Four teams in Europe can clinch World Cup berths today: Belgium, Germany, Russia and Switzerland. Europe divides it’s teams into groups of six teams. The team that finishes atop the table gets a bert to the World Cup. That’s it. If you finish in second you head to a playoff in November to try and win a World Cup Berth.
Four European countries can clinch World Cup berths today. Here’s how: pic.twitter.com/BNtIm1nLLa
— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) October 11, 2013
Belgium sits atop Table A with 22 points. The team that can threaten them for that top spot is Croatia, in second with 17 points, and they play today. A win or a draw would lock up that World Cup berth. Even if they lost they’d still be 2 points ahead of Croatia and could still win the group, there would be one game left.
Germany needs a win against Ireland or a Sweden loss/draw to clinch. Germany and Sweden are in the same boat as Croatia and Belgium, they just don’t play each other. A Germany win would put them out of reach from Sweden, a loss for or draw for Sweden means they couldn’t steal the top spot away from Germany. Their 5 point lead means Sweden would need to win both their remaining games while Germany lost their final two games, or lose one and tie in another.
The interesting side not is that these Germany and Sweden play on the 15th in the final game.
Russia needs a little bit more to go their way to clinch today. They need a win a Luxembourg and a Portugal loss to Israel. That seems unlikely and this group will go down to the last game.
Switzerland has a few scenarios in which they would clinch. If they beat Albania, they’re in. If Iceland and Slovenia lose or tie, or if they tie and Iceland’s game ends in a loss or draw.