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The possible scenarios facing England tonight
England entertain Montenegro tonight, with Group H rivals Ukraine and Poland meeting in Kharkiv at the same time. The Northern Echo examines the various scenarios that could unfold.
England WIN and Ukraine WIN England will remain a point ahead of Ukraine, and will need to beat Poland on Tuesday to guarantee a World Cup spot. They will, however, be guaranteed a place in the play-offs.
England WIN and Ukraine DRAW England will need a point against Poland to guarantee a place in Brazil. They will be guaranteed a play-off place, but could still be edged out of top spot on goal difference.
England WIN and Ukraine LOSE The dream scenario. England will be guaranteed to finish top of the group and will have qualified for 2014. Poland will leapfrog Ukraine into second position.
England DRAW and Ukraine WIN Ukraine will move to the top of the group and will only need to beat San Marino on Tuesday to qualify. England will need to beat Poland to guarantee a play-off place.
England DRAW and Ukraine DRAW It’s a case of as you were, with England a point ahead of Ukraine and needing to beat Poland to guarantee qualification. A potential play-off place would also be dependent on Tuesday’s results.
England DRAW and Ukraine LOSE Effectively the same as the above scenario, with Poland and Montenegro both just a point behind England, and Ukraine dropping down into fourth ahead of Tuesday’s matches.
England LOSE and Ukraine WIN The worst-case scenario. England will drop to third in the group and will be relying on results elsewhere just to make the play-offs even if they beat Poland in their final game.
England LOSE and Ukraine DRAW Just about as bad as the worst-case option. Montenegro would have to beat Moldova to win the group, and England would have to beat Poland and maintain their goal-difference advantage over Ukraine to make the play-offs.
England LOSE and Ukraine LOSE England would be second, level on points with Poland. Montenegro would need to beat Moldova to win the group, and England would need a draw against Poland to make the play-offs.
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