We look ahead to the Nations League
The Premier League is on hiatus and the Nations League is back. But just what is possible from the final round of group matches?
We’ve taken a look at the permutations for each of the four home nations.
It’s all up for grabs for Gareth Southgate’s men. The Three Lions could yet go through to the Nations League Finals or be relegated as Group A4’s bottom team. It could all depend on Spain’s crunch clash with Croatia.
If La Furia Roja see off the World Cup Finalists, then England can no longer finish top of the group. Should Spain fail to beat Croatia, then the Three Lions would jump up to first with a win over Luka Modric and co. at Wembley.
We currently have them at 13/8 to win the group. Any England defeat at home to Croatia would see Southgate’s side relegated, as would a draw if Croatia beat Spain on Thursday.
Three matches have produced three straight defeats for Northern Ireland. And now Michael O’Neill’s men require favours if they’re to survive in League B3.
The first of those must come on Thursday night, where they need league leaders Bosnia & Herzegovina to beat Austria in Vienna. Anything other than a win for the visitors will condemn Northern Ireland to relegation.
If they can survive that, then it’s down to Windsor Park on Sunday. The Green and White Army will need to win at 12/5 and likely overturn a swing in goal difference if they’re to avoid relegation.
The equation is simple for Wales. Beat Denmark at odds of 13/8 and they guarantee promotion from Group B4. Lose in Cardiff and they’ll definitely finish second.
A draw would leave Ryan Giggs’ men top but only by two points having played all of their Nations League matches.
Denmark would then take on the Republic of Ireland at home needing a win to leapfrog the Welsh. A draw would not suffice for the Danes, who would finish a point behind Wales if it ends honours-even with Ireland in their final group game.
Group C1 is stacked with permutations. Scotland are ahead of Albania on goal difference, and sit three points adrift of league leaders Israel at the top.
In all likelihood, Alex McLeish’s men need to take four points from their remaining two matches to have any chance of promotion. That also requires them to reverse their result against Israel in Haifa at Hampden Park.
However, defeats to Albania and Israel would see all three teams finish on six points. In that scenario, the group would be decided on head-to-head records and goal difference. Alternatively, a loss to Albania and failure to beat Israel would see Scotland relegated as the bottom team.
A three-goal reverse to Albania and a single goal win against Israel would bear the same scenario.
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