It’s World Cup qualifying season. With the tournament set to take place next year, there’s a last-minute scramble for the remaining tickets to the World Cup finals.
From the play-offs to the CAF World Cup qualifiers and then the intercontinental play-offs, the question of which countries will be going to the World Cup will be answered in a couple of days.
While some big names like Brazil, England and Nigeria have already qualified for the finals, the same cannot be said about some other heavyweights like Italy, Sweden, Ivory Coast and the likes who are still on the verge of missing out on the biggest platform of all.
With this in mind, we’re asking, which big names will fail to qualify for the World Cup?
Senegal qualified for the World Cup finals after defeating South Africa and ensuring they will be the third African representative in Russia next year. With Nigeria and Egypt already confirmed, there are now only two slots left for countries from the continent.
In Group A, it’s a straight contest between Tunisia and Congo DR for the World Cup ticket in that group. Both countries are first and second in the group respectively and will be looking to make sure of their qualification by the time the last round of games in this qualifying series are done with.
Ivory Coast and Morocco will be battling it out for the final World Cup ticket that has been allocated to Africa. Both sides, separated at the top of their group by just one point, will be playing against each other this weekend.
What this means is that a win is non-negotiable for both sides as they go into this encounter. Well, the Moroccans can do well with a draw as they’re leading the group. But the Ivorians, playing at home, will have to win the game if they will qualify to represent Africa in Russia next year.
It’s all about the play-offs between Europe’s heavyweights. While some of them qualified straight out of their groups, some others have made a big deal out of qualifying for Russia 2018 and have left it this late. And it has been dramatic so far.
Croatia recorded a resounding 4-1 victory over Greece while the Swiss team registered a 1-0 away win over Northern Ireland in what has been described as a controversial win. Surprisingly, Italy lost the first leg of their play-off game against Sweden by a lone goal.