With two rounds of European qualifying for the World Cup remaining, the race is gearing up for a spot in Qatar 2022.
in October Germany She became the first country to book a place in the finals, and soon followed Denmark. This leaves eight automatic qualification spots still available for the group winners, along with 10 playoff places for second place in the group.
– Explanation of the UEFA World Cup match system
2022 World Cup Qualifiers: How it works around the world
Here is the state of play in all ten groups.
November 11: Azerbaijan vs Luxembourg, Republic of Ireland and Portugal
November 14: Luxembourg vs. Republic of Ireland, Portugal vs. Serbia
The group is a direct battle between Serbia (17 points) and Portugal (16 points). Portugal have a game in hand, away to Ireland, and they need a point to keep the group in their hands.
If Cristiano Ronaldo’s side manage to win or draw in Dublin, they will just need to avoid defeat at home to Serbia to qualify automatically. You lose to Ireland, and Portugal must defeat Serbia.
Serbia knows that they will most likely have to win in Lisbon to overtake Portugal and avoid the playoffs.
November 11: Georgia vs Sweden, Greece vs Spain
November 14: Greece vs. Kosovo, Spain vs. Sweden
Only Sweden (15 points) and Spain (13 points) can win the group.
Sweden can qualify on November 11 if they win in Georgia and Spain fail to beat Greece, but if both countries win, it will be due to the meeting between the two in Seville – and Sweden will need to avoid defeat to top the group. And go straight to the World Cup finals, pushing Spain to the playoffs.
Greece still holds the qualifying chance, but will need to beat Spain and Kosovo and hope Spain fails to beat Sweden.
Spain are guaranteed qualification for the play-offs if they finish in second place as a UEFA Nations League runner-up.
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November 12: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland and Lithuania
November 15: Northern Ireland vs. Italy and Switzerland vs. Bulgaria
Another group with only two teams remaining in the competition, Italy and Switzerland collected 14 points.
Italy leads the group thanks to the better goal difference, but by only two goals.
The two teams meet in Rome on November 12, and if there is a winner in that match, they will need a point in the final to qualify for the World Cup.
If Italy and Switzerland draw, the Swiss will either need to improve Italy’s result on the last day, or win at least two more goals to equal the goal difference.
If Italy and Switzerland finish equally in points and goal difference (and goals scored), that goes down head to head. If it is a scoring tie in Rome, Switzerland wins head-to-head. If it is a 0-0 draw in Roma, the first and second will be decided in the disciplinary record.
November 13: Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Finland, France vs Kazakhstan
November 16: Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Ukraine, Finland vs France
A more open group, with four countries still at odds.
France (12 points) leads the group and will decide its place in the World Cup by defeating Kazakhstan.
Ukraine (9 points) is second, but without a game on November 13, you might not be there when they travel to Bosnia on the last day. They only have one match left, meaning they can only top the group if France lose both matches next month. With Finland facing France on November 14, a win over Bosnia could be enough to secure second place.
Finland (8 points) and Bosnia (7 points) meet on November 11, and the outcome of this match will determine exactly what is required for second place in the last pair of matches.
November 13: Belgium vs Estonia, Wales vs Belarus
November 16: Czech Republic vs Estonia, Wales vs Belgium
Belgium (16 points) is guaranteed to finish first and second, and needs a home win against Estonia to secure qualification. They will also qualify if Wales fail to beat Belarus in Cardiff.
The real fight is for second place, with the Czech Republic and Wales with 14 points. Wales is third on goal difference (two goals worse than the Czechs) but has a game in hand (at home to Belarus). Wales will need to make the most of that match, as they host Belgium in their final qualifying match. If Wales beat Belarus, they will need to avoid defeat to Belgium to secure second place.
If Wales lose at home to Belgium, the door is open for the Czech Republic to finish second on goal difference with a win over Estonia.
Whoever finishes third, is more likely to take a place in the playoffs by performing the UEFA Nations League, although they will be unseeded in the draw.
– Explanation of the UEFA World Cup match system
November 12: Austria vs. Israel, Denmark vs. Faroe Islands, Moldova vs. Scotland
November 15: Austria vs. Moldova, Israel vs. Faroe Islands, Scotland vs. Denmark
Denmark qualified with a score of 100%, leaving a direct fight for second place between Scotland (17) and Israel (13).
Scotland will reach the playoffs with a win in Moldova, or if Israel fails to win in Austria.
But if you move to the last round, Israel has hope, as Scotland face Denmark.
Austria is out of the competition for the top two, but has a very good chance of getting into the playoffs as the winner of the UEFA Nations League group.
November 13: Norway vs. Latvia, Turkey vs. Gibraltar, Montenegro vs. the Netherlands
November 16: Gibraltar vs. Latvia, Montenegro vs. Turkey, the Netherlands vs. Norway
A tight group still three countries have realistic hopes of qualifying.
The Netherlands (19 points) is in the lead and knows that a win with a win leads to the World Cup. They could also qualify with a win on November 13th if Norway fails to beat Latvia.
Norway (17 points) are still in great competition, and if they beat Latvia, it will be because of the meeting with the Netherlands in Rotterdam on the last day. If both Norway and the Netherlands win on November 13, Norway will need to win in the Netherlands to top the group, and they are far from safe in second place.
Turkey (15 points) have hope because Norway has to travel to play the Netherlands. If Turkey wins both games remaining, it will take second place if Norway drops any points.
Montenegro (11 points) still has a calculating chance of being second, but no more and it would require Turkey’s failure to beat Gibraltar.
November 11: Russia vs. Cyprus, Malta vs. Croatia, Slovakia vs. Slovenia
November 14: Croatia vs. Russia, Malta vs. Slovakia, Slovenia vs. Cyprus
A horse race between Russia (19 points) and Croatia (17 points).
Russia could qualify on November 11th if they win at home to Cyprus and Croatia fail to beat Malta, although both teams are likely to win.
That leaves the penalty shootout directly in Split on November 14 when Croatia hosts Russia. Croatia will need a win to beat their visitors and win the group.
The first group
November 12: Andorra vs Poland, England vs Albania, Hungary vs San Marino
November 15: Albania vs Andorra, Poland vs Hungary, San Marino vs England
England (20 points) cross the finish line somewhat but still have to qualify without any problems. A home win against Albania on November 12 would send them to the World Cup if Poland (17 points) fail to beat Andorra, although that seems unlikely. Even if England lose at home to Albania (and Poland beat Andorra), they will play a final against San Marino to boost their goal difference against the Poles (currently +4 against England).
Albania (15 points) have to win at Wembley realistically to keep their hopes alive, and whatever else, they are sure to be out of the competition before the last day.
Hungary (11 points) has a calculating chance, but they would need to lose Poland in Andorra and change their 13 goal difference deficit with the Poles.
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November 11: Armenia vs. North Macedonia, Germany vs. Liechtenstein, Romania vs. Iceland
November 14: Armenia vs. Germany, Liechtenstein vs. Romania, North Macedonia vs. Iceland
With Germany already secured their place, it’s a four-way battle for the qualifying spot.
Romania (13 points) has it, and will effectively secure second place with a home win over Iceland with only Liechtenstein playing on the last day.
North Macedonia and Armenia (12 points) will go head-to-head on November 11, with the winner going to qualify if Romania fails to beat Iceland. However, Armenia will have to play Germany in its last match, which will make it difficult for them to retain the second place.
Iceland (8 points) did not get out of it, but its chances are slim. They will need to win both games, hoping that Armenia vs Macedonia is tied and both Armenia and Romania fail to win their last matches.
HOW PLAYOFFS WORKS
The ten runners-up from the groups are joined by the two best UEFA Nations League group winners who did not finish in the top two of their qualifying group.
Based on the UEFA Nations League group winners who can still finish outside the top spot, the play-off standings are: France, Spain, Wales, Austria, Czech Republic.
With Austria, and either Wales or the Czech Republic, guaranteed to finish the race outside of the first and second places in their group, no other country is in contention for one of the additional two places.
Qualifiers, which will take place in March 2022. They will be ranked by qualifying points, with two teams from the UEFA Nations League not being ranked.
The seeded teams will be drawn at home against the unseeded teams in the semi-finals of a single match.
There will then be an open draw for the three final matches, which will be a one-off event, to determine the final places.