Who has qualified
8 lucky teams have already qualified for next year’s world cup. They can sit back and watch the other countries desperately trying to qualify for the last spots. Russia are hosts, so they already qualified without kicking a ball. Brazil cruised to take the top in their group way back in March. They will be favourites and will be looking for their first world cup victory in 15 years. 4 Asian teams have qualified as their qualification finishes earlier that the other continents. Iran will be making their 6th appearance in the competition. They were winners of their group, as well as Japan in group B, who are the strongest country in Asia. South Korea and Saudi Arabia were the runners up to Iran and Japan, so they have also booked a place each for themselves. Mexico are guaranteed to finish in the top 3 of the Concacaf group, and that books them a place each. This will be their 17th appearance, which is good going for a team. Their best was reaching the quarter finals in 1970 and 1986. Last but not least is Belgium, the only European team to have qualified. It looks like they have the strongest squad to date and this could be a great tournament for them. Their best was a 4th place finish in 1986, they will feel that they can do better than that.
Nearly over the finish line
For a lot of teams in Europe they are nearly over the finish line. Switzerland and Portugal are the last to be disqualified and now both will be fighting for top spot, the automatic qualification. Both go up against easy opposition on Saturday before they lash on Tuesday night, a match that will determine who will qualify, and who will be thrown into the playoff spots. Don’t miss out!
Northern Ireland and Germany have both taken the top two spots in group C and will face each other on Thursday for the top spot. The Irish will be at home but Germany are huge favourites to take this one, they’re rated at 1.30 with Betway. Poland are on top of group E but Montenegro and Denmark still have a chance to qualify, both on 16 points with Poland only 3 points ahead. Montenegro and Denmark go head to head for the most crucial match in the group, and the odds are interesting for this one. Bet on Montenegro to win at 3.60 with Bet365 or Denmark for 2.25 with 888sport. Ireland and Wales will also go head to head for a must win for both sides. Wales lie in second in group D with Ireland 1 point behind. They both have easy games to win on Friday before they face each other in Cardiff on Monday. Wales are big favourites when they are at home but with no Bale in the squad Ireland have a chance. 4.00 for the Irish or 1.90 for the Welsh with William Hill.
Dog fights for group F and I
Groups F and I are the most interesting groups left in the competition. Both groups have 4 countries still have a chance in qualifying. In Group F England are huge favourites to finish top with 5 points in the lead, but behind the countries are fighting for the last spot. Slovakia are second with 15 points, and just behind are Slovenia and Scotland with 1 point less. If any of the three teams win their next 2 matches they will be sure to qualify. Scotland will be facing both Slovakia and Slovenia, 2 wins from 2 and they’re through. Easier said than done! Slovakia will be the favourites who have an easy game with Malta, the only task they will have is to beat Scotland away. You can bet on them to win the match at 3.25 with Bet365.
Argentina and USA in trouble
It wasn’t the best qualifiers they had to date, slipping away a lot of points and finding them in a bad position with 2 games to go. Both teams find themselves in the playoff positions. If they stay in the same position after the two games USA will be drawn against Australia in a two-game playoff and Argentina will face New Zealand. Both teams would obviously rather an automatic qualification and there is still hope for both teams. Argentina face the country that stands in their way, Peru on Friday. You can bet on Argentina to leap frog them at 1.25 with WilliamHill. For the USA they face Panama on Saturday, who are one point ahead of them. The Americans will be favourites as they are at home and the best ratings are 1.60 with WilliamHill.