FIFA World Cup: Qualification scenarios for each team

The FIFA World Cup continues to reach its peak in the group stages as all 32 nations have already played at two games and can now realistically see their chances of moving on to the knockout stages.

There are some teams that were expected to be in the top two of their groups while there are also a handful of national squads that have done surprisingly well and are on the brink of achieving something great for their nation.

With only one game left on their group stage schedules, below are the qualification scenarios that should play out if these nations want to march forward in the World Cup.

GROUP A

At the moment, the hosts are sitting comfortably atop the first group of the World Cup and have surpassed the tests they had to go through in the competition.

Not much was expected from Russia but they could finish as the winners of Group A if they manage to avoid a loss against Uruguay. Their impressive goal difference will keep them at the top of the group.

Uruguay are also unbeaten in the group but have not been as clinical as the hosts so far. They will meet in their last game for the group and only a win will make sure that they finish first.

Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia have failed to register a single point so far and are both effectively eliminated from the competition. Their last battle against each other will determine who will walk away with at least a point and something positive before heading home from Russia.

GROUP B

The biggest match-up in Group B of the World Cup happened early when Spain and Portugal battled for a very entertaining 3-3 draw.

Both teams are currently at the top half of the table, with Spain occupying the first spot, and the European Champions not far behind in second.

The Spanish squad can secure their spot in the next round with a result against Morocco, but a loss by more than a goal paired with Iran getting a result against Portugal will see the La Roja drop to third place and out of the competition.

As for Portugal, the only scenario which would see them crash out is if they lose to Iran and if Spain lose to Morocco by a bigger margin in their respective battles.

The Iranians need to beat Portugal in order to swap places with them on the table, while Morocco have no chance of moving on since they have yet to secure a point in the competition.

GROUP C

In Group C, France are currently atop the table as expected and are assured a place in the knockout stages. The only thing they are fighting for at the moment is whether they finish first or second in Group C.

This makes for an interesting finish as Denmark are second in the group and are only two points behind the French. In their pending battle, a Denmark win makes them group winners and France fall to second.

However, Denmark can still qualify if they draw with the French as they will certainly have more points than Australia can manage if they beat Peru. If Denmark lose and Australia get a victory over Peru, then the Socceroos move on in the competition.

For Australia, both scenarios need to take place in order to progress which means they have to win against Peru, stopping the Latin American team from securing any points in the competition.

GROUP D

In one of the intriguing groups to watch in the competition, Croatia have secured their spot atop the table and are hoping to keep their place as the top team in Group D unless Nigeria heavily defeat Argentina in their match.

Nigeria kept their World Cup hopes alive with a big win over Iceland and now have to beat the Argentines if they want to move on to the round of 16. If they draw against Argentina, they would need Croatia to prevent Iceland from winning big to erase the goal difference they enjoy at the moment.

Iceland are third with one point and need a big win over Croatia and hope that Argentina beat Nigeria but not at a bigger margin in order to take second place from the Europeans.

Argentina were handed a lifeline when Nigeria beat Iceland in their battle, and the 2014 runners-up should beat Nigeria and hope that Iceland do not get maximum points against Croatia in their respective battles.

GROUP E

Similar to Group D, the nations in Group E of the World Cup are in a tricky situation as many scenarios can play out and different teams would advance given different results.

Atop the table are Brazil with four points and they are set to face Serbia in the competition. The Brazilians are not assured a place and would need to beat the Serbians to book their spot in the last 16.

For Switzerland, they are level on points with Brazil and can move on if they can get a result against Costa Rica.

Serbia are definitely not where they expected to be in third place but can still move on if they beat Brazil. They can also secure a spot in the knockout stages if they draw in their match and Costa Rica get a big win over the Swiss.

As for Costa Rica, they are simply hoping to secure a point in the competition as they are eliminated.

GROUP F

This is an intriguing group in the World Cup as all teams still have a statistically possible chance of moving on in the competition. It all depends on how the final match day for each team plays out.

Despite being on the top of the table and winning their first two games, Mexico still have a small chance of dropping out of the competition. They can move on safely if they get at least a point against Sweden. If they lose heavily to the Swedes and Germany dominate South Korea then they can possibly miss out and drop to third due to goal difference.

With Germany and Sweden all tied in points, goal difference and goals for/against, then these two teams will definitely look for big victories in their matches to try and move on. Second at the moment, Germany need to beat South Korea by a better margin than what Sweden can achieve if they beat Mexico.

The same thing goes for Sweden as a win over the table leaders is needed and they should have a better result compared to Germany against South Korea.

Meanwhile, South Korea can complete an epic comeback if they manage to beat Germany and Mexico get maximum points against Sweden.

GROUP G

Among all the clusters in the World Cup, Group G has been the most straightforward as the teams predicted to move on are secured spots in the round of 16.

In fact, the top two squads have been equally dominant that they are almost a mirror image of each other so far in the competition.

England are at the top of the table after a 6-1 thrashing of Panama – a result they needed to have the exact goals for/against with Belgium.

As for the Belgians, they have picked up the pace so far and they are looking like World Cup favourites with two big wins in two games.

The two nations collide in their last group match and will determine who will finish first or second in the group.

Tunisia and Panama have both failed to register a single point in the competition and will be battling for the distinction of finishing third in their respective World Cup group stages.

GROUP H

The final cluster of the World Cup presents three teams still hoping for a chance to move on towards the knockout stages.

At the moment, Asian nation Japan are at the top of the table with four points and fought for a 2-2 draw against Senegal to lead the group. Any result against Poland should help them get through but if they lose to the Polish, they must hope that Senegal do not lose to Colombia by a smaller margin.

The Senegalese squad should safely move towards the next stage if they get at least a point against Colombia.

With the most work to do in the group, Colombia must beat Senegal in order to move on and the end result will greatly affect which of the current top two teams will join them in the next round.

Finally, Poland make a shock exit after going without a result in their first two games of the competition.

CONCLUSION

These are the possible scenarios that can play out in the final round of the group stages and it should easily make up for an exciting round of international football.

With so much pride to fight for in the World Cup, sound off in the comments which teams you think would be making it to the next round?

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