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Who Will Earn A World Cup Finals Spot This Week?


The 2022 World Cup Finals will take place from November to December 2022 in Qatar, the first time that a country in the middle east has hosted the world’s premiere football tournament.

Qualifying for the tournament has been taking place across the globe with qualifying competitions now well-advanced and indeed a number of teams have already made certain of their place in the finals of the tournament.

However, in Europe this week, we have the final two Group Stage games to be played across Matchdays 9 and 10, the results of which will decide which of the teams from Europe will make it directly to the finals, who will make it into the Playoffs next year and who will miss out altogether.

Now we are down to the nitty gritty, interest in these games will be huge and you can pick up all the latest betting at bet365 Sport.

In the United States, BetRivers Sportsbook is your perfect choice for a wide range of sports betting, including fantastic soccer betting from all over the world.

Let’s now take a look at the situation in each of the European Groups this week.

Qualification Criteria

The ten Group Winner will qualify directly for the 2022 World Cup Finals. The 10 runners up in the group stage will be joined with the two best group winners of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League overall ranking that have not finished first or second in their group.

Those 12 teams will be drawn into three paths. Each path will feature two semi-finals with the winners of these one-legged semi-finals going into the final. The winner of each path final will be the final three qualifiers from Europe for the World Cup Finals.

The number of games a team has played is shown in brackets. Goal difference is shown after the number of points won.

Group A

  1. Serbia (7) – 17 (+8)
  2. Portugal (6) – 16 (+12)
  3. Luxembourg (6) – 6 (-9)
  4. Rep of Ireland (6) – 5 (0)
  5. Azerbaijan (7) – 1 (-11)

Remaining Fixtures

Matchday 9

  • Azerbaijan v Luxembourg
  • Republic of Ireland v Portugal

Matchday 10

  • Luxembourg v Republic of Ireland
  • Portugal v Serbia

What’s The Situation?

Serbia and Portugal will be the two teams moving forward in the group, with the result of the Portugal v Serbia game on Matchday 10 deciding who qualifies as group winner and who goes into the playoffs.

A win and a draw for Portugal in their last two games will be enough to ensure they progress, while it is likely Serbia will have to beat Portugal in that final game to top the group.

We’d back Portugal to win the group and Serbia to finish second.

Group B

  1. Sweden (6) – 15 (+9)
  2. Spain (6) – 13 (+8)
  3. Greece (6) – 9 (+1)
  4. Georgia (7) – 4 (-8)
  5. Kosovo (7) – 4 (-10)

Remaining Fixtures

Matchday 9

  • Georgia v Sweden
  • Greece v Spain

Matchday 10

  • Spain v Sweden
  • Greece v Kosovo

What’s The Situation?

Sweden or Spain will win the group and it is likely the final game in the group between those two teams will decide the winner of the group. However, if Spain fail to beat Greece on Matchday 9 and Sweden win in Georgia, then the Swedes will top the group.

Greece could sneak past Spain to take second spot, but it would require the Spanish to lose both games and Greece to win both their remaining games.

It’s not been an easy group this and there could be a shock on the cards We’re backing Sweden to top the group, with Spain forced into the playoffs.

Group C

  1. Italy (6) – 14 (+11)
  2. Switzerland (6) – 14 (+9)
  3. Bulgaria (7) – 8 (-4)
  4. Northern Ireland (6) – 5 (-2)
  5. Lithuania (7) – 3 (-14)

Remaining Fixtures

Matchday 9

  • Italy v Switzerland
  • Northern Ireland v Lithuania

Matchday 10

  • Switzerland v Bulgaria
  • Northern Ireland v Italy

What’s The Situation?

Italy and Switzerland will take the top two spots in Group C, with the winner of their Matchday 9 clash likely to be the team that tops the group. If that ends in a draw, then it could well be a case of goal difference that separates the two teams at the top of the group.

However, with home advantage, I am backing Italy to top the group and the Swiss to move into the playoffs.

Group D

  1. France (6) – 12 (+5)
  2. Ukraine (7) – 9 (+1)
  3. Finland (6) – 8 (0)
  4. Bosnia & Herzegovina (6) – 7 (+1)
  5. Kazakhstan (7) – 3 (-7)

Remaining Fixtures

Matchday 9

  • Bosnia & Herzegovina v Finland
  • France v Kazakhstan

Matchday 10

  • Bosnia & Herzegovina v Ukraine
  • Finland v France

What’s The Situation?

France just need to win one of their last two games to win the group and I think they will achieve that on Matchday 9 at home to Kazakhstan.

The race for second spot is much more intriguing with the two Bosnia & Herzegovina home games against Finland and the Ukraine, plus the Finland v France game on Matchday 10 set to decide who finishes second in the group.

In what has been a tight group, with a lot of draws, a win for any of those three teams in any of their games could be huge and I think Ukraine are the most likely to get that given recent performances and results, which mean’s they would finish second behind France.

Group E

  1. Belgium (6) – 16 (+17)
  2. Czech Republic (7) – 11 (+3)
  3. Wales (6) – 11 (+1)
  4. Estonia (6) – 4 (-8)
  5. Belarus (7) – 3 (-13)

Remaining Fixtures

Matchday 9

  • Wales v Belarus
  • Belgium v Estonia

Matchday 10

  • Wales v Belgium
  • Czech Republic v Estonia

What’s The Situation?

Belgium just need a win in their game against Estonia to confirm them as group winners and it is hard to see Roberto Martinez’s team picking up anything less than that. It is a game they should comfortably win to ensure they qualify.

However, the race for second is intriguing. If Wales can beat Belarus they move three points clear of the Czech Republic and if they can land a win of better than two goals, their goal difference may also be better.

But on the final Matchday 10, the Welsh face a very tough home game against Belgium from which, they’d need no more than a point to finish second in the group, assuming they beat Belarus. However, the Czech’s face Estonia and if Belgium beat the Welsh, then the Czech’s could snatch second spot on goal difference with a win.

Belgium will win the group and I have the feeling this may well go down to goal difference and in that case, I think the Czech’s may just edge out Wales for the runner’s up spot.

Group F

  1. Denmark (8) – 24 – (+27)
  2. Scotland (8) – 17 (+6)
  3. Israel (8) – 13 (+3)
  4. Austria (8) – 10 (-3)
  5. Faroe Islands (8) – 4 (-13)
  6. Moldova (8) – 1 – (-20)

Remaining Fixtures

Matchday 9

  • Moldova v Scotland
  • Austria v Israel
  • Denmark v Faroe Islands

Matchday 10

  • Scotland v Denmark
  • Israel v Faroe Islands
  • Austria v Moldova

What’s The Situation?

Denmark have won the group with maximum points and are yet to concede a goal in the competition so far.

If Scotland can match or better Israel’s result against Austria on matchday 9, then the Scots will be confirmed as second in the group.

Israel need to win both their games and hope Scotland pick up no more than a point from their final two games in order to pip the Scots into second place, but I feel that is unlikely.

For me it is the Scots that will finish behind the Danes and head into the playoffs.

Group G

  1. Netherlands (8) – 19 – (+23)
  2. Norway (8) – 17 (+9)
  3. Turkey (8) – 15 (+4)
  4. Montenegro (8) – 11 (0)
  5. Latvia (8) – 5 (-5)
  6. Gibraltar (8) – 0 – (-31)

Remaining Fixtures

Matchday 9

  • Norway v Latvia
  • Turkey v Gibraltar
  • Montenegro v Netherlands

Matchday 10

  • Gibraltar v Latvia
  • Montenegro v Turkey
  • Netherlands v Norway

What’s The Situation?

Netherlands need to match or better Norway’s results in their final two games in order to win the group, and they play their final game against the Norwegians in Amsterdam which should be enough for them to clinch top spot.

Turkey could climb above Norway with two wins in their last two games, which is eminently achievable for them and that could mean Norway need at least four points from their last two games to finish second in the group and I’m not sure they will achieve that.

For me, the Dutch will top this group with the Turkish team just pipping Norway to second spot.

Group H

  1. Russia (8) – 19 – (+8)
  2. Croatia (8) – 17 (+10)
  3. Slovakia (8) – 10 (+1)
  4. Slovenia (8) – 10 (0)
  5. Malta (8) – 5 (-9)
  6. Cyprus (8) – 5 – (-10)

Remaining Fixtures

Matchday 9

  • Russia v Cyprus
  • Slovakia v Slovenia
  • Malta v Croatia

Matchday 10

  • Croatia v Russia
  • Slovenia v Cyprus
  • Malta v Slovakia

What’s The Situation?

With Russia and Croatia already confirmed as 1-2 in the group, it is just a question of what order and given both sides have relatively easy games on Matchday 9, you would expect both to win those games to set up a showdown in Zagreb.

Croatia will need to beat Russia to top the group, while a draw or win for Russia, assuming both teams results are the same on matchday 9, would see them through.

This will be a tough game and a real battle but I think Croatia will do just enough to clinch the win and with it top spot, sending Russia into the playoffs.

Group I

  1. England (8) – 20 – (+21)
  2. Poland (8) – 17 (+17)
  3. Albania (8) – 13 (+4)
  4. Hungary (8) – 10 (+1)
  5. Andorra (8) – 4 (-12)
  6. San Marino (8) – 1 – (-31)

Remaining Fixtures

Matchday 9

  • Hungary v San Marino
  • England v Albania
  • Andorra v Poland

Matchday 10

  • Albania v Andorra
  • San Marino v England
  • Poland v Hungary

What’s The Situation?

England need to win either of their last two games against Albania or San Marino to top the group and that should be a nailed on certainty for Gareth Southgate’s team.

If England beat Albania then not only would England win the group, but that would also mean Poland qualify too, regardless of how they do against Andorra or Hungary.

The Poles could theoretically beat England to top spot, but it would take two massive shock results to go against England for that to happen, but I can’t see that here. England will win the group and the Poles will head to the playoffs.

Group J

  1. Germany (8) – 21 – (+20)
  2. Romania (8) – 13 (+3)
  3. North Macedonia (8) – 12 (+5)
  4. Armenia (8) – 12 (-3)
  5. Iceland (8) – 8 (-4)
  6. Liechtenstein (8) – 1 – (-21)

Remaining Fixtures

Matchday 9

  • Armenia v North Macedonia
  • Romania v Iceland
  • Germany v Liechtenstein

Matchday 10

  • Liechtenstein v Romania
  • North Macedonia v Iceland
  • Armenia v Germany

What’s The Situation?

Germany have already qualified as group winners, so the only thing left to decide here is who finishes second behind them.

Romania, North Macedonia and Armenia are the teams with a chance and given Armenia face Germany in their last game, I think that means it is likely to be Romania or North Macedonia that land the second place spot.

The key game here is Romania v Iceland. If the home side land the win, I see them going through as they should beat Liechtenstein. It may be academic anyway as if North Macedonia lose to Armenia then Romania will claim second spot with a win over Iceland on Matchday 9.

Germany are top and I think Romania will finish second.

Our World Cup Qualifier & Playoff Predictions

If the tips turn out as predicted above then the European World Cup Qualifiers and Playoffs contenders would be:

  • Qualified – Portugal, Sweden, Italy, France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Croatia, England, Germany
  • Playoffs – Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Scotland, Turkey, Russia, Poland, Romania.
  • Nations League Qualifiers – Wales & Austria

Let’s see if reality matches our predictions come Wednesday evening next week!