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The qualification situation

Group C

Holland's barnstorming displays against Italy and France mean they have already qualified as winners of the group. But it's far more complicated for second place between Romania, Italy and France.

For Romania the task is simple. If they pick up three points against what is likely to be a below-strength Dutch side they will be through. Romania and Holland were grouped together in qualifying with Romania taking four points from the two meetings.

If Romania lose they can only stay in the competition if France and Italy finish goalless, but even that has conditions. If they draw they need Italy and France to draw also.

Italy and France, as mentioned, must rely on Holland taking points off Romania. In that event the winner of the Italy-France match will go through.

Should Italy and France draw and Romania lose, then all three sides will be level on two points. The first decider is head-to-head, and when three teams are involved a mini-league is created. The results for the Netherlands are ignored.

As Italy have a goal difference of 1-1 and France 0-0, then France cannot overtake Italy in the event of a draw. Italy will always remain ahead of them on goals scored. So France have to win to stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals - any other result and they are out.

If Italy and France draw 0-0 and Romania lose, then Italy and Romania will have identical records in the three-team mini league. It will then go down to goal difference. If Romania lose by fewer than three goals they will qualify.

If Romania were to lose by more than three goals then Italy would finish second. If they lose by three goals it will be decided on goals scored. A 0-3 defeat will mean they have an identical scoring record of 1-4 with Italy, so the positions would be decided on co-efficient. Italy's co-efficient is 2.36 and Romania 2.25, so under the 0-0/0-3 scenario it would be Italy who go through.

However, if Romania lose by three goals at a ratio of 1-4 or greater then they would finish second by virtue of goals scored.

Clear? Basically, If France and Italy draw 0-0 Romania have to lose by fewer than three goals or 1-4 and upwards by ratio.

Now, if France and Italy draw 1-1 or any greater number then Italy will go through as they will have scored more goals than France or Romania in the three-team mini-league.

Group D

Spain have won the group as they have beaten both Sweden and Russia, while Greece are out as they have lost to both.

That means it comes down to a direct shootout between Sweden and Russia. As Sweden have the superior goal different they only require a draw. Russia have to beat them to progress. Penalties will not happen if the match is drawn.


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