The selection of the 2018 world Cup: At the finish line

London. Harry KANE on the training of the national team of England. Photo: Reuters

“SE” is what intrigues carries the denouement of the world Cup qualifiers.

Exciting fight in the group the national team of Ukraine (when was the last time four teams to the last kept real chances?) leads by the wayside vicissitudes of the other sixes. Meanwhile, scheming enough, and there are almost no teams that are currently provided to the output, and the lack of interesting fights.

And beginning – recall: the first additional measure in case of equality of points in the qualifiers will count the difference of scored and conceded goals. Then there is the number of goals scored, and only then – the results of face-to-face meetings.


Group A gives us competition one of the imposingly Grand, two militancy of middle peasants and crisis generations of Holland. Medalist the previous two Championships, the world desperately needs new stars: Robben and Sneijder both were important players in the Euro-2004, and remain with them still.

The team loses the case in Bulgaria, loses points against Sweden and now even for the second place can catch, only if you win the Swedes. Moreover, the exit to Belarus is also impossible to pre-record as “three points in the Treasury”.

The “Tre kronor” after parting with Ibrahimovic, things got only better. The team became more interesting and diverse, functions the scorer was shared between other people: eighteen goals in the selection scored ten different people. A classic British team that the whole selection was more confident of the Dutch – and which will go into the “joints” in all cases, except the defeat in Holland. And to predict possible unless based on blind love for “orange”.

There is a sense that France is more tactics and personnel needs in the banal discipline and firm hand. Otherwise it is impossible to explain how a team with Grismannen, Mbappe, Pogba alternates brilliant matches (2:0 with Germany in the European championship, 4:0 against the Dutch in the selection) with zero draws against Belarus and Luxembourg.

In the end wards of Laurent Blanc is now the objective to win the Bulgarians and Belarusians on the finish selection. Here can help the fact that Bulgaria has to play to win: a draw it should not interest on the basis of objectives.


While other teams win less than half of the matches and still claim to spots in the final tournament in group B, Switzerland and Portugal made one mistake on two (!), score an average of over two goals per game – and one of those teams would go to “joints”. Misfire made a European champion, in the first round of the losers “passives” 0:2 and since then unsuccessfully trying to catch up with them.

However, the opponents of these teams were such that it was difficult not to score maximum. Andorra, Faroe Islands, Latvia – the mind boggles as to these commands was not in the draw one (last) bin, and all were at the mercy of Ronaldo and other superstars. Of course, after the intriguing Euro-2016 looked Hungary, but after the departure of veterans – Roland Juhasz and Gabor Kyra – she returned to the previous level and even with the Faroe Islands played 0:0.

The whole affair revolves around the second leg, Portugal and Switzerland. Champions how could rehabilitated after the defeat in Basel: in the seven matches they have scored already 28 goals and conceded only two. Needless to say that Ronaldo is in first place in the scoring race selection?

“Neutrals” are moving on the distance more modest (though no one will say that 16 goals in seven games is bad), but without misfires. If the Swiss won’t lose in Lisbon, Portugal will have to play another playoff. You can pre-home draw with Hungary to paint for the disposition is not affected.


Germany, as usual, the selection is not playing, and played. Many experiments of chances for young people, upgrading the team and still some victory. Of course, with such competition it would be hard not to achieve it: the Czechs until degraded, while coming in fourth place in the group, behind even Azerbaijan. The British gained them four points and is already guaranteed a place in the first two.

On paper today looks intriguing match – Northern Ireland adopts Germany and could reduce the gap to two points. But what’s the point if in the last round the Germans play at home against Azerbaijan? Germany will be the first, the Northern Ireland will play in the playoffs.


A decade “obeskislorozhennaja” Serbia was an example of how bad it is to fulfil its potential. The world class players like Vidic and Stankovic have failed the selection for the selection and nothing showed in the national team. The team was famous not a success, and the conflict seems to ignore Leica due to the fact that he doesn’t sing the anthem for the post of coach invited or those who want to earn easy money (Javier Clemente, dick Advocaat), or a legends team without much talent (Sinisa Mihajlovic, Miroslav Djukic).

Once all the Serbs have been held at the 2010 world Cup – but only in order to miss out in the playoffs Ghana. And when even hope for the eagles was over, they suddenly came up with a good selection and are one step away from a trip to Russia. Helped invitation Slavoljub Muslin is an experienced specialist, who trained Metalurh Donetsk, a number of Russian clubs and, among other things, Bordeaux c young Zinedine Zidane. To qualify for the world Cup the eagles ‘ need to beat or Austria on the road and Georgia at home.

The opponents of the Serbs – just three members of the Euro-2016 – nothing good on the course is not shown. Wales is critically dependent on Gareth Bale, which, of course, scored four goals in the selection, but all the other forwards helped him only two. Similar problems for the Irish, who are generally given birth just nine goals in eight qualifiers, and the Austrians won in the matches with competitors any victory.

Victory in Georgia and a draw with the Irish guarantees Balu and the company second location which can be nothing to give. The team that showed the weakest result of all the second teams participate in the playoffs and 14 points Wales, coupled with a difference of “7” at least not yet make it into this fight the underdog.

But there is still a difficult match in Georgia and Derby with Ireland, where not that the goal difference will not be stuffed – God forbid to win. In this regard, a lot of “but” in the fight for second place: the Irish can win in Wales, heroically ahead of him at the finish line, but nowhere to go.


Group E intrigued by the lack of top teams and by the presence of five teams average level, among which, however, immediately identified the weakest. Romania summed up the lack of a superstar around which to build a game the rest of the opponents were representing top clubs Mkhitaryan, Eriksen, Lewandowski and Jovetic. Armenia has made another qualifying leapfrog with trainers and no set of games: in three years with the team worked with five different specialists.

Poland seemed to have secured a win in the group one genius Robert Lewandowski (striker, Bayern is in the scoring race behind Ronaldo), but 0:4 in Denmark, restrain the ardor of our neighbors. In the next round “red-white” need to win in Armenia – the Danes and Romanians have achieved major victories, but the Montenegrins lost – and look at the results of the two pursuers.

Montenegro Denmark with the same goal difference, meet in the ninth round and win the balkanian 1:0 in the first leg. Calendar the Montenegrins with heavy (with two competitors), but on the other hand, and one home victory over the Danes may be enough to get into the “joints”.


Group F spoils the viewer the presence of a match, which three different results will please three different teams. A draw in the match Scotland – Slovakia will be openly in favor of the Slovenes, reaching with both competitors level. And it is very probable, as at a distance all three teams won often: suffice it to say that Lithuanian team failed to take points away only the Slovaks.

In many ways, so is strong leadership got the British, during the selection changed coach and spent a number of inconclusive matches (0:0 with Slovenia 2:2 with Scotland, 1:0 against Slovakia – all this was from the “thin”).

Even if England lose today at Wembley Slovenia, it will be enough to beat Lithuania to win the group. As for the second position, it is appropriate to put on the Slovaks: they are of three competitors some play at the finish with the underdog in the face of Malta.


Two world giants, the participants of the Kiev Euro finals, by mistake got into the group “G” – and, of course, points lost only to each other. In Turin Italy and Spain once played in a draw, but Madrid 3-0 does not fully reflect the advantage of “Furia Roja”.

Formally victory over Albania does not guarantee the team Hulen Lopetegi place at the world Cup, and it will require not to lose in Israel. But in fact all the six decided in meetings between the clubs. Spain will win the group, the Italians will play the playoffs.


The Belgian team has qualified for the world Cup first in Europe. This success would have been impossible not only without goals Lukaku (he is the third scorer of the selection), assists Meunier and Mertens, Courtois saves, but no obvious decline in the game of rivals.

It is difficult to name the reasons in addition to pronounced bets on “his” in favor of being on his post of the coach Mehmed the Baždarević. The last time the coach of Bosnia has been successful for more than ten years ago when he coached the African clubs. The team with Dzeko, Panicum and other brightest players in the first place, managed not to go for Euro-2016, and secondly, made a lot of misfires in the selection.

Bosnians rolled up two draws against the Greeks, lost in Cyprus (!) and was defeated 4:0 in Belgium. As a result, now they have to hope for the mercy of the “red devils”: without any tournament motivation, the ones on Saturday will play in Sarajevo. The Greeks, who won all three qualifiers from the eight, have a very comfortable calendar at the finish and, most likely, misfires will not allow.

We need to win and in parallel to watch for Wales: members of the group “H” too much risk not to send anyone to the playoffs…

Vitaly PASICHNY, Sport-Express in Ukraine

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