Nov 19, 2007

Euro 2008 Final Matchday Qualification/Seeding Scenarios

Ten of 14 spots have been decided going into the final day of qualifying games, while a separate battle to not land in the pool of top-seeded teams could prove interesting. Allow me to explain this second point first, before going into everybody's chances (though I reckon you all know that Scotland is eliminated and England can qualify with a tie against Croatia).

'Pool 1' will contain the two host nations (Austria and Switzerland) and the defending champion (Greece) plus the top team according to its coefficient, which is gleaned from the last round of Euro- and World Cup-qualifying. For obvious reasons--specifically the fact that Switzerland and Austria suck and Greece is not viewed that highly--teams will not want to be in that pool. Instead, an ideal situation would be to be drawn into the group that has, say, Austria as the "first" seed and if you're in the same pool as them you obviously won't have a chance to be drawn into their group.

The UEFA coefficient itself is calculated via some Byzantine formula I do not have the time, energy, or math skills to figure out. Maybe somebody else will be kind enough to do so. But I can tell you that according to Bert Kassies' rankings, Spain are currently first, followed by England and Italy. But according to Germany's, the "Mannschaft" will end up in that pool if they beat Wales and if Holland loses to Belarus. Unfortunately, my German colleagues do not provide scenarios for other teams. Point is, don't be surprised if some top teams that have already clinched qualification to mysteriously (or not so mysteriously) lose their final games Wednesday.

The 10 qualified teams are Poland, Greece, Croatia, Romania, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Czech Republic, Germany and Spain. Portugal, Finland, England, Russia, Turkey, Norway, Sweden and (by the skin of their teeth) Northern Ireland are the eight teams still alive, half of whom will qualify. England only needs a point, as they hold the tie-breaker with Russia due to their 3-0 triumph back on Sept. 7. If England don't get the point, Russia just has to beat Andorra. Portugal and Finland face off directly, so the winner of that game (or if they tie, Portugal) will advance. If Turkey beat Bosnia, they're in. If they tie, and Norway wins at Malta, Norway advance. I'm not going to go into the remaining possibilities. Turkey has a one point lead, that's all you really need to know.

As for Northern Ireland, they are going to need Sweden to lose at home to Latvia and then beat Spain. Like I said, the chances are slim. A shame, because N'Ire really impressed me at times. They beat the top two teams in the group (Sweden and Spain) as well as Denmark, but the two losses to Iceland cost them. If they had won those games, they'd be through. And this isn't the Iceland from the late 90s we're talking about; the Nordics have a whopping eight points from 11 games (six of which came courtesy of Northern Ireland). Oh well! Next time, I guess...


  1. The country ranking by Bert Kassies is for club competitions only. Someone posted the current ranking to this forum discussion:

    If Germany beats Wales and Holland loses against Belarus, Germany will move to pot 1. And in that case you can theoretically have a group containing Germany, Italy, Portugal and France! All four World Cup semi-finalists. :-)

  2. Holland looks the most likely to go to pot1 and they could be in the group of death. The formula is also based on highest Fifa Ranking and that plus all those silly coefficients makes it Holland.Only a loss to Belarus will prevent this, then it's Germany.
    Well as they say, it's the World Cup without Brazil and Argentina.
    Straight down to the 16 top nations.

    Looking forward to it.


    I figured you'd lead with the dropping of Robbo sooner or later...