Final day for Euro 2012 qualifying

October, 10, 2011

Five automatic berths are up for grabs as Euro 2012 Qualifying enters the final day of group play Tuesday, with four group titles and the best runner-up spot still to be determined. Only two groups have been decided entirely, with England and Montenegro finishing atop Group G and Netherlands and Sweden going one-two in Group E, though Sweden is still playing for the top runner-up berth. The other eight runners-up will advance to next month's playoffs, the matchups for which will be determined Thursday.

Here are scenarios and Soccer Power Index simulations for the remaining berths.

Group A
Standings: Germany has clinched the group. Belgium leads Turkey by one point for runner-up spot.
Scenarios: To finish runner-up, Belgium must better or equal Turkey's result. Turkey must better Belgium's result.
SPI odds: Belgium faces the 9-0-0 Germans on the road, and Turkey hosts Azerbaijan, which has a minus-15 goal difference. Belgium has only a 1.6 percent chance to win and a 10.8 percent chance to draw while Turkey has 86.9 percent chance to win. Putting the numbers together, Turkey is an overwhelming 94.9 percent favorite to finish second in the group.

Group B
Standings: Russia leads second-place Ireland by two points and third-place Armenia by three points.
Scenarios: To capture Group B, Russia needs one point at home against Andorra or an Ireland draw or loss. Ireland needs a home win or draw versus Armenia to finish runner-up. Armenia must win in Dublin to advance.
SPI odds: SPI gives the Russians a 99.8 percent chance of winning the group, with Ireland picking up the remaining 0.2 percent of simulations. Ireland has a 91.1 percent chance of finishing runner-up.

Group C
Standings: Italy has clinched the group. Second-place Estonia leads third-place Serbia by one point and holds the tiebreaker. Estonia has completed its schedule, while Serbia has one match to play.
Scenarios: Serbia must win at Slovenia to finish in second place. Otherwise, Estonia goes through to the playoffs.
SPI odds: Serbia has a 22.9 percent chance of winning at Slovenia and finishing runner-up.

Group D
Standings: France leads the group by one point over Bosnia-Herzegovina. The two countries have clinched the top two spots and face off at Stade de France on Tuesday.
Scenarios: France needs a win or draw to clinch the group, while Bosnia-Herzegovina must win.
SPI odds: France is 89.3 percent to win or draw at home.

Group E
Standings: Netherlands and Sweden have clinched first and second in this group, respectively.
Scenarios: Sweden can clinch an automatic berth to the Euros as the best runner-up with a win against the Dutch on Tuesday. At worst, Sweden will likely enter the playoff round as one of the seeded nations.
SPI odds: Sweden has 32.4 percent chance of defeating Netherlands in Stockholm, assuming a full squad for both teams.

Group F
Standings: Greece leads the group by two points over Croatia. The two countries have clinched the top two spots.
Scenarios: Greece wins the group with a win/draw at Georgia or if Croatia does not defeat Latvia at home.
SPI odds: Greece is a 67.6 percent favorite to win or draw at Georgia and a 74.4 percent favorite to win the group.

Group H
Standings: Portugal and Denmark are level on points and lead the group. Norway is three points back.
Scenarios: For Norway to advance, it must win and Denmark must defeat Portugal and Norway must make up a goal difference of at least nine against Portugal. Otherwise, Portugal and Denmark finish as the top two. Portugal wins the group with a win or draw. Denmark takes the group with a win. The Danes are also still in contention for clinching the best runner-up spot with a tie and a Sweden draw or loss. Portugal and Denmark are both automatically through with a Sweden loss and a Croatia draw or loss.
SPI odds: Portugal has a 71.0 percent chance of winning the group, and Denmark has a 29.0 percent chance. In 10,000 simulations, Norway never advanced.

Group I
Standings: Spain has clinched the group. Scotland leads Czech Republic by one point for the runner-up spot, with Czech Republic holding the tiebreaker.
Scenarios: The Czechs will advance with a win at Lithuania and a Scotland draw or loss at Spain. Czech Republic also advances with a draw and a Scotland loss.
>SPI odds: Czech Republic finishes in second in 58.2 percent of simulations, to Scotland's 41.8 percent.

Paul Carr

Stats & Information



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