Thursday’s qualifiers that interest Greece
FIFA World Cup qualifying resumes on Thursday 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 Thursday 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 C (2:45 PM): Northern Ireland - Germany
- What Greece need: Germany Win
- Greece need Germany to defeat Northern Ireland (preferably by a big scoreline, 2+ goals). Any other result (draw or NIR win) will mathematically ensure Northern Ireland a playoff spot. If Germany do win, Northern Ireland must also lose their final group match away to Norway on Sunday.
Group E (2:45 PM): Montenegro - Denmark
- What Greece need: Draw (at minimum Montenegro win)
- The preferred result here is a draw. If this happens, then neither team can win their final match on Sunday when Montenegro travel to Poland and Denmark host Romania.
- The next preferred result is a Montenegro win. In this case, Montenegro must lose their final match away to Poland and hope Denmark does not defeat Romania on matchday 10.
- If Denmark win, then on matchday 10 they would only need a draw at home to Romania to ensure a playoff spot.
Group F (2:45 PM): England - Slovenia
- What Greece need: England Win or Draw
- An England win or a draw is the preferred result. If this happens and Slovenia finish second in this group by the end, they will be ranked behind Greece in the runner-up standings.
Group F (2:45 PM): Scotland - Slovakia
- What Greece need: Scotland win (at minimum a draw)
- The prefered result is a Scotland win. If this happens, Scotland must draw or lose on the final matchday away to Slovenia, meaning they will surely finish behind Greece in the runner-up standings.
- The next preferred result is a draw. However, if this is the case, Slovakia will likely finish ahead of Greece in the runner-up standings due to their superior goal differential.
- If Slovakia win they will surely grab second place and finish ahead of Greece in the runner-up standings.