Who needs what for World Cup spot?

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November 14, 2021
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    Steve Clarke, Rob Page, Gareth SouthgateGareth Southgate's England need one more point to qualify, while Wales and Scotland have a play-off place secured

    England are looking to confirm automatic qualification to the 2022 World Cup finals this week, while Wales and Scotland have both guaranteed a play-off spot, but there is still plenty to play for elsewhere.

    The final two rounds of European qualifiers began on Thursday, with Denmark, Germany, Belgium and France all booking their place in Qatar.

    The winners of each group go through automatically, with the 10 runners-up joining two Nations League teams in the play-offs, where three further places are up for grabs.

    Group I – England

    Group I

    San Marino v England (15 Nov, 19:45 GMT)

    England have a play-off spot in the bag but will have to wait until their final game in San Marino to seal their place at Qatar 2022. A draw there will suffice.

    They could have qualified on Friday, but Poland's win in Andorra meant the 5-0 victory over Albania at Wembley was not quite enough.

    Poland are also guaranteed a play-off spot after their 4-1 win on Friday. If England lose, Poland can take top spot with a win and a significant goal swing.

    Group F – Scotland

    Group F

    Scotland v Denmark (15 Nov, 19:45 GMT)

    Scotland secured a play-off place by beating Moldova 2-0 on Friday to move seven points clear of Israel and Austria.

    However, not even a win against leaders Denmark in their final game will see Steve Clarke's side take top spot, with the Danes having already sealed the sole automatic qualification spot from Group F.

    Group E – Wales

    Group E

    Wales v Belgium (16 Nov, 19:45 GMT)

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    World number one side Belgium sealed their progression to next year's tournament courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Estonia.

    Wales had already secured their play-off spot on Thursday without playing after winning their Nations League group and Spain finishing top of Group B.

    Robert Page's side moved up to second in their group following a convincing 5-1 win over Belarus and they round off their campaign by hosting Belgium on Tuesday.

    A draw against Belgium would be enough to secure second spot and give Wales a chance of a home draw in the play-offs.

    Group C – Northern Ireland

    Group C

    Northern Ireland v Italy (15 Nov, 19:45 GMT)

    Northern Ireland are out of contention for Qatar 2022.

    Italy and Switzerland are confirmed as the top two – and the Azzurri are only above the Swiss on goal difference going into the final round of games after the pair drew 1-1 in Rome on Friday.

    Northern Ireland can still have a say in the group, though, as they host Italy on Monday, while Switzerland face Bulgaria.

    Group A

    Group A

    Portugal and Serbia are guaranteed the top two spots. Portugal are top on goal difference after drawing 0-0 with the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday.

    The top two face each other in the final game in Lisbon on Sunday and that will decide who qualifies and who goes into the play-offs. Portugal need to avoid defeat to secure automatic qualification.

    The Republic of Ireland – currently below Luxembourg, who they play on Sunday – will finish third or fourth.

    Group B

    Group B

    Just as in Group A, the qualifier will be decided in a final match between the top two.

    Sweden started the latest round of matches top but lost 2-0 to Georgia, with Spain moving above them after a 1-0 win in Greece.

    Spain lead by one point and need only a draw against Sweden in Seville, while the Swedes need to win.

    Group D

    Group D

    France needed victory to qualify for the World Cup and got it in style with an 8-0 thrashing of Kazakhstan, Kylian Mbappe scoring a first-half hat-trick for Les Bleus before adding a fourth late on.

    Finland moved up into second placed and are on course for a play-off spot following a 3-1 win in Bosnia-Herzegovina, who are now out of contention.

    The Finns host France in their final group game, with third-placed Ukraine up against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    Group G

    Group G

    It is going to be a tense finish in this group, which is still wide open following late drama.

    Norway were held to a surprise goalless draw at home to Latvia meaning the Netherlands would have progressed if they defeated Montenegro.

    They went 2-0 up in Podgorica but were stunned by two goals in the last eight minutes from the home side to claim a point.

    It allowed Turkey to move up to second with a 6-0 thrashing of Gibraltar and they will guarantee a top-two finish if they beat Montenegro in their last group game on Tuesday.

    The Netherlands and Norway meet on the same day with the winning team sealing a top-two finish, though we wait to find out in which order.

    Group H

    Group H

    Russia and Croatia have the top two spots sealed and their game on Sunday will decide who takes the automatic place at the World Cup.

    Both sides recorded big wins on Thursday, with Russia thrashing Cyprus 6-0 at home, before Croatia crushed Malta 7-1 away.

    Croatia, the World Cup runners-up in 2018, are two points behind Russia but have home advantage with the game taking place in Split. Croatia need a win, while a draw would be enough for Russia.

    Group J

    Group J

    Germany have already qualified as group winners and won 9-0 against Liechtenstein on Thursday.

    North Macedonia are currently second and will move into the play-offs if they beat Iceland at home on Sunday.

    If North Macedonia fail to win, then Romania would move ahead of them if they win in Liechtenstein.

    Romania started second before Thursday's matches but dropped to third after they drew 0-0 at home to Iceland and North Macedonia won 5-0 away at Armenia.

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