The final two matches of the World Cup qualification process are upon us, with some huge matches across the globe, including the mess England are in, playing at home against Montenegro, with Poland and the Ukraine also keeping their eyes on the ball, although the biggest matches are in South America between Colombia and Chile and Ecuador and Uruguay, or in North America, with Mexico hosting Panama in a must win situation.
There’s also the Belgium – Croatia super clash to see if Belgium can be denied a first place in Group A, while Italy go to play in Denmark after already qualifying, but their seriousness in a meaningless match might determine who joins them from group B, with the Czech Republic and Bulgaria hoping to see Denmark fall at home.
Group A: The only question left in this group is whether Belgium or Croatia qualify from first place, although the 5-point lead the Belgians have should do it. The two teams play each other in Zagreb, and a draw looks like the most likely outcome for this match, while Wales play Macedonia in an attempt to avoid last place, although they won’t win in this one as well.
Group B: Italy have already qualified, so they are under no pressure as they visit Denmark, currently third, and are in a must win situation. They won’t get more than a draw. Second-place Bulgaria are visiting Armenia, and will lose in Yerevan, while the Czech Republic should easily beat Malta.
Group C: Sweden have a great chance to secure second place by beating Austria, which they probably will at home, while Ireland, playing in Germany, will lose their last glimmer of hope to qualify. There’s also the Faroe Island hosting Kazakhstan in a meaningless match.
Group D: Another group that’s only about what’s below first place, as the Netherlands, already clinching first place, host Hungary, who will lose their second place with a defeat in Amsterdam. Romania have an easy match at Andorra, while Estonia will get a draw out of Turkey in Tallinn.
Group E: Switzerland are almost through, and should make it official after their match in Albania with a win. The surprising Iceland should pick up three points and remain in second place against Cyprus, while Norway travel to Slovenia, where it will end in a draw.
Group F: Israel still have a chance to finish second, but they’ll lose in Portugal, making it just between the latter and Russia, who have an easy visit to Luxembourg. Azerbaijan host Northern Ireland in the meaningless match of the evening.
Group G: It’s all about Bosnia and Greece and who finishes first, as the both have 19 points. Bosnia host Liechtenstein and will win, Greece host Slovakia and will win. There’s also Lithuania vs Latvia which means absolutely nothing.
Group H: A sticky situation for England, leading the group with 16 points, followed by Montenegro and Ukraine with 15, and Poland with 13. Ukraine host Poland, a match that will end in a draw, while England will clinch qualification by beating Montenegro.
Group I: Spain will have no problem beating Belarus and by that pretty much ensuring they finish first, as it’ll be impossible for them to lose on the final day, once more playing at home.
South America: Some huge matches, as only Argentina have the ticket to Brazil with two matches left. They are hosting Peru in a meaningless match, due to the visitors losing all chance of qualifying. Colombia, second in the group with 26 points, play at home against Chile with 24, third in the group. Considering their road record, Colombia will win and make it into the World Cup. Ecuador and Uruguay, both with 22 points, play each other in an attempt to finish fourth or third, and this should end in a draw. Venezuela will beat Paraguay, which won’t be enough to qualify.
Central & North America: Very simple, as the USA and Costa Rica have qualified, with one automatic spot left to grab, currently occupied by Honduras with 11 points, while Panama with 8 points sit in the playoff spot, ahead of Mexico through goal difference. Mexico are hosting Panama in a must win for both, but especially for Mexico, who will finally win. Honduras will host Costa Rica which will end in a draw, while the USA should beat Jamaica at home.