Group B – A Chance for Iran to Progress
As things stand, England are top of Group B with four points. Iran is right behind them with three points, the USA has two points and Wales is last with a single point. In the final group stage fixture, England will face Wales and a draw will be enough to secure England’s progression. The other game in matchday three is Iran against the United States. The winner of that match is likely going to qualify with England. Iran has the better chance of qualifying to the round of 16 as they only need to draw with the United States.
Group C – Will Saudi Arabia Make It Through?
In Group C, Poland has a huge chance of qualifying as they sit in first place with four points. Both Argentina and Saudi Arabia have three points each, although Argentina has the better goal difference. The last placed Mexico only has a single point.
The final fixture in Group C puts Poland against Argentina, whilst Saudi Arabia faces Mexico. If the Argentinian side defeat Poland, they will finish in first place. A draw for Poland would see them finish first, so long as Saudi Arabia fail to beat Mexico. There is a chance for each of the teams to go through to the knockout stages of the competition.
Group D – Australia Lead Race to Second
France became the first team to qualify for the knockout stage. ‘Les Bleus’ won their first two matches against Australia and Denmark and have six points to their count. In second, Australia has three points whilst Denmark and Tunisia sit in third and fourth spot respectively, with a point apiece.
Matchday three in Group D pits Tunisia against France. Australia will play against Denmark and can secure their knockout stage place with a win. If they draw, they will need to hope that Tunisia does not defeat France. Denmark will go through if they beat Australia in the final fixture. They have a good chance of finishing second, unless Tunisia defeats France by a greater score line.
Group E – Spain First, Germany Last, But Each Qualify
In Group E, Spain currently has top spot secured with four points. The third and second-placed Japan and Costa Rica both have three points whilst Germany sits in last place with only a single point.
Realistically, Spain have almost all but secured qualification as a draw against Japan in their final fixture would secure a spot. Even if they fail to win, their superior goal difference after a 7-0 win over Costa Rica is difficult to match. If they beat Japan, they are guaranteed first place.
Although Germany is in fourth place, they will still be able to qualify for the round of 16 provided they beat Costa Rica. If they do so, they will more than likely qualify as long as Japan does not defeat Spain. Costa Rica are also likely to qualify if they beat the German national side and Japan fail to beat Spain.
Group F – Canada Eliminated as Croatia and Morocco are Joint-Top
The leaders of Group F are Croatia with four points. They have a superior goal difference to second placed Morocco, who also have four points. In third place, Belgium has three points. Canada, who are at their first World Cup since 1986, have already been eliminated.
In the final fixture of Group F, Croatia plays Belgium. Morocco has a strong chance of going through as they will play against the already eliminated Canada.
In the Croatia versus Belgium fixture, Belgium will have to beat Croatia to qualify for the knockout stages. A draw will not be enough unless Canada hammer Morocco. The Croatian national team will need either a win or a draw to secure their spot in the next round.
Group G – Best of the Rest Battle
In Group G, both Brazil and Switzerland have three points apiece, although the Brazilian national team have the superior goal difference. The other two nations, Cameroon and Serbia, have not yet recorded any points after the first fixture.
In the second round, Serbia will play against Cameroon whilst Brazil takes on Switzerland. The third and final match of the group stage puts Cameroon against Brazil whilst Serbia and Switzerland play against each other.
Group G has been reported as the ‘group of death’ as all teams have a strong chance of advancing. After their impressive start, Brazil is likely going to top the group with maximum points. This puts a battle for second spot to secure qualification to the knockout stages. The second-place spot is likely going to be determined by the result in the final fixture between Serbia and Switzerland.
Group H – Portugal Head Towards Round of 16
As things stand, Portugal tops the group with three points after beating Ghana 3-2. The joint-second are South Korea and Uruguay, with both teams on a single point after their 0-0 opening match. Ghana is bottom of the group with no points.
The second match of the group stage will see South Korea face Ghana and Portugal take on Uruguay. The match between Portugal and Uruguay will be an interesting one, as a win for Portugal would secure a place in the round of 16. Ghana still has a chance of qualifying, but they will have to defeat South Korea. Realistically, there is all to play for as every team in the group can still qualify.