Euro 2020 kicks off in June next year and places at the 24-team tournament are beginning to be claimed. Here is a look at the latest qualifying permutations and scenarios.
– Euro 2020 qualifying: All you need to know
– Stream Euro 2020 qualifiers (live and replay) on ESPN+
– Qualifying tables | Upcoming fixtures
The top two teams (20 in total) in each group qualify automatically. Four more nations will qualify via playoffs, qualification for which is based on UEFA Nations League performance.
QUALIFIED FOR FINALS
JUMP TO: Who will take part in the playoffs?
After a 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic, the FC crew dive into England’s weaknesses heading into Euro 2020.
England suffered a surprise defeat in the Czech Republic on Friday, which means they must wait to seal their place. Victory in Bulgaria on Monday could still see them over the line if Kosovo do not beat Montenegro at home.
Czech Republic are now in a very strong position, and can qualify with a win at home to Kosovo on Nov. 14. Kosovo, meanwhile, know they can pip the Czechs if they win their three remaining games — which includes a home game against England in their final qualifier.
Ukraine‘s only dropped points so far came in a creditable 0-0 draw away to Portugal. They can now seal qualification with a point when they host the Portuguese on Monday.
Portugal are in a superb position to take the second qualification place, requiring a maximum of five points with games at home to Lithuania and away to Luxembourg to complete their campaign in November.
Serbia still have very slim hope, but are going to need a lot of help. Serbia play at home to Ukraine on the final day, but they lost the first meeting of the teams 5-0. Serbia must win their next three games — Luxembourg home and away and a trip to Lithuania — and would then also need to beat Ukraine (who also need to lose at home to Portugal on Monday) by a greater scoreline than 5-0 as the two nations would be level on points. Their other slim hope is that Portugal take no more than four points from their remaining three games, which appears unlikely. Serbia are guaranteed a playoff if they finish outside the top two.
Netherlands were staring the playoffs in the face, trailing at home to Northern Ireland with nine minutes to play on Thursday. But they turned it around with three late goals, and will qualify for the finals if they avoid defeat in the return match in Belfast on Nov. 16.
Germany are level with the the Dutch on 15 points, but second on head to head. They will qualify if they win at home to Belarus next time, and Northern Ireland lose or draw. A point would also see them to the finals if the Irish are beaten.
Northern Ireland are three points behind but all 12 have come against the group’s lesser lights. To have a chance of qualifying automatically, Northern Ireland will now likely have to win at home to Netherlands and in Germany, and hope one of their rivals drop surprise points.
There is an unlikely scenario where all three nations finish on 18 points, which means it would come down to head-to-head goal difference as each team would have beaten each other once and lost once.
Republic of Ireland only drew 0-0 in Georgia, but top the group on head-to-head record over Denmark. They go to Switzerland on Tuesday knowing a win would send them to the finals; a draw would leave qualification in their own hands, requiring a victory when Denmark visit Dublin on Nov. 18.
If Ireland lose to the Swiss and beat Denmark, they definitely qualify unless Switzerland draw at home to Georgia. That scenario would leave all three teams on 15 points, with the head-to-head mini-league on five points each. The 1, 2, 3 would be decided on mini-league goal difference, with the scorelines in Switzerland-Ireland and Ireland-Denmark key to this. The only win between the three teams so far was Denmark 1-0 Switzerland on Saturday.
Denmark secured a crucial 1-0 win over Switzerland on Saturday, a result that also gives them the head-to-head advantage over the Swiss. It means that if Switzerland and Ireland draw on Tuesday, Denmark will qualify with a win over Gibraltar on Nov. 15.
Although Switzerland sit outside the top two, they are certainly not out of it and if they win their final three matches against Ireland, Georgia and Gibraltar they will definitely qualify. But if they lose at home to Ireland it would effectively be over as a Denmark win at home to Gibraltar would eliminate them. A draw against the Irish keeps them in it, but they would need Denmark to then defeat in Dublin to definitely qualify.
Croatia lead on 14 points, and will be guaranteed qualification if they at least draw at home to Slovakia on Nov. 16 — their final qualifier. Lose, and they may be made to sweat on the final night.
Second place is held by Hungary on 12 points, but they have only one match remaining, away in Wales on the final day.
Slovakia sit third on 10 points, and while they face the difficult trip to Croatia, the final fixture on Nov. 19 is at home to Azerbaijan, who have only one point. Win both games and they will qualify. If Slovakia do not win in Croatia, they will still be guaranteed to qualify if they beat Azerbaijan and Wales draw at home to Hungary. Wales only have eight points and must win both their matches to have a chance, the first being away to Azerbaijan. They must also hope Slovakia fail to win one of their matches. If Slovakia and Wales finish level on 14 points, Wales will qualify on the head-to-head rule.
Spain were made to wait to qualify for the finals after a late penalty saw them draw 1-1 in Norway, but they can still secure it if they avoid defeat in Sweden or if Romania lose to Norway on Tuesday.
The real battle follows behind with Sweden in second, one point ahead of Romania and Norway a further three points behind. The two teams meet in Bucharest on Nov. 15, and both also still have to play Spain.
Sweden host Spain in midweek, and if they can pull off a victory they should only need a point in Romania on Nov. 15 (with Faroe Islands to play at home on the final day). If they lose to Spain, then much will depend on the result in Romania vs. Norway. If Romania win, they know that victory at home to Sweden will take them to the finals. Draw, and Romania would likely need to take points off Spain on the final day to stop Sweden. Lose, and Norway are very much back in contention.
Norway will probably have to win their remaining three matches (they also play Faroe Islands and Malta) and hope Sweden lose to Spain and do not beat Romania to have the best chance of qualifying. Norway could, however, also qualify if they draw in Romania and Sweden lose to Spain, then Sweden are beaten by Romania, and Romania lose to Spain.
Poland secured safe passage to the finals with a 2-0 win over North Macedonia on Sunday.
Austria are almost there too, five points clear of Slovenia and North Macedonia with two games left to play. They will qualify with a point at home to North Macedonia on Nov. 16.
North Macedonia must win in Austria to stay in contention, then beat Israel at home and hope Austria are beaten in Latvia (who have lost every game). If Austria draw in Latvia, North Macedonia would need to have overturned the 4-1 head-to-head deficit with Austria in their meeting.
There’s only slim hope for Slovenia, who must win at home to Latvia and away to Poland hope Austria lose both their games, and North Macedonia fail to beat Israel.
Israel now cannot qualify automatically are essentially guaranateed a playoff, with the league path yet to be determined.
Turkey rescued a late 1-0 win over Albania via a fortunate Cenk Tosun goal to stay top ahead of France, who won 1-0 in Iceland, on the head-to-head tiebreaker. There is now a six-point gap from the two nations to third-placed Iceland. Turkey could qualify with a win in France on Monday but only in the unlikely event of Iceland also failing to win at home to Andorra; or with a draw if Iceland lose to Andorra.
France sit six points ahead of third-placed Iceland, and victory over Turkey would see them go top of the group and clinch a spot in next summer’s finals.
Iceland are not without hope. They will need to beat Andorra on Monday and hope Turkey lose in France. If that happens, and Iceland win in Istabul on Nov. 14, would ensure Iceland would go into the final matchday knowing that a win in Moldova secures second place ahead of Turkey on the head to head rule. Iceland will get a playoff if they miss out, however.
Albania have a very small outside chance but will be eliminated if France win or draw at home to Turkey on Monday. They then need France to lose at home to Moldova in their following game, while Albania would need to beat Moldova and Andorra and then win at home to France by a scoreline greater than 4-1 to overtake the world champions on the head to head calculation. Albania cannot qualify in a three-way tie with France and Iceland OR Turkey and Iceland.
Belgium qualified for the finals on Thursday with a 9-0 victory at home to minnows San Marino, and Russia joined them on Sunday with victory in Cyprus. Scotland will take part in the League C playoff path.
With seven wins out of seven, Italy are through to the finals.
The race for second is far closer, but Finland have the upper hand as they have already played Italy twice. Defeat to Bosnia on Saturday harmed their chances, but with home games against Armenia on Tuesday and Liechtenstein on Nov. 15 they could qualify before heading to Greece on the final day.
Bosnia and Herzegovina are back in contention, two points behind Finland but they must welcome Italy on Nov. 15. Realistically, Bosnia need Finland to drop points in at least one of their next two home games… or they must get a result themselves against Italy.
Armenia‘s draw in Liechtenstein on Saturday really damaged their chances, and they must win in Finland on Tuesday to have hope, as their final group match is away in Italy.
The best-performing nations from the UEFA Nations League who do not qualify automatically for Euro 2020 will get a playoff place.
There will be 16 teams in the playoffs, with four from each league path.
The winners of the two one-legged semifinals will meet in the final for a place at Euro 2020.
The UEFA Nations League rankings are as follows. The first four nations are guaranteed a playoff, should they need it. If a team qualifies automatically, then that place passes down the line.
As it stands, the teams in bold would enter the playoffs. Romania would be drawn into the path of League A because, as hosts, they require a playoff route to the finals that does not include another host and Scotland, as Nations League group winners, have the right to take the League C path as a host.
There would be a draw to decide which of Bulgaria and Israel takes the remaining slot in the League C path.
League A: Portugal, Netherlands, England, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Poland, Germany, Iceland
League B: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Austria, Wales, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland
League C: Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Finland, Bulgaria, Israel, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Cyprus, Estonia, Slovenia, Lithuania
League D: Georgia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus, Luxembourg, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Malta, San Marino
It means the playoffs could look like this:
Switzerland vs. Bulgaria/Israel/Romania
Iceland vs. Bulgaria/Israel/Romania
Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Northern Ireland
Wales vs. Slovakia
Scotland vs. Bulgaria/Israel
Norway vs. Serbia
Georgia vs. Belarus
North Macedonia vs. Kosovo
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