With the international break already over in Europe, it’s time to make calculations about the options it presents Spain in order to be in the Qatar World Cup 2022. Luis Enrique’s team has not played any qualifying matches on these dates, but it has ensured, whatever happens, its presence at least in the play-off, having been runner-up in the Nations League. But there are still options to bypass the play-offs and go on the fast track.
Spain reached the break as leader of group B, with 13 points. However, the victories of Sweden ante Kosovo y Greece, it has put them at the top of the standings, two points ahead and with two games to go before the end of the competition. In the case of the Hellenes, who also arrive with options to get in as first, their defeat against the Swedes leaves them touched, but alive, being with nine points with two games to play.
Precisely, the two most complicated teams in the group will be the two rivals of Spain. The day November 11th, Spain will play the penultimate match against the Greeks in Thessaloniki, while they will host Sweden the November 14th. If these two matches are won, they will be first in the group, regardless of the results obtained by the Nordic team, and they will get the ticket for the World Cup 2022 on the fast track.
It not only depends on what Spain achieve victory in both games, although it is the fastest formula to achieve qualification for Qatar 2022. Spain can even lead to that last final against Sweden, if it manages to prevail in Greece and the Swedes draw or lose against Georgia.
If there is a difference of three points or less to the match against Sweden, there will be options to be first whenever they are beaten in the game that closes the group. In the event of a tie on points, decide the overall goal difference, so in this case the 2-1 with which he lost in Solna is not so relevant for the leadership of the group. At the moment, Sweden has +9, with 12 goals in favor, while Spain has +8, with 13 goals in favor.
Repechage if it is second or third
But you can also give the option that Spain have to wait to be in Qatar. He will do it if he is second or even third in the group. In the qualifying phase, only the first player gets a ticket to the World Cup finals, while the second goes to a play-off in which there will be 12 teams and three will finally qualify. The third is eliminated, except in our case.
The UEFA awards 10 play-offs to the runners-up in the group and two more to the best teams in the Nations league who have not managed to be among the first two of their group. This is where Spain has already reserved a place, being runner-up in the competition. If third in the group, surpassed by Sweden and Greece, Spain would access the play-off this way.
The play-off does not seem very appealing, because of how it is configured. Twelve teams will participate, of which three will qualify. That is, it will be necessary overcome semifinals and final, in neutral field and only one game. It is true that, a priori, teams of a slightly lower level would be in it, but it is a real risk, since you can run out of the World Cup if you have a bad day. In addition, at this time, selections such as Portugal, Switzerland, Croatia O Poland, with the possibility that one of those who also enters it is the European champion, the Italy of Mancini.
Spain will be in the playoffs if they fail to win in Greece and Sweden yes he does against Georgia. If the Swedes lead us in four points before the direct confrontation between the two, there will be no more accounts: we will be second or even third in the group. So the Spain-Sweden it would go from being a final to being totally irrelevant.