Homes nations’ World Cup qualifying permutations explained

Date published: Thursday 5th October 2017 10:29

England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales are all in World Cup qualifying action over the next two nights with all those countries still harbouring hopes of reaching the finals in Russia next summer.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at how things stand for each team.

 

ENGLAND

England will qualify as Group F winners if they beat Slovenia at Wembley on Thursday night. A draw will also be enough to ensure top spot unless Slovakia beat Scotland.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Michael O’Neill’s team are already guaranteed a top-two finish and can move within two points of Group C leaders Germany with one game to go if they beat the world champions in Belfast on Thursday night.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

The Republic can in theory still win their group but would need to win both of their remaining two matches to have any chance of achieving that, with Group D leaders Serbia five points above them. Finishing second is a more realistic goal, but they trail the current second-placed side Wales by a point. Defeat for the Irish at home to Moldova and a win for Wales in Georgia would eliminate Martin O’Neill’s side. Failing that, there is set to be at least a second-placed finish up for grabs when Wales and the Republic meet in Cardiff on Monday night.

SCOTLAND

Victories at home to Slovakia and away to Slovenia would guarantee Gordon Strachan’s side second place in Group F. Defeat to Slovakia at Hampden on Thursday night would eliminate them from contention for a top-two finish.

WALES

Chris Coleman’s men could secure second place on Friday if they beat Georgia and the Republic of Ireland suffer an unlikely home defeat to Moldova. Top spot is not beyond them, but will be if Serbia win either of their two remaining matches.

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