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Permutations: how teams can qualify from Group B

Portugal lead the way on four points and Italy trail the others with one but all four teams can qualify on the final Group B matchday – see who needs what to reach the semi-finals tonight.

Inside the Portugal dressing room ahead of the Sweden match
Inside the Portugal dressing room ahead of the Sweden match ©Sportsfile

Portugal lead the way but all four teams can still progress going into the final set of Group B matches at 20.45CET on Wednesday. UEFA.com explains what each of the four hopefuls must do to make the knockout phase.

As it is not possible for three teams to finish level on points, straight head-to-head will come into effect if there are two teams level at the conclusion of Group B, followed by overall goal difference and then higher number of goals scored.

The four semi-finalists at the U21 EURO will automatically qualify for the Olympics as Europe's representatives. Should England reach the last four, they will not take part in next summer's tournament in Rio de Janeiro. Instead, the two third-placed teams in the Czech Republic will contest a play-off on 28 June to take their place.

The permutations below are for information only and the official calculations will be made by UEFA after the games finish according to articles 8.05 and 8.06 of the Regulations of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2013-2015.

Group B standings

Fixtures: England (3 points) v Italy (1); Portugal (4) v Sweden (3)

Portugal (+1 goal difference) will be through with a win or a draw. They would also progress if they lost and England drew with Italy. If Portugal lost and Italy beat England, goal difference would decide which of the two – Portugal or Italy – advanced as the teams drew their direct encounter. If Portugal lose and England win then they are out but would be in an Olympic play-off.

England (0) will advance with a win, while a draw will take them through so long as Sweden fail to beat Portugal in the other match. If they lose to Italy, they will be eliminated.

Sweden (0) will progress with a victory, while a draw would be enough only if Italy beat England in the other game. If they lose and England win, then they would be in an Olympic play-off.

Italy (-1) will go through only if they beat England and Sweden lose to Portugal. They cannot qualify for an Olympic play-off irrespective of results on Wednesday.

If Italy and Sweden win, then Sweden would top the group and Italy and Portugal would be level in second on four points. Because they drew their group game, goal difference would be used to decide the runner-up and then higher number of goals scored. Should the teams still be level, then the UEFA Under-21 coefficient ranking used for the final draw will come into effect. The rankings used were as follows:

1 England 36,252
2 Italy 36,129
3 Germany 35,370
4 Czech Republic 34,516
5 Portugal 33,887
6 Denmark 31,989
7 Sweden 30,365
8 Serbia 29,837

A more detailed breakdown of the permutations can be found here.