The final two rounds of European qualifiers start on Thursday, with Denmark and Germany the only teams who have already booked their place in Qatar.

The winners of each group go through automatically, with the 10 runners-up joining two Nations League teams in the play-offs, where three further places are up for grabs.


Portugal and Serbia are guaranteed the top two spots. Serbia are top by a point but Portugal have a game in hand.

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Their meeting in the final game on Sunday will decide who qualifies and who goes into the play-offs.

The Republic of Ireland – currently below Luxembourg, where they play on Sunday – will finish third or fourth.


Sweden and Spain both have their fate in their own hands, knowing two wins will take them to the World Cup – with Sunday’s finale likely to be winner-takes-all.

Spain will qualify if they beat Greece and Sweden.

But Sweden currently top the group and just need four points from their games with Georgia and Spain.

They could even qualify on Thursday if they beat Georgia and Spain do not beat Greece


Northern Ireland are out of contention for Qatar 2022.

Italy and Switzerland are confirmed as the top two – and the Azzurri are only above the Swiss on goal difference going into their game on Friday.

Nothing can be decided until the final round of games.


France just need to beat Kazakhstan to seal their place in Qatar. A point would be enough if Bosnia-Herzegovina draw with Finland.

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If Les Bleus lose, their final game with Finland could be crucial. Ukraine are currently second but only have one game left.

In practice, Ukraine, Finland and Bosnia are probably competing for the play-off place


Wales will be guaranteed a play-off place if they take four points from their final two home games with Belarus and Belgium.

They could theoretically qualify automatically – they are five points behind Belgium with two games to go – but they would need the world’s number one ranked side to lose to Estonia as well as to Rob Page’s men in Cardiff.

If Wales beat Belarus and lose to Belgium – and the Czech Republic beat Estonia in their only remaining game – the play-off spot would go down to goal difference. The Czechs are currently two ahead on that metric.

Even if Wales do finish outside the top two, they are likely to qualify for the play-offs anyway after winning their Nations League group.

If either France or Spain finish in the top two in their qualifying groups then Wales will be in the play-offs no matter what.


Scotland just need to beat Moldova on Friday to secure a play-off place. They cannot catch leaders Denmark, who have wrapped up the sole automatic qualification spot.

The Scots can even go through without winning – so long as they match Israel’s result in Austria.

If results go against them, however, they may need to beat Denmark in the final game to be sure.


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The Netherlands and Norway both have their World Cup qualifying fate in their own hands, meeting in Tuesday’s group finale.

The Netherlands – who top the group – could qualify on Saturday if they win in Montenegro and Norway do not beat Latvia.

But if Norway beat Latvia and then the Netherlands, they will be going to Qatar. Turkey are still in contention too.


Russia and Croatia have the top two spots sealed and their game on Sunday could decide who takes the automatic spot.

Russia could qualify on Thursday if they beat Cyprus and Croatia drop points against Malta


England are likely to have to wait until their final game to seal their place at Qatar 2022.

They could qualify on Friday if they beat Albania, but they would also need second-placed Poland to fail to beat minnows Andorra. (If Poland lose, an England draw will be enough.)

More realistically, Gareth Southgate’s side need four points from the Albania game and then San Marino away three days later.

Poland are two points above Albania in the battle for the play-off spot.


Germany have already qualified as group winners.

Romania have the edge in the play-off race, sitting a point above North Macedonia and Armenia, with games against the bottom two left.

However nothing can be settled in the first round of games.

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