Friday's qualifiers that interest Greece
FIFA World Cup qualifying resumes on Friday with matchday nine. Although Greece is not in action until Saturday, today’s fixtures do interest our national team in the fight for a playoff spot.
Greece currently sit third in Group H of World Cup qualifying and will need to win their remaining two games away to Cyprus (7-Oct) and at home to Gibraltar (10-Oct) to have any hopes of claiming second place in the group. In addition to two Greeks wins, the Ethniki will need Bosnia to drops points in one of their remaining fixtures at home to group leaders Belgium or on the road against Estonia.
However, second place in the group does not ensure a spot in November’s playoffs as only the top EIGHT out of nine runner-ups nations advance to the playoffs (one runner-up team will miss out). Thus, the results from the other UEFA qualifying groups affect Greece, if our national team does manage to grab second spot in Group H. An in-depth analysis of the possible scenarios/results that could benefit or hurt Greece from the other groups, can be found here.
AGONAsport breaks down which matches on Friday Greek fans should have an eye on as the results from these games will play a critical role in Greece’s fight to grab a runner-up playoff spot (assuming Greece finishes second in Group H). All times are listed in EST, which is seven hours behind the local Greek time.
Group D (12:00 PM): Georgia - Wales
- What Greece need: Georgia win or draw
- With the exception of the match between Bosnia and Belgium, the Group D fixture between Georgia and Wales is looked at as the most important game in Greece's fight for a playoff spot. Along with Group H (Greece's group), Group D is also a high contender to produce the "worst" runner-up nation. If Wales fail to defeat Georgia on Friday, they mathematically finish behind Greece in the runner-up rankings (assuming Greece defeat Cyprus).
- If this happens, all that Greece would need on matchday 10 is for Wales to defeat, draw, or even lose to Ireland by 2 or less goals on the final matchday to ensure Greece’s place in the playoffs. This scenario looks the most promising for the Ethniki and a Georgia win or draw on Friday, will open up the playoff path for Greece.
- If Wales manage to defeat Georgia, then Greece would need Wales to draw or lose to Ireland on the final matchday to finish ahead of Wales in the runner-up standings. A Wales win against both Georgia and Ireland will mathematically ensure them a place in the playoffs.
Group I (2:45 PM): Turkey - Iceland
- What Greece need: Turkey win
- Turkey must defeat Iceland for Greece to remain within striking distance of Group I’s runner-up. If Turkey defeat Iceland, then Greece will need Turkey to drop points (draw or loss) in their final matchday away to Finland AND hope Ukraine do not defeat Croatia on the final matchday (assuming Ukraine defeats last placed Kosovo on Friday).
- If Iceland grab a point against Turkey, they will mathematically finish ahead of Greece in the runner-up standings, assuming that Iceland defeat last placed Kosovo at home on matchday ten.