Here we go! A group that hasn’t been decided yet. There are 4 teams that are still alive in this group. Poland is on thin ice, and Montenegro is not looking good. England currently have the upper hand as we give them a 72% chance to claim 1st place in the group. We also give them about a 6% chance of not finishing Top 2. This is certainly a group to watch. Montenegro has one chance to make their push.
Moldova v. San Marino – Chisinau, Moldova
What a waste.
Prediction: Moldova by 4
Ukraine v. Poland – Kharkiv, Ukraine
The nations that co-hosted EURO 2012 will do battle here. There’s obviously a lot of history here, and you can be sure this will be a very intense match. Ukraine is in a pretty good spot knowing they play San Marino in their final match. They’ll have an eye on the match between England and Montenegro in London, as anything other than an England win will have them on the fast track to Brazil. They will get the job done here at home and eliminate Poland from qualifying.
Prediction: Ukraine by 2
England v. Montenegro – London, England
This is a massive match in Group H. Montenegro looked to be in pretty good shape just a few months ago, but they were destroyed on their home pitch by Ukraine. Now they must travel to England and pull a major upset if they want to reach Brazil. Given that Ukraine is likely to pull 6 points in their final 2 matches, this is probably Montenegro’s final opportunity to pass England. A single point probably does them no good. While England still faces two tough opponents in Poland and Montenegro, they are at home, which is a huge boost. This may end up being the match to watch in UEFA on Friday. We think the home team comes out ahead in the end, all but eliminating Montenegro.
Prediction: England by 2
England should still hold a 1 point lead over Ukraine after the 11th.
England v. Poland – London, England
Obviously this match will kick-off at the same time as the San Marino – Ukraine match, but England will know the result of that one before it even starts. England more than likely is looking at a shot to clinch their World Cup berth here against Poland. For as long as its taken England to break through, they’re still undefeated in qualifying. Poland should be out at this point, which makes things a little easier. We think England gets the job done and advances to Brazil.
Prediction: England by 3… to Brazil
San Marino v. Ukraine – Serraville, San Marino
Ukraine is going to destroy San Marino. They beat them 9-0 at home. UEFA really needs to consider having a preliminary elimination round for qualifying. It’s pointless to play a match like this. With a win here, Ukraine will be locked into at worst the 2nd place play-off. They won’t miss out.
Prediction: Ukraine by 6
Montenegro v. Moldova – Podgorica, Montenegro
It could be too little, too late for Montenegro at this point. If they lose in England, they’re cooked. They’ll beat Moldova here, but in all likelihood this one won’t mean much. A respectable 3rd place effort is in the cards for Montenegro, but that’s all.
Prediction: Montenegro by 4
It should be England heading directly to Brazil and Ukraine to the play-offs. Will be interesting to see if Montenegro can throw a wrench into those plans. When Group H 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 G Preview (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Liechtenstein)
Group I Preview (Spain, France, Finland, Georgia, Belarus)