What do England and Wales need to do to qualify?

2 months ago 27
England players after the USA gameDrawing with the USA meant England missed out on the chance to progress with a game to spare
Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listings - Full coverage details

England are on the verge of reaching the knockout stage of the World Cup but Wales face an uphill battle in their quest to make the last 16.

A 2-0 defeat by Iran means Wales will need to beat England on Tuesday, and hope results go their way, if they are to progress on their first World Cup appearance since 1958.

England's drab goalless draw with the United States saw them miss the chance to wrap up qualification, but Gareth Southgate's side will go through regardless if they avoid a four-goal defeat by Wales.

France's 2-1 win over Denmark made them the first team to book their place in the last 16.

Meanwhile, hosts Qatar have already been knocked out after back-to-back defeats.

As we approach the business end of the group stage, we take a look at how it stands.

Group A

Group A standings

There was heartache for Qatar on Friday as the hosts became the first team to be eliminated from the tournament.

After losing 3-1 to Senegal, a 1-1 draw between the Netherlands and Ecuador condemned Qatar to an early exit. It is the earliest a host nation has been knocked out of the World Cup.

The draw between the Dutch and Ecuador leaves just a point between the top three heading into the final Group A games on Tuesday.

Three-time finalists the Netherlands and Ecuador know a draw against Qatar and Senegal respectively will see them through to the last 16.

Qatar eliminated after Senegal defeatValencia scores as Ecuador draw with Netherlands

Group B

Group B standings

England missed the chance to seal a last-16 spot with a game to spare as they were held to a scoreless draw by the USA.

It means that all four teams still have a chance of reaching the next round going into the final group games.

England are in the strongest position with four points from two games and Southgate's side will advance if they avoid a four-goal defeat by Wales on Tuesday.

A win would guarantee England top spot, but they can still draw and finish top unless Iran beat the USA or the USA beat Iran by at least four goals. England will also finish top if Iran and the USA draw and they don't lose to Wales by four or more goals.

Wales in danger of World Cup exit after Iran lossEngland labour to goalless draw against USA

Wales still have a chance of reaching the last 16 despite losing to Iran on Friday. To qualify, Wales must beat England and hope for a draw between the United States and Iran.

If the USA-Iran match does not end in a draw, Wales must beat England by four goals to advance.

The United States must win to progress, while Iran will go through with a draw unless Wales beat England.

Group C

Group C

Poland and Argentina are the top two in the group following 2-0 wins over Saudi Arabia and Mexico respectively on Saturday.

But those two meet in Wednesday's group decider, meaning there is a decent chance either Lionel Messi or Robert Lewandowski go out.

Poland would be guaranteed progression with a draw, while Argentina will go through if they win. Both sides will go through if both games are drawn.

Saudi Arabia will secure their shock entry to the knockout stages if they beat Mexico.

Mexico need to beat the Saudis to have any hope of going through. They would be through if both they and Poland win. Any other result in the other game would probably mean the Mexicans would need to win by a few.

Messi scores as Argentina beat MexicoLewandowski gives Poland win over Saudis

Group D

Group D

Kylian Mbappe scored twice to see France beat Denmark 2-1 and seal their place in the knockout stage.

A draw in their final qualifying game against Tunisia on Wednesday will also seal top spot.

Any of the other three teams could qualify along with Les Bleus.

Australia will be through if they beat Denmark, but a draw would allow Tunisia to claim second spot if they upset France. Denmark have to win to have any chance of going through.

If Denmark and Tunisia both win their games, the team to progress will be decided by goal difference or the other criteria mentioned below.

France beat Denmark to reach last 16 Duke gives Australia win over TunisiaFifa World Cup: Groups & ScheduleWorld Cup TV Coverage guide

How is qualification decided?

If teams are level on points after the three group games, progress is decided by goal difference. The full tiebreaker criteria is:

Points accrued Goal difference Goals scored Head-to-head results Fair play: the team that has accumulated the fewest indiscipline points wins (a yellow card equals one point, a red card shown for two yellows equals three points, a direct red card equals four points and a direct red card shown to a player who was already on a yellow equals five points) Lots drawn

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