How I see things at the moment. Whilst there are a good few fixtures remaining I think we can start to pick out which groups and teams within them we need to be cheering on.
At the start of working this out I was confident, by the time I had went through each group I’m a little concerned, although one or two results can change a group very quickly.
With 8 playoff spots available…
Group A – Possibly 1 spot.
England (+) will qualify. It’s between Kosovo (-) and Czech Rep (+) for 2nd spot. We want the Czechs’ to get it. If Kosovo do, that’s 1 playoff spot gone.
Group B – 0 spots.
Ukraine look a shoe in and Portugal should have enough quality to see them through too.
Group C – 0 spots
Netherlands and Germany, otherwise this exercise is pointless.
Group D – 1 spot
Two of ROI, Denmark and Switzerland will qualify. The other will take a playoff spot.
Group E – Possibly 2 spots
Hungary are the worry here. If they get a top two place, it will leave Croatia, Wales and Slovakia for the other qualifying berth. The unlucky two will then go into the playoffs.
Group F – Possibly 1 spot
Spain are as good as through. We want Sweden to follow them. Romania and Norway are the worries.
Group G – Possibly 1 spot
Tight group. Poland on top and hopefully will see it out. Austria, Slovenia and Israel for the other place. We want Austria to qualify.
Group H– 1 spot
France, Turkey and Iceland. Pick any two from that, the other will take a playoff spot.
Group I – 0 spots
Belgium and Russia should both qualify from this group.
Group J – 1 spot
Italy are as good as through. Bosnia are looking very unlikely to get 2nd place.
And yes I am trying to occupy my mind until this afternoon......