England and Germany facing possible elimination in crucial week in Womens World Cup


England and Germany risk elimination if they lose matches away to the teams currently leading their group
Photo: The FA

England and Germany facing possible elimination in crucial week in Womens World Cup

by Steve Clare

Scotland v Switzerland preview

World Cup qualification will reach fever pitch in Europe this week as key games take place on August 30th, 31st and September 4th.

Focusing on this week, there are a number of enticing 1st v 2nd matches where the best two sides in the group will clash.

All seven group winners will qualify and the top four of the second place finishers will play off for the last two positions. The game against the group’s weakest side is discounted in that calculation. In four of the seven groups, it is still unknown which side will finish last, making it even harder to make predictions at this point, although none of the potential qualifiers have dropped points as yet against a likely bottom side. However, there are significant variations in goal difference.

Scotland v Switzerland, Wales v England, Denmark v Sweden and Iceland v Germany all pit the group leaders against the second place team, and in all cases the lead and pole position for the automatic place in France for group winners could change hands.

Starting with this week, the British Isles hosts the first two key games.

On Thursday Scotland (15 points) host Switzerland (18) in Paisley with Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side defending a 100% record. However Scotland, led by Utah’s Rachel Corsie, only lost 1-0 when the two sides met in Schaffhausen.

This means that any Scotland win, other than a 1-0, will give the Scots the key head-to-head advantage over the Swiss in Group 2. The Dark Blues would then head to Albania needing just a win to ensure they top the group and qualify for the finals for the very first time. A loss however would see them nervously watching other games in other groups to make a playoff.

Denmark (15 points ) and Sweden (15) face home ties this week, with Sweden’s match against Ukraine looking a possible banana skin having already lost to them 1-0  in Lviv in an earlier Group 4 clash.

The two Scandinavian rivals meet in Viborg on September 4th but with the Danes needing to overturn a 3-0 deficit to sneak ahead in the head-to-head. The Danes will be  therefore earnestly hoping for a favour this week from Ukraine who with ten points, can technically still sneak into an unlikely playoff.

On Friday, Wales (17 points)  v England (16) will occupy the attention in Group 1. It’s Wales’ last game and a win will see them qualify for the first time and rank as a major upset in women’s soccer as the much fancied England team head for a possible play off.

A draw would leave the Lionesses needing to win in Kazakhstan to top the group. Should Wales lose, they may miss out on a playoff altogether as 11 points from the six games that count does not look likely to be a top four finish among second place sides. It’s not impossible too that a Wales win may leave England outside the top four second place finishes.

The following day Iceland host Germany and should the Icelanders complete the double over Germany, there is a real danger of Germany missing out altogether. Games against the last place team do not count in assessing who are the best four second places, and 12 points from the other six games is unlikely to see them among the top four finishers. An Icelandic win would see England in a batter second place than Germany and therefore ensure the Lionsesses survive another day.

Belgium (Group 6) and Austria (Group 7) already look likely to be outside the four best second places but that leaves one more side to fail to make the best four, with either England or Germany both one defeat away from being likely candidates.


Thu 30/08/18
Russia v Kazakhstan
Moldova v Portugal
Sweden v Ukraine
Denmark v Croatia
Scotland v Switzerland

Fri 31/08/18
Belarus v Poland
Czech Republic v Slovenia
Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland
Romania v Belgium
Spain v Finland
Slovakia v Norway
Wales v England

Sep 1/09/18
Iceland v Germany


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