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Euro 2016: Four big questions

Euro 2016
ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

Euro 2016 qualifying: How teams can make it to France

With one round of games left to go, we look at who is in the running for the six places still up for grabs.

Qualified: France (as hosts), Albania, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Wales.

Playoffs: Denmark, Hungary*, Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine.

Best third place

Defeat for Ukraine and victory for Slovakia on Monday means we are down to just two contenders.

At present *Hungary are in the clubhouse as the best third-placed nation with 15 points.

The last team in with a chance of going through automatically is Turkey. They must win at home to Iceland and also hope Kazakhstan beat Latvia so they switch places at the bottom of the group. That would leave Turkey on 16 points and straight to the finals.

Finals draw seeding

At present we know the following:

Pot 1: France, Spain, Germany, England, Portugal
Pot 2: Austria, Russia, Switzerland
Pot 3: Romania
Pot 4: Albania, Northern Ireland, Wales

The top two in each group qualify automatically, along with the best third-placed team. The eight other third-placed teams will have a playoff for four places.


Iceland and Czech Republic have already wrapped up the top two.

Turkey's brilliant win in Czech Republic on Saturday means the playoff spot is in their own hands. They hold the head-to-head advantage over Netherlands going into Tuesday's final games and as they are two points in front of the Dutch they need just a point at home to Iceland. Netherlands must win at home to Czech Republic and hope Turkey lose.

Turkey could also actually finish as the best third placed team if they beat Iceland and Latvia finish bottom of this group.


Belgium and Wales secured their places on Saturday evening, leaving only the playoff place to be decided.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Must win in Cyprus to be assured of the playoff place.

Israel: Will take the playoff place if they better Bosnia's result in their game in Belgium.

Cyprus: Must win at home to Bosnia, and if they do they will make the playoffs unless Israel win in Belgium.


Italy qualified for the finals with a 3-1 win over Azerbaijan on Saturday, leaving two teams fighting for the final spot, with the one to miss out headed to the playoffs.

Norway: Two points ahead of Croatia with a trip to Italy to come after their win over Malta. With Croatia facing Malta on the final day, and holding the head-to-head if level with Norway, that makes it likely that Norway will have to win in Rome to take second.

Croatia: If they beat Malta and Norway do not win in Italy, then Croatia are through and Norway are in the playoffs.

Dale Johnson has been an editor and journalist at ESPN for 18 years. You can follow him on Twitter @dalejohnsonESPN.


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