if they beat or draw with Montenegro, OR** if they lose AND Denmark DO NOT beat Romania
Denmark will win the group on goal difference if they beat Romania AND Poland lose to Montenegro.
Montenegro can finish second, tied with Denmark, if they beat Poland and Denmark lose to Romania, at which point goal difference would come into play. At the moment Denmark’s GD is +12 (19-7) and Montenegro’s +10 (18-8).
**- While England have already won the group, the battle for second is far from over, with three teams still in the running.
Scotland currently occupy the runners-up spot and will stay there if they beat Slovenia OR if they draw AND Slovakia DO NOT beat Malta.
Slovakia will take second place if they beat Malta AND Scotland lose or draw to Slovenia (in the event that = Scotland draw, Slovakia would finish ahead of them on goal difference: SCO +5, SVK +7).
Slovenia and Scotland currently have the same goal difference, which means that the Slovenians will finish second if they beat the Scots AND Slovakia fail to beat Malta.
What are the tie-breakers? Article 20.6 of the Regulations outlines what should happen should two teams or more finish level on points in more detail. Who finishes above will be decided by comparing each of these criteria in order:
- Goal difference
- Goals scored
- Head-to-head points
- Head-to-head goal difference
- Head-to-head goals scored
- Head-to-head away goals
- Fair play points
- Drawing of lots