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Women's World Cup groups reaching climax

Published: Thursday 11 September 2014, 11.35CET
The last qualifying group matches are on Saturday and Wednesday with five teams to join Canada-bound England and Switzerland plus four to make the play-offs.
by Paul Saffer
Women's World Cup groups reaching climax
Norway are among five sides that could qualify on Saturday ©InTime
Published: Thursday 11 September 2014, 11.35CET

Women's World Cup groups reaching climax

The last qualifying group matches are on Saturday and Wednesday with five teams to join Canada-bound England and Switzerland plus four to make the play-offs.

The last FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying group stage games are played on Saturday and Wednesday as the identity of Europe's seven automatic qualifiers and four play-off hopefuls are confirmed.

• The seven group winners qualify for the finals in Canada.

• So far England and, for the first time, Switzerland have qualified.

• The four runners-up with the best records against the sides finishing first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections go into the play-offs in October and November for the one remaining UEFA berth.

• Already through to the expanded 24-team finals next summer alongside England and Switzerland are hosts Canada, holders Japan, Australia, China, South Korea and Thailand.

Games to watch (KOs CET)
Saturday: Russia v Germany (Group 1, 14.45), Romania v Spain (Group 2, 16.00), Albania v Norway (Group 5, 13.00), Finland v France (Group 7, 18.30)

Wednesday: Sweden v Scotland (Group 4, 18.00), Norway v Netherlands (Group 5, 18.00), Ukraine v Wales (Group 6, 17.00), France v Finland (Group 7, 18.00)

Here is what is at stake in the seven groups over the coming days, sides in contention/already qualified in bold:

©Getty Images

Group 1
Saturday: Russia (Pd8, Pts19) v Germany (8, 24), Slovakia (8, 4) v Republic of Ireland (8, 14), Croatia (8, 5) v Slovenia (8, 3)
Wednesday: Germany v Ireland, Croatia v Russia, Slovenia v Slovakia

Germany will qualify with a point in Russia or (unless they lose by ten on Saturday) a draw with Ireland.

Russia need only a point to ensure Ireland cannot catch them but require at least three to have a real play-off chance.

Group 2
Saturday: Romania (8, 11) v Spain (8, 22), Italy (8, 19) v Estonia (8, 4)
Wednesday: Czech Republic (9, 14) v Spain, Italy v FYROM (9, 1), Romania v Estonia

Spain will qualify for the first time with a win in either game.

Italy must secure four more points than Spain to come top but a victory against Estonia may be enough to secure a play-off.

Group 3
Saturday: Denmark (8, 15) v Malta (8, 0), Iceland (8, 13) v Israel (8, 9)
Wednesday: Malta v Switzerland (9, 25), Denmark v Israel, Iceland v Serbia (9, 10)

Switzerland have won the group

Denmark will seal second place with four points but even if they beat Israel are not sufficiently strongly positioned to make the play-offs

Iceland need two wins, a defeat for Denmark, and an unlikely series of results elswehere.

©Fedja Krvavac

Group 4
Saturday: Sweden (8, 24) v Bosnia and Herzegovina (8, 9), Scotland (8, 21) v Faroe Islands (8, 2), Poland (8, 10) v Northern Ireland (8, 2)
Wednesday: Sweden v Scotland, Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands, Poland v Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sweden will qualify if they pick up more points than Scotland on Saturday.

• Assuming both teams win, Sweden will clinch the group on Wednesday as long as Scotland do not beat them by 3-1 or more.

• Whoever comes second is already well-placed to make the play-offs.

Group 5
Saturday: Albania (8, 3) v Norway (8, 24), Netherlands (8, 19) v Portugal, Belgium (8, 13) v Greece (8, 0)
Wednesday: Norway v Netherlands, Portugal v Belgium, Greece v Austria

Norway will qualify with a victory on Saturday or a draw on Wednesday.

• The Netherlands are assured of a top-two finish and a win against Portugal could be enough for a play-off even if they lose in Norway.

Group 6
Saturday: Ukraine (8, 16) v Turkey (8, 9)
Wednesday: Ukraine v Wales (9, 19), Montenegro (9, 0) v England (9, 27), Turkey v Belarus (9, 6)

England have won the group.

Ukraine drew 1-1 in Wales so if Anatoliy Kutsev's team overcome Turkey, Wednesday's Lviv decider will be effectively a knockout second leg (if it then ended 1-1, Ukraine would be second on goal difference).

• However, to have a possibility of the play-offs, Ukraine or Wales would probably require a win.

©Getty Images

Group 7
Saturday: Finland (8, 21) v France (8, 24), Austria (8, 15) v Hungary (8, 9)
Wednesday: France v Finland, Austria v Kazakhstan (9, 4), Bulgaria (9, 1) v Hungary

France will qualify if they obtain at least two points against Finland, who need a victory and a draw (though even one point could potentially take them to the play-offs).

Austria will overtake Finland if they make up the six-point gap and could mathematically reach the play-offs.

Last updated: 04/06/15 4.25CET