The Road to Russia FIFA World Cup 2018 is close to an end with the last international qualifiers to play. Two more games for each team will determine the majority of the qualified national teams (26 out of the 32 teams). The remaining teams to be qualified will be decided in November during the playoffs. Make sure to stay tuned on 90SOCCER.com to catch all the latest on World Cup qualifiers
With Brazil already qualified, three other nations are fighting for an automatic spot in the World Cup while the team ranked fifth will go the playoff round.
Argentina (5th) face Peru (4th) in a game Messi, and his teammates must win to control their destiny and preserve all chances to qualify directly for the World Cup. Chile (6th) must beat Ecuador (8th) to maintain opportunities to be eligible for World Cup.
With Mexico qualified, two other teams lure a World Cup qualification. Costa Rica needs a point to validate its tickets while the 3rd place that qualifies directly for the FIFA tournament will battle between USA, Panama and Honduras. One of those three team will directly be eligible, then another one will go to playoff rounds, and one side will eliminate from the any World Cup hopes.
USA (4th) face a must-win game against Panama (3rd) as Honduras (5th) can still top both teams and much will depend on the result of the USA-Panama game. Panama is aiming at a first World Cup final round in the country’s history while it will be a shocker not to see the USA qualify for the World Cup and a regression of soccer in the country.
With two games left, Belgium is the only nation that has won its group. Eight more group winners will qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Russia while the best eight runners-up of each group will go through a very competitive playoff round. The level of competitiveness is exceptionally high in Europe with small nations such as Montenegro, Iceland and Wales aiming at history and the spotlight next year in Russia. Some of the exciting matches are:
The match Wales – Ireland could determine which team will likely accompany Serbia to Russia. It is undoubtedly a game to watch in Cardiff where both neighbors will face.
Turkey – Iceland and Ukraine – Croatia. The last group in the European qualifiers is the most undecided with four teams in just two points and no clear favorite to win the group. There will be plenty of actions in group I as the name of the group winner unfolds.
Scotland – Slovakia. In a very tight group where England needs virtually just a point to guarantee first place, three teams in a single point are fighting for the second spot and a playoff berth. Slovakia, Slovenia and Scotland. The Scottish will probably decide the faith of this group as they play both teams to conclude their qualifiers.
Montenegro – Denmark. Both teams are tied with three points behind Poland. Montenegro is scheduled to play Poland in Warsaw for the last game of the qualifiers. This week is the most important ever for Montenegro football with lots of hopes and drama at stake by making a first World Cup appearance ever.