This week sees the culmination of the UEFA Nations League group stages – and there’s plenty still at stake.
The second edition of the competition has seen 289 goals scored across the 134 matches played so far, and there has been plenty of drama across the past three international breaks.
Semi-final and promotion places are still up for grabs while some nations are still battling it out to avoid relegation from their League.
Even defeats for teams already relegated from their League could impact their Pot for World Cup qualifying, as Sky Sports assesses the permutations heading into the final round of fixtures.
Italy are in the box seat and will be guaranteed of a semi-final berth with a win away to Bosnia & Herzegovina – or if Poland vs Netherlands ends in a draw.
Netherlands must win in Poland and hope Italy fail to beat Bosnia to reach the final four for the second successive edition.
Poland can still make the semi-finals but must beat Netherlands and hope Italy lose to Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Bosnia and Herzegovina have been relegated to League B, but another defeat to Italy could mean them dropping into Pot 4 for the World Cup qualifying draw.
A more straightforward group, where it’s winner-takes-all in Leuven. Belgium just need to avoid defeat to finish top, while Denmark must win to overtake them.
England will finish third whatever happens in their final fixture against Iceland at Wembley.
Iceland will be playing in League B in the next edition having already been relegated.
France became the first nation to reach the finals after victory over Portugal in Lisbon on matchday five. Whatever the result against Sweden, Didier Deschamps’ side will finish top of Group A3.
Holders Portugal will not be at next year’s showpiece event and will finish in second place regardless of the result in Croatia.
But relegation is still to be decided. Croatia and Sweden have the same number of points, goal difference and an equal head-to-head record.
Someone has to be bottom, and it’s Sweden based on goals scored by a clear margin, so they must get a better result than Croatia to avoid dropping into League B.
Essentially, Sweden need a more favourable scoreline to go above Croatia on goal difference should the two nations mirror results.
The standout fixture of matchday six comes in Seville, where Spain take on Germany knowing they need a victory in order to overtake Joachim Low’s side.
Germany just need to avoid defeat to secure a place in next autumn’s semi-finals.
Relegation is still to be decided, too, with Switzerland needing to beat Ukraine at home 1-0 or by two or more goals to avoid relegation.
In what would be a cruel twist of fate, Switzerland would still be relegated on head-to-head away goals if they won while conceding (eg. 2-1, 3-2, 4-3 etc).
*TBC Romania vs Norway
Romania vs Norway was postponed on Sunday as a result of the Norwegian squad not being allowed to travel following a positive coronavirus test, so this group remains in the balance.
The likelihood is that Romania will be handed a 3-0 forfeit win, and Norway have called up a completely new squad to fulfil Wednesday’s fixture in Austria.
Regardless of the outcome of Romania vs Norway, the outcome of the game in Vienna will determine which nation is promoted to League A, with the team of uncapped foreign-based Norwegians needing to win by any scoreline other than 1-0 to finish top on head-to-head away goals.
Should Romania be handed a 3-0 forfeit win, Northern Ireland will be relegated to League C irrespective of the result at Windsor Park.
Romania, who cannot top the group, must win in Belfast to have a chance of being seeded in Pot 2 in the World Cup qualifying draw.
Scotland take on Israel still in buoyant mood having qualified for Euro 2020, but they can cap a fine international break by gaining promotion to League A with a win in Israel. They would still top the group if Czech Republic fail to beat Slovakia.
Czech Republic have to win their game at home to Slovakia and hope Scotland fail to do likewise in order to finish top.
At the other end, Slovakia must win in Plzen and hope Israel fail to beat Scotland in order to avoid relegation.
Group B3 is wide open with three nations in contention for promotion.
Russia must win in Serbia to be guaranteed top spot, which would also cement their place in Pot 2 for World Cup qualifying. A draw would also be sufficient provided Hungary vs Turkey also ends in a stalemate.
Hungary must better Russia’s result against Turkey, while the visitors to Budapest must win and hope Russia fail to do so in order to finish top.
It won’t be easy for the Russians as Serbia know that only a win will give them a chance of avoiding relegation. They must also hope Turkey lose to stay in League B.
It is winner-takes-all in Cardiff. Wales need to avoid defeat at home to Finland to top the group and earn promotion to League A.
The Finns must win – and a victory for either nation would virtually guarantee one of the two World Cup play-off places that have been allocated via the Nations League, should it be required.
Republic of Ireland
Finland need to win in order to secure Pot 3 in the World Cup qualifying draw, but a defeat for Bosnia against Italy would also confirm that position.
Bulgaria have to win to avoid relegation, while Republic of Ireland just need a point at the Aviva Stadium to stay in League B.
But Stephen Kenny’s men must take three points if they are to stay in contention for World Cup qualifying draw Pot 2.
Victory for Montenegro against Cyprus would ensure promotion to League B, though a point would be good enough provided Luxembourg do not win against Azerbaijan.
The Luxembourgers can still finish top if Montenegro do not win against Cyprus and they take maximum points from their encounter with Azerbaijan.
In terms of relegation, Cyprus must win and hope Azerbaijan fail to do likewise as a result of an inferior head-to-head.
North Macedonia are in pole position and will secure top spot if they avoid defeat away to Armenia. Their opponents must win in order to overtake them.
Georgia cannot top the group, but can still finish second with a win provided Armenia are beaten.
Estonia will be in the relegation play-offs regardless of their result in Georgia – with four teams bottom of their respective League C groups battling it out to decide which two drop down to League D.
Greece know that only a win would take them above Slovenia at the top of the group.
There is more than just promotion riding on it for the hosts, who also know that victory would prevent them from dropping into Pot 4 of the World Cup qualifying draw.
Kosovo cannot finish higher than third and must avoid defeat at home to Moldova in order to be guaranteed of their League C status.
Table-toppers Belarus could be pipped by Albania to promotion if they are beaten in Tirana on Wednesday. A draw would be enough for the visitors.
At the other end, Kazakhstan must beat Lithuania to avoid the relegation play-offs while Lithuania could still finish second with a win, provided Belarus do likewise.
Malta must overcome Faroe Islands by more than one goal – or by winning 1-0 or 2-1 – in order to overhaul them at the top.
Andorra could still avoid finishing bottom if they win at home to Latvia.
Liechtenstein can still catch Gibraltar with a victory that would promote them to League C.
San Marino have completed their fixtures and finish bottom of the group despite keeping two clean sheets.
Follow Tuesday’s action with our dedicated live blog plus watch in-game clips and free match highlights on Sky Sports’ digital platforms.
We will also be providing live individual blogs with in-game clips and free match highlights on Sky Sports’ digital platforms for all Home Nations and the Republic of Ireland’s game against Bulgaria on Wednesday.
The World Cup qualifying draw takes place on December 7, and results this week could determine seeding. Results in the UEFA Nations League goes towards FIFA World Ranking coefficient points.
League B nations – including Wales and Scotland – who currently top their group will want to not only gain promotion on the final night to League A.
Finishing top will also place them in a strong position for a potential 2022 World Cup qualifying play-off – provided they have not already qualified via the conventional route in the forthcoming qualifiers.
Once the four qualifying nations from League A are known, the host of the Nations League Finals will be announced from among the countries involved, as was the case last year with Portugal.
The semi-finals will be determined by an open draw, with games to take place next autumn. The semi-finals will be on October 6 and 7 with the third-place play-off and final occurring on October 10.
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