Group G is down to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece. They are tied on points, but Greece has absolutely no shot of making up the 15 goal difference that separates the two teams. As they do not meet again, Bosnia controls their own destiny, while Greece must hope they slip up. Whichever team finishes 2nd is guaranteed a spot in the 2nd place play-off. Out simulator xCRO thinks there’s an 87% chance Bosnia finishes first, while Greece only has a 13% chance of claiming the group’s top spot.
Greece v. Slovakia – Piraeus, Greece
Who would’ve thought when qualifying started that Slovakia would already be eliminated at this point. Hopefully Slovakia hasn’t just packed it in and continues to fight. They’re a solid squad, and any result will surely help their ranking for future European tournaments. Greece must keep pace with Bosnia. If they take anything less than 3 here, they’re going to be in some trouble. Our predictor is ambitious yet again. Expect a tight, low-scoring Greek affair, as usual.
Prediction: Greece by 3
Bosnia-Herzegovina v. Liechtenstein – Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Yikes. This is our biggest predicted victory of the day pitting our #9 team against #182. There is a 0% chance Bosnia does not crush tiny Liechtenstein. Bosnia won 8-1 in Liechtenstein in the reverse fixture. No analysis necessary. Big victory here.
Prediction: Bosnia-Herzegovina by 6
Lithuania v. Latvia – Vilnius, Lithuania
Despite the fact that this game is meaningless, it should be a very close, competitive match. The good news is that since these teams are neighbors, Latvia won’t have to travel far for this one. Google Maps tells me this is a quick 3 hour bus ride between capital cities. These teams are even, and that’s what we expect the score to be.
Nothing should change after Friday. It will be up to Bosnia to see who finishes first.
Greece v. Liechtenstein – Piraeus, Greece
Similar to Bosnia, Greece should roll over Liechtenstein and cruise to 3 more points. Provided they defeat Slovakia, they’ll have an eye on the scoreboard from Lithuania to see how Bosnia is faring. I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I’m Greece. They’re most likely headed to the 2nd place play-off. Predictor feeling saucy here.
Prediction: Greece by 6
Lithuania v. Bosnia-Herzegovina – Kaunas, Lithuania
This is the match that should send Bosnia to Brazil. Bosnia defeated Lithuania at home 3-0, but they should find a little bit more resistance here. With two teams so far ahead of the pack, Lithuania hasn’t played a meaningful game in awhile. When you have a team with nothing to play for against a team with a chance to go to the World Cup, you know which team will be playing harder. We think Bosnia gets it done.
Prediction: Bosnia-Herzegovina by 3… to Brazil
Latvia v. Slovakia – Riga, Latvia
While this is yet another meaningless game in Group G, it should be another good one. Slovakia is the better team, but the home advantage in Riga may give the Latvians a little more push. We think Slovakia falls just short of claiming 3 points.
It’s remarkable that you can’t win a group with 25 of 30 points. Greece is more than likely headed to the play-offs. When Group G concludes, we expect the standings to look like this:
Our other UEFA group previews can be seen below. Thanks for reading!
Group A Preview (Belgium, Croatia, Serbia, FYR Macedonia, Scotland, Wales)
Group B Preview (Italy, Bulgaria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Armenia, Malta)
Group C Preview (Germany, Sweden, Austria, Republic of Ireland, Kazakhstan, Faroe Islands)
Group D Preview (Netherlands, Romania, Hungary, Turkey, Estonia, Andorra)
Group E Preview (Switzerland, Iceland, Slovenia, Norway, Albania, Cyprus)
Group F Preview (Russia, Portugal, Israel, Azerbaijan, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg)
Group H Preview (England, Ukraine, Montenegro, Poland, Moldova, San Marino)
Group I Preview (Spain, France, Finland, Georgia, Belarus)