The selection of the 2018 world Cup: two rounds before the finish

Tuesday. Stadium “Laugardalsvellur”. Iceland – Ukraine – 2:0. In group I, all struggle still ahead. Photo of Paul KUBANOVA, “SE”

The main intrigue of the hands, and the European qualifiers for 2018 FIFA world Cup before the final matches in groups.

Group A


The French, despite the fact that continue to be the main contenders for direct entry to the 2018 world Cup from group A, several complicate their lives after a sensational draw with Luxembourg.

Two victories in the away match with Bulgaria and home-Belarus will send a team of Didier Deschamps in the final tournament. In the case of misfire in one of these games the tricolor will have to root for the Dutch in the last round of meeting with the Swedes – if the Scandinavians will lose points, it will also allow France to take first place.

For the second, giving the right to the butt of the game, fighting the same Sweden and Holland. The chance first significantly higher, despite the fact that the candidates will meet in Amsterdam. The difference of scored and missed goals from the Swedes (+11) is much better than the Dutch (+5). Moreover, in the penultimate round of the Scandinavian house will take Luxembourg, which seems to have exceeded the plan on the deeds in this cycle.

The Dutch team, which is coached by dick Advocaat, will travel to Belarus in the qualifying tournament at home lost only once – to the French. If a significant advantage of the Swedes in the difference between scored and missed goals will continue, “orange” will need not just to win the Scandinavians, but to do it with maximum difference.

The chances of Bulgaria for getting into the joints is exclusively mathematical. Hope for a simultaneous misfire of the Dutch and Swedes against Belarus and Luxembourg, respectively, is not necessary.

Group B


Initially looked favourites Switzerland and Portugal with the first rounds took the first two lines and the points never given anybody with the exception of face-to-face match when the European Champions lost. With Andorra, they are unlikely to fall and therefore decides everything, a new direct confrontation. The difference between scored and missed goals from the Portuguese is better and will remain so before the last round. Therefore, before Cristiano and company in the home game with Switzerland, the goal will stand absolutely clear – only a win will bring on the world Cup from the first place. The Swiss, in this case will go to the joints.

Hypothetically possible before the last round and unexpected situation. If the Swiss managed to lose at home to Hungary, then Portugal in the last round, a draw will be fine – of course, assuming victory in Andorra.

Group C


In group C everything is clear. Even if the Northern Ireland will do the feat and beat houses Germany, it is difficult to count on the fact that the team Joachim Loew after that lose at home to Azerbaijan. But just such a fantastic coincidence could withdraw the national team of Northern Ireland in the first place. At the same time the second place is in no danger, therefore, in the joints it gets.

Group D


The Serbs practically provided to itself an exit in a final part of the 2018 world Cup from the first place. It seems that three points in the home match with Georgia they will take, and that would be enough.

In second place is the struggle between Wales and Ireland. The advantage in this dispute on the side of the Welsh. They are not only ahead of the neighbors at one point, but will meet them in the final match on the home field, where the team is Bale a draw will be fine provided that she wins the Georgia in the 9th round. Do not forget both the British teams and the fact that the worst second team from all groups in the joints does not fall. 13 and 14 points after eight rounds – a result that makes the team a contender for this role.

Group E


In the first place and getting into the play-offs, expect three teams – Poland, Montenegro and Denmark.

The poles in the case of a guest victory over Armenia in the 9th round will secure at least second place, because in the game Montenegro – Denmark someone of his pursuers will lose points. In the event of a draw in Podgorica Poland will get to the 2018 world Cup directly. If this does not happen, the team will need Lewandowski to win the group in the last round against Montenegro. The poles in case of victory over Armenia will settle for a draw.

In Montenegro, on the one hand – the hardest two games, on the other in her hands. Win home of the Danes and the poles – will take the first place with almost absolute guarantee (hypothetically can beat the poles, if they are defeated Armenia with a difference of at least seven goals). But if the Montenegrins will suffer at least one defeat in these two games, even second place is going to cause issues. In this case, most likely, have to count the difference of scored and missed goals they had with the Danes until full equality.

As for the Scandinavians, they, of course, you must score points in Montenegro. In case of defeat Denmark lag behind the second place to three points and a draw in the match Poland – Montenegro (which is likely to be beneficial to both teams) will leave the red-and-white without a chance to qualify for the finals even if they win Romania. If Denmark does with the Montenegrins draw, will be the favorite in the fight for the second place: its match against the Romanians at home is simpler guest meeting Montenegro with Poland. In case of a victory over a team of Jovetic Danes have a chance even for first place – they will have to hope that the poles will not gain more than three points with the teams of Montenegro and Armenia, and the Danes would win and even Romania.

Group F


With the first place in this group is almost all clear. In the matches with Slovenia and Lithuania, the British will surely gain the two points needed to win the group. But for the second place struggle lead three teams – Slovakia, Slovenia and Scotland.

The minimum chances of hit in butt matches of Slovenia. Slovaks in last round play at home against Malta, so at least 18 points they are likely to gain. In order to have a real chance to climb to second place in the table, Slovenia need to beat the British. Otherwise, the Slovaks will become inaccessible in case of equality of points the difference of scored and conceded goals, which is still better than the competitor, after his match against Malta will not be in favour of Slovenia. Defeat of the British at a party – a difficult task, so the chances of balkanites can be classified as mathematical.

Slovakia – the undisputed favorites in the battle for second place. In the last round they play at home against Malta, three points is likely to take. The key to the Slovaks becomes a duel in Scotland, where a team of Hamšík, by and large, a draw will be fine – after all, Slovenia is unlikely to outperform England. The victory in Scotland early prints of the Slovaks to the play-offs.

The Scots, to try to break into the world championship through the joints, it is necessary to win in two meetings with Slovakia at home and Slovenia away. Only this will allow you to score 20 points, which guarantee second place. If one matches will the Brits admit defeat, then pick up a maximum 18 points, and considering the best the difference between scored and missed goals will be lower than Slovakia, which will prevail over Malta.

Group G


Most football fans after the draw for the group G was only one question. Who of the pair Italy – Spain will go to the finals directly, and who will have the play-offs. This question was answered by the recent match in Madrid, where the owners trashed the Italians – 3:0. Despite the fact that the Spaniards have not secured first place, no doubt about it. To believe that “Red fury” will fall in two meetings with Albania and Israel impossible. In case of equality of points with Italy, they will be higher due to better difference between scored and missed goals.

Group H


The Belgians ensured the first place. The question now is as to the composition and motivation of the red devils in the remaining matches. It is important to determine who will take second place, because the Belgians will meet with the competitors for a place in the play-offs Bosnia and Cyprus.

However, even if the red devils put up the second part, in the victory of Cyprus over them on the road is hard to believe. Given the difference of scored and missed goals, but the win leaves the islanders chances to continue the struggle. Therefore the chances of Cyprus getting into the joints exclusively mathematical.

The battle for second place will be between the teams of Bosnia and Greece. The Greeks have two meetings in which they can take six points against the Cypriots, and especially the national team of Gibraltar. Consequently, the Bosnians also should not lose points. And if this task in the match with Estonia looks quite feasible in the home match with Belgium the favourites look guests.

Group I


This group was originally considered to be the most interesting, and, it seems, the intrigue will be alive until the last minutes of the matches of the qualifying stage. Just four teams have good chances as first and second.

Leaders of Croatia and Iceland have a relatively straightforward matches at home (with Finland and Kosovo, respectively), and tough on the road (Ukraine and Turkey). In case of equality of points the positions of the teams will determine the difference between scored and missed goals, and here, the Croats have an advantage, even, possibly, a large score in the match Iceland – Kosovo. But two wins at this stage does not guarantee direct access to the world Cup nor the Croats, nor the Icelanders.

The Turkish national team, in case if I win two victories, takes at least second place. It in any case ahead of the Icelanders, and the loser in the match Ukraine – Croatia (in case of a draw below our will). In this case, the Turks have a chance in the first place, but they are rather mathematical.

Wards of Andrey Shevchenko the situation is similar. In case of two victories they will be at least second, ahead of the Croatians and the loser of the match Turkey – Iceland (in the event of a tie the outside joints are Turks). There are chances to take first place, but again, only in the case of two victories and failures of competitors.

Alex MOROZ, Sport-Express

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