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European Qualifiers for World Cup: group standings, who needs what

The state of play across the ten European Qualifiers groups going into November's games.

Belgium are sure of a top-two finish
Belgium are sure of a top-two finish Photonews via Getty Images

The European Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup are reaching their business end.

Teams have only one or two matches each left to play between 11 and 16 November, after which the ten direct qualifiers and 12 play-off contenders will be confirmed. We look at the state of play across the ten groups.

Qualified as group winners: Denmark, Germany

Confirmed in top two of their group: Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland

Can also still qualify automatically: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Wales

Can still finish runners-up in group: Armenia, Czech Republic, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Scotland

Can reach play-offs only via UEFA Nations League ranking: Austria

How qualifying works

Great goals from the October qualifiers
Great goals from the October qualifiers

Direct qualifying
The ten group winners qualify for the 2022 World Cup which runs from 21 November to 18 December in Qatar.

Play-offs
For the play-offs from 24 to 29 March, the ten group runners-up will be joined by the two best group winners from the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League overall rankings that have neither qualified directly for the World Cup as European Qualifiers group winners, nor entered the play-offs already as European Qualifiers group runners-up. These 12 teams will be drawn into three play-off paths for one-off semi-finals and a final. The three path winners qualify for the World Cup.

This article is for information only and all is subject to final confirmation from UEFA. Full details of how qualifying works and group tie-breakers can be found in the official regulations. Last updated 11 October.

Groups as they stand

Group A: Serbia (Pd7, Pts17), Portugal (6, 16), Luxembourg (6,6), Republic of Ireland (6, 5), Azerbaijan (7, 1)

Highlights: Portugal 5-0 Luxembourg
Highlights: Portugal 5-0 Luxembourg

11 November: Azerbaijan vs Luxembourg Republic of Ireland vs Portugal
14 November: Portugal vs Serbia, Luxembourg vs Republic of Ireland

  • Portugal and Serbia are confirmed as the top two. First place will be decided when they meet on 14 November.

Group B: Sweden (6, 15), Spain (6, 13), Greece (6,9), Georgia (6, 4), Kosovo (6, 4)

11 November: Greece vs Spain, Georgia vs Sweden
14 November: Spain vs Sweden, Greece vs Kosovo

  • Sweden will qualify if they beat Georgia and Spain do not beat Greece. Sweden will seal a top-two finish if they avoid defeat or if Greece do not win.
  • Spain will be confirmed in the top two if they avoid defeat against Greece.
  • Greece must win to stay in contention for a top-two finish.
  • Georgia and Kosovo cannot finish in the top two.

Group C: Italy (6, 14), Switzerland (6, 14), Bulgaria (7, 8), Northern Ireland (6, 5), Lithuania (7, 3)

Highlights: Lithuania 0-4 Switzerland
Highlights: Lithuania 0-4 Switzerland

12 November: Italy vs Switzerland, Northern Ireland vs Lithuania
15 November: Switzerland vs Bulgaria, Northern Ireland vs Italy

  • Italy and Switzerland are confirmed as the top two. First place cannot be decided when they meet on 12 November.

Group D: France (6, 12), Ukraine (7, 9), Finland (6, 8), Bosnia and Herzegovina (6, 7), Kazakhstan (7, 3)

13 November: France vs Kazakhstan, Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Finland
16 November: Finland vs France, Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Ukraine

  • France will qualify if they beat Kazakhstan, or if they draw and the game between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Finland is also drawn. France will seal a top-two finish by avoiding defeat.
  • Ukraine will only remain in contention to win the group if France lose and Finland do not win.
  • Finland will remain in contention to win the group if they win and France do not, or if Finland draw and France lose.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina will be out of contention to finish in the top two if they lose to Finland.
  • Kazakhstan cannot finish in the top two.

Group E: Belgium (6, 16), Czech Republic (7, 11), Wales (6, 11), Estonia (6, 4), Belarus (7, 3)

13 November: Belgium vs Estonia, Wales vs Belarus
16 November: Wales vs Belgium, Czech Republic vs Estonia

  • Belgium are confirmed in the top two. They will qualify with a win against Estonia, or if Wales (the only team that can catch them) fail to beat Belarus.
  • Estonia and Belarus cannot finish in the top two.

Group F: Denmark (8, 24 – qualified), Scotland (8, 17), Israel (8, 13), Austria (8, 10), Faroe Islands (8, 4), Moldova (8, 1)

Highlights: Faroe Islands 0-1 Scotland
Highlights: Faroe Islands 0-1 Scotland

12 November: Denmark vs Faroe Islands, Austria vs Israel, Moldova vs Scotland
15 November: Scotland vs Denmark, Israel vs Faroe Islands, Austria vs Moldova

  • Denmark have qualified as group winners.
  • Scotland will seal second place if they beat Moldova, or if they draw and Israel also draw with Austria, or if Israel lose.
  • Austria, Faroe Islands and Moldova cannot finish in the top two.

Group G: Netherlands (8, 19), Norway (8, 17), Turkey (8, 15), Montenegro (8, 11), Latvia (8, 5), Gibraltar (8, 0)

13 November: Turkey vs Gibraltar, Norway vs Latvia, Montenegro vs Netherlands
16 November: Netherlands vs Norway, Montenegro vs Turkey, Gibraltar vs Latvia

  • Netherlands will qualify if they win in Montenegro and Norway fail to beat Latvia. Netherlands will be confirmed in the top two with a win, or a draw if Turkey do not beat Montenegro, or if Turkey lose.
  • Norway will be confirmed in the top two if they beat Latvia and Turkey fail to beat Gibraltar.
  • Latvia and Gibraltar cannot finish in the top two.

Group H: Russia (8, 19), Croatia (8, 17), Slovakia (8, 10), Slovenia (8, 10), Malta (8, 5), Cyprus (8, 5)

11 November: Russia vs Cyprus, Slovakia vs Slovenia, Malta vs Croatia
14 November: Croatia vs Russia, Slovenia vs Cyprus, Malta vs Slovakia

  • Russia and Croatia are confirmed as the top two.
  • Russia will qualify if they beat Cyprus and Croatia fail to beat Malta.

Group I: England (8, 20), Poland (8, 17), Albania (8, 15), Hungary (8, 11), Andorra (8, 6), San Marino (8, 0)

Highlights: England 1-1 Hungary
Highlights: England 1-1 Hungary

12 November: England vs Albania, Hungary vs San Marino, Andorra vs Poland
15 November: Albania vs Andorra, San Marino vs England, Poland vs Hungary

  • England will qualify if they beat Albania and Poland do not beat Andorra, or if England draw and Poland lose. England will seal a top-two finish if they avoid defeat.
  • Poland will seal a top-two finish if they beat Andorra and Albania do not beat England.
  • Albania must beat England to remain in contention to win the group. Albania will be unable to finish in the top two if they do not win and Poland do.
  • Hungary must beat San Marino, and hope Poland lose and Albania fail to win, to stay in contention to finish second.
  • Andorra and San Marino cannot finish in the top two.

Group J: Germany (8, 21 – qualified), Romania (8, 13), North Macedonia (8, 12), Armenia (8, 12), Iceland (8, 8), Liechtenstein (8, 1)

11 November: Armenia vs North Macedonia, Germany vs Liechtenstein, Romania vs Iceland
14 November: North Macedonia vs Iceland, Armenia vs Germany, Liechtenstein vs Romania

  • Germany have qualified.
  • Second place cannot be confirmed on 11 November.
  • Liechtenstein cannot finish in the top two.

Rankings of UEFA Nations League group winners (highest two finishing outside top two in qualifying group will go into play-offs)

League A
1 France
2 Spain
3 Italy
4 Belgium

League B
5 Wales
6 Austria*
7 Czech Republic
8 Hungary

League C
9 Slovenia**
10 Montenegro
11 Albania
12 Armenia

League D
13 Gibraltar**
14 Faroe Islands**

Teams in italics already confirmed in top two of qualifying group
*Cannot finish in top two of qualifying group
**Cannot finish in top two of qualifying group or reach play-offs via UEFA Nations League ranking