Who can qualify?: Group A and B permutations
Qualification scenarios are shaping up as teams are eventfully poised after the completion of the second round of matches of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Only Brazil, Portugal, and defending champions France have guaranteed a place in the last 16 and the 13 other spots are up for grabs as teams face now-or-never situations to qualify.
Netherlands have one foot in the last 16 of the World Cup as Louis van Gaal's side, in order to qualify, would just need to avoid defeat against already eliminated hosts, Qatar.
The Dutch would also reach the next round if Ecuador beat Senegal. The African champions are in a must-win situation if they are to feature in the last 16; If not, Aliou Cisse's side would also be thrown a lifeline if Qatar cause an unlikely upset against the Netherlands.
An impressive Ecuador would need to meet the same conditions as the Dutch to qualify as a win or a draw against Senegal would take the South-American side to the last 16. However, Ecuador have the possibility to go through in defeat as well if Qatar beat Netherlands as goal difference would come into play.
England would need a win or a draw against neighbours Wales to qualify for the last 16. The Three Lions can also go through even if they lose but in that case, they would need to lose by a margin of three goals or less.
Gareth Bale-led Wales, on the other hand, would need several things to go their way if they are to go through. First of all, Wales would have to win against England 4-0, a result that would see them qualify at the expense of England regardless of what happens in the other Group B game between Iran and USA. If Wales fail to achieve this outcome, they would still need three points from the Battle of Britain and then hope for Iran and USA game ends in a stalemate.
Meanwhile, the USA have a rather simple equation in front of them as they must win against Iran to qualify. The same goes for a resurgent Iran as a win against the Star and Stripes would guarantee them a last 16 spot. Carlos Queiroz's side could still qualify with a draw but would have to bank on Wales to lose or draw against England. If the Welsh pull off a victory in that fixture then it would come down to goal difference.