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Five Aside
By ESPN Staff

Play-off permutations

Scotland play Holland in their final World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night knowing a victory is needed to give them the best possible chance of reaching the play-offs.

One of the nations finishing in second place in the European section will miss out on the play-offs. Due to the points already on the board, this team will either come from Group Three or Group Nine.

IF SCOTLAND WIN - Scotland can secure a play-off place on Wednesday night if they beat Holland and results in Group Three go their way. They would need Northern Ireland to fail to beat Slovakia and a draw between Slovenia and Poland. Scotland would have 13 points, while no-one in Group Three could finish in second place with more than 12 points once their results against bottom-placed San Marino are discounted. Any other set of results and Scotland would need October's qualifiers to go their way.

IF SCOTLAND DRAW - A draw would leave Scotland on 11 points, and would require a highly unlikely combination of results to go their way on Wednesday night and beyond.

IF SCOTLAND LOSE - Although not mathematically eliminated once the final whistle is blown at Hampden, Scotland would require a miraculous set of results to qualify.


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