With one remaining day of group stage of Qualification for the European Championship, the race for a place in Qatar 2022 is underway.
This leaves one automatic qualification place for the group winners and two play-off places for the runners-up.
Here is the state of affairs in all 10 groups.
A breathtaking turnaround in Lisbon when Portugal gambled away an early lead and a direct place in the World Cup finals.
Renato Sanches scored after two minutes, only Dusan Tadic equalized after half an hour. And the real drama came in the 90th minute when Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the goal to win the group.
Portugal is guaranteed to be seeded in the playoff draw.
Spain had a nervous time against Sweden and needed a point to advance to the final before Alvaro Morata calmed the nerves with an 86th-minute win.
Spain go straight to the World Cup finals, while Sweden move into the playoffs.
Sweden should have enough points to be seeded in the playoff draw but they will have to wait for confirmation.
Switzerland scored three goals in the second half at home in Bulgaria to get the 3-0 win they needed to put Italy under pressure.
The European champions couldn’t react, stuck with a goalless draw against Northern Ireland.
This means that Switzerland will qualify for the World Cup and Italy, just like qualifying for the 2018 edition, will have to go through the playoffs. Roberto Mancini’s team will be seeded in these playoffs.
November 16: Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Ukraine, Finland vs. France
France (12 points) secured their place in the World Cup with an 8-0 win over Kazakhstan on Saturday.
Finland (11 points) moved up to second place by defeating Bosnia, which has now been eliminated, and will have to beat France at home on November 16 to definitely secure the playoff spot. They finish second regardless of whether Ukraine wins in Bosnia.
Ukraine (9 points) now know they have to win in Bosnia to reach the playoffs. Finland lose or tie against France. If Finland loses, Ukraine will go to the playoffs with every win.
If Finland draws and Ukraine wins, goal difference will count. If Ukraine won by one goal, the goal difference would be equal and would amount to the goals scored (as it stands, Finland has 10 goals and Ukraine has 9). If goals are scored too, Ukraine is in second place on the head-to-head record.
November 16: Czech Republic vs. Estonia, Wales vs. Belgium
Belgium (19 points) qualified for the World Cup with a 3-1 home win against Estonia.
Wales (14 points) is in second place ahead of the Czech Republic (11 points) and both are secured a play-off spot through the UEFA Nations League when they become third. However, Wales need at least one point against Belgium at home to guarantee second place and a chance of a place in the playoff draw. They will also finish second in defeat if the Czech Republic fail to beat Estonia.
For the Czech Republic to finish second they have to win against Estonia at home and Wales have to lose, which means the two teams finish tied. The Czechs (+3) then have to finish with a better goal difference than Wales (+5). If the goal difference is equal, the second place will be decided on the basis of the group goals scored.
If the records end the same, Wales will win the neck-to-neck race. This can only happen if Wales lose and the Czech Republic win with the same one-goal result.
Denmark qualified but missed finishing with a 100% record after losing to Scotland in their last game.
That win was crucial for Scotland and means they will be seeded in the playoff draw.
Austria didn’t make it into the top two, but it is Guaranteed to be unset in the play-offs as group winners of the UEFA Nations League.
November 16: Gibraltar vs. Latvia, Montenegro vs. Turkey, Netherlands vs. Norway
The clearly superior goal difference effectively means that the Netherlands (20 points) only need one point at home against Norway to qualify for the World Cup. The only way they could miss a draw if Turkey (18 points) win in Montenegro by at least 13 goals.
However, the Netherlands would miss the playoffs and finish third in the group if they lose to Norway (18 points) and Turkey win.
Turkey are level with Norway but are second in terms of goal difference (by one goal) after beating Gibraltar 6-0. Turkey knows that an away win against Montenegro guarantees at least a playoff spot.
If Turkey (GD +10) and Norway (GD +9) both win, the Netherlands will be out and the first and second will decide the goal difference. Turkey can only lead the group if they and Norway win. Turkey, who have scored 10 more goals than Norway, would have to win with the same lead or one less goal to put goal difference or goals scored first.
A draw will definitely be enough for Turkey to go to the playoffs if Norway lose.
If Norway wins in the Netherlands, they will get at least one playoff and if Turkey don’t win, they will win the group. If Turkey wins, Norway will have to win more than Turkey by two goals to overtake them by goal difference. If Turkey loses, a draw is enough for the playoffs.
If there is a tie between Turkey and Norway, Turkey will come second in terms of goal difference.
If Turkey and Norway both lose, goal difference matters again, so Norway should lose Turkey two more goals.
Turkey and Norway will not finish with identical records as Norway should win 12:10 even if Turkey only wins 1-0.
Croatia won the split against Russia it took to climb over the guests and lead the group.
Fedor Kudryashov scored an own goal in the 81st minute for a 1-0 win for Croatia.
Russia must go through the playoffs where they are seeded.
England crossed to the World Cup on the last day of the match and won 10-0 in San Marino.
Not so good news for Poland, who had already qualified for the playoffs but lost their last home game against Hungary 2-1. That result means they will have to wait for the results on Tuesday to find out whether or not they will be seeded, but their hopes and hopes are in the balance.
Germany had already secured their place in October and had to release the playoff spot this month.
North Macedonia threatened to throw the way with a 1-1 home draw against Iceland before two goals from Eljif Elmas gave them the win and a place in the playoffs.
North Macedonia will not be seeded in the playoff draw, however, so it faces an away semi-final.
HOW THE PLAYOFFS WORK
The top ten group winners of the UEFA Nations League, who did not make it into the top two of their qualifying group, join the 10 runners-up in each group.
We now know that Austria and whoever misses the first two of Group E between the Czech Republic and Wales will qualify via the Nations League.
The play-offs, which will be played in March 2022, will be seeded by qualifying points, with the two UEFA Nations League teams not seeded. The drawing will take place on Friday, November 26th.
The seeded teams will be drawn at home against the unset teams to play in the one-legged semi-finals.
SOWED: Portugal, Russia, Italy, Scotland
UNSEED: Austria, North Macedonia
POT-TBC: Czech Republic, Sweden, Wales
In the final, the winners of SF1 play against SF2, SF3 against SF4 and SF5 against SF6. There will be a draw to determine the home team each last way.