There are only four World Cup 2018 qualification places left to play for in Europe as group play reached its conclusion on October 10.
France and Portugal were the last teams to wrap up top spot in their groups and confirm their place at the finals, joining the likes of Spain, Germany and England.
For Italy, Croatia and Switzerland, among others, though, the second-place play-offs loom in November before the draw for the tournament in Russia a month later.
Goal has your complete guide to the current qualification picture as we edge nearer to the return of the biggest sporting event on the planet.QUALIFIED TEAMS GROUP TABLES
The 54 countries participating are split into nine groups of six.
The teams in each group play each other twice - once at home and once away. The nine first-place teams qualify directly for the World Cup finals.
The nine second-place teams are then ranked by points, but with the results of their games against the last-placed team in their group discarded (leaving eight games each).
The best eight teams on that basis are drawn at random into four two-legged play-off ties, with the ninth team eliminated. The winners of those ties also qualify for the World Cup finals.Group B: Group D: Group F: Group H:
(PO) = qualified at least for play-offSECOND-PLACE RANKING
The nine second-place teams from each group are ranked by points, but with the results of their games against the sixth-placed team in their group discarded.
Those points don't count because there were initially two groups of five teams until Kosovo and Gibraltar were admitted to UEFA. UEFA subsequently decided not to change the rules despite the fact that the groups are now balanced.
The best eight teams on that basis will be drawn - based on seeding - into four two-legged, home-and-away play-off ties, with the ninth team eliminated.
The seeding will be based on the next update to the FIFA world rankings, which will make Switzerland, Italy, Denmark and Croatia the seeded teams and Sweden, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Greece the unseeded teams.
The winners of those ties will qualify for the World Cup finals.
(PO) = qualified for play-offWHEN ARE THE PLAY-OFFS?
FIFA has confirmed that the European qualifiers play-off draw will take place on Tuesday, October 17.
The draw will be held in Zurich and things kick off at 14:00 CET (13:00 GMT), with the event being streamed live on FIFA's website as well as their YouTube channel.
The eight teams involved in the draw will be split into two pots, with the four highest-ranked teams according to the FIFA world rankings in one pot and the four lowest-ranked teams in another.When will the play-off matches be played?
The dates have not yet been confirmed, but FIFA says that the play-offs are expected to take place between November 9 and 14.
Event Start Time (GMT): 04/09/2016 : 17:00
It’s a busy few days of World Cup 2018 qualifying action and NetBet are getting in on the action! Simply opt-in to the promotion, bet £10.00 on four different World Cup 2018 qualifying games across Sunday and Monday, and NetBet will give us a £10.00 free bet on Tuesday. Translated into matched betting terms, this gives us a guaranteed profit of £6.00 and here’s how…Qualifying Bet:
If you’re unfamiliar with qualifying bets, please see my Qualifying Bet Strategy page for a walk-through guide on how they should be done.
We must opt-in on the promotion page, to be eligible for this offer.
We must place a £10.00+ bet, at odds of 1.80 (4/5) or greater, on 4 different European World Cup 2018 Qualifiers taking place between Sunday 4th September 2016 and Monday 5th September 2016.
It’s entirely up to you what you place your qualifying bets on.
I like to place my exchange lay bets with Smarkets as they have great liquidity, the site is really easy to use and they only charge 2% commission in comparison to the 5% charged by other betting exchanges.
We can calculate our lay stakes using my matched betting calculator.
Aim to lose no more than £0.50 on each of our 4 qualifying bets
So, we will lose a total of £2.00 in qualifying for our £10.00 free bet.
Our £10.00 free bet will be credited on Tuesday 6th September 2016 and will be valid for 7 days. Free bet stakes are not included in any returns.
By using straightforward matched betting, we should be able to extract 80% of our £10.00 free bet as cash, so around £8.00. If we take into account our total qualifying loss of £2.00, this gives us a guaranteed profit of £6.00 on this NetBet offer.11 Comments
Remembered to opt in just after I placed bet, does anyone know if it will still count?
Not sure about that Matt. It may be worth placing an extra qualifying bet just to be sure.
I did one of these the other day and totally forgot to Opt In - i did opt in post all my bets and STILL got the freebet so you should be ok.
Thank you for your replies and help.
Do you have to bet on matches from both Sunday and Monday or can all 4 bets be placed on Monday matches only?
4 bets on Monday would have been fine for this Khaled.
It looks like I will make a loss off this offer as one of my bets was Draw in Albania vs Macedonia, which was postponed until today with the score at 1-1. NetBet voided my back bet, but Smarkets say the lay bet still stands, as long as the game is finished within 3 days. So unless the result changes in the 14 minutes to be played today, I will have made a £25 loss.
That's unfortunate Alvin. There is always the option to back the draw at Smarkets and cut your losses, but it's entirely up to you.
I hadn't thought of that but I saw that there wasn't much liquidity on the market today.
As it turns out I got lucky, as Albania got a winner so my lay bet came in! Plus NetBet voided what would have turned out to be a losing bet, and still agreed to give me the free bet. My lucky day I guess!
Glad it worked out for you Alvin.
Never got credited this promo and they are impossible to get hold of :( anyone else had trouble??Get involved!
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