World Cup Qualifying Russia 2018

World Cup Qualifying Russia 2018

September 3, 2016

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Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup starts on Sunday and, even though English fans have barely had chance to pick themselves up off the canvas of bitter disappointment that was Euro 2016, most of us will no doubt put ourselves through two more years of torture – in the hope that the World Cup will come home after a 52-year absence. Meanwhile, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be hoping to qualify.

World Cup Qualifying

However, whilst qualification was almost assured for the better teams at Euro 2016, there are only 13 World Cup spots up for grabs for the 54 would-be European qualifiers, not including hosts Russia who are already guaranteed their spot.

Nine of those spots will be go to the 9 Group-Winners, whilst only the best 8 runners-ups will make the play-offs, which will be played over two-legs to determine who gets the remaining four spots.

European Qualifying Groups

Group A: Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Belarus, Luxembourg

Group B: Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Andorra

Group C: Germany, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan, San Marino

Group D: Wales, Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova, Georgia

Group E: Romania, Denmark, Poland, Montenegro, Armenia, Kazakhstan

Group F: England, Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Malta

Group G: Spain, Italy, Albania, Israel, Macedonia, Liechtenstein

Group H: Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Estonia, Cyprus, Gibraltar

Group I: Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland, Kosovo

The Finals

The 32 teams that make it to the finals, will play in the standard format of eight groups of four, meaning that there will be no best third-placed teams qualifying for the knockout stages as there was at Euro 2016. The tournament will start on Thursday June 14, with the final to be played on Sunday July 15.

England Qualifying Fixtures

2016
Sep 4 – Slovakia A
Oct 8 – Malta H
Oct 11 – Slovenia A
Nov 11 – Scotland H
2017
Mar 26 – Lithuania H
Jun 10 – Scotland A
Sep 1 – Malta A
Sep 4 – Slovakia H
Oct 5 – Slovenia H
Oct 8 – Lithuania A

Scotland Qualifying Fixtures

2016
Sep 4 – Malta A
Oct 8 – Lithuania H
Oct 11 – Slovakia A
Nov 11 – England A
2017
Mar 26 – Slovenia H
Jun 10 – England H
Sep 1 – Lithuania A
Sep 4 – Malta H
Oct 5 – Slovakia H
Oct 8 – Slovenia A

Wales Qualifying Fixtures

2016
Sep 5 – Moldova H
Oct 6 – Austria A
Oct 9 – Georgia H
Nov 12 – Serbia H
2017
Mar 24 – Ireland A
Jun 11 – Serbia A
Sep 2 – Austria H
Sep 5 – Moldova A
Oct 6 – Georgia A
Oct 9 – Ireland H

Northern Ireland fixtures

2016
Sep 4 – Czech Rep A
Oct 8 – San Marino H
Oct 11 – Germany A
Nov 11 – Azerbaijan H
2017
Mar 26 – Norway H
Jun 10 – Azerbaijan A
Sep 1 – San Marino A
Sep 4 – Czech Rep H
Oct 5 – Germany H
Oct 8 – Norway A

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