Going into the last round of World Cup group fixtures, here’s how the qualifying situation stands in each of the eight groups.
In Group A, Russian Federation and Uruguay are playing to top the group, having won both of their opening two game, earning six points each. Iceland need Argentina and Nigeria to draw, and then if they can beat Croatia by two goals or more they can just about edge out Nigeria.
“Portugal are not only a contender, they´re one of the favourites for the title”.
But they failed to exhibit the same performance against Morocco with only a moment of brilliance from five-time Ballon d’Or victor Ronaldo rescuing the Portuguese.
Two of those matches, kicking off at 22:oo (UAE time) will sort out the myriad of permutations in Group B – Spain v Morocco in Kaliningrad and Iran v Portugal in Saransk. Portugal needs a draw to clinch its knockout round place.
The top two teams now have the same number of points, goal difference and goals scored – they are separated by Fair Play records (Spain have one yellow card and Portugal have picked up two).
What can happen? Denmark play France and a win or draw on Tuesday night would take the Danes through, as would a loss provided Australia don’t beat already out Peru (and get a two goal swing). Second place, however, is up for grabs.
Croatia plays Iceland in their final Group D on Tuesday.
Wins or draws for Brazil against Serbia and Switzerland against Costa Rica will send both through.
England will then battle it out for top spot in Group G with Belgium on Thursday, so who is Charlie tipping to come out on top?
Peru has been eliminated but will finish third with a win.
Bottom side South Korea could also still go through, but they need to beat Germany by several goals and hope for a Mexico win against Sweden.
Russian Federation and Uruguay have both qualified. This group is paired with group B, so the victor meets second and vice-versa.
The European sides will not only aim for victory but will also try to outscore each other with the top spot in the group set to be decided on goal difference.
Denmark coach Age Hareide tells Danish broadcaster TV2 that Kvist is on his way back to Russian Federation but probably can’t play against France in Group C match in Moscow on Tuesday.
A draw would do it for Japan, same for Senegal, but Colombia hit form against Poland on Monday and could be too strong for their African opposition.
A pair of 1-0 defeats to Iran and Portugal mean Morocco are on their way home despite playing some fine attacking football in both their matches – let down only by wayward finishing.