The draw at the Olimpico complicated things: if the Azzurri triumphed in Belfast with Northern Ireland and Switzerland beat Bulgaria in Lucerne, we would have to look at the goal difference and the goals scored. If these were also tied, we would go to the playoffs for away goals in head-to-head matches
There is only one match left to decide Italy’s World Cup destiny. On Monday evening in Belfast Mancini’s blues challenge Northern Ireland in the decisive 90 minutes for qualification in Qatar. After the draw at the Olimpico, the classification of Group C currently sees Italy and Switzerland in the lead, both at 15 points. Our national team, however, is in the lead for general goal difference (+11 for the Azzurri against +9), the first element that we look at in the event of a tie, followed by the number of goals scored in the group (12 against 10).
Between Belfast and Lucerne
To qualify, Italy must therefore score more points in Belfast than the Swiss, committed against Bulgaria at home, in Lucerne (away Yakin’s men won 3-1). In the event of a further tie (so if both win, draw or lose) you should look at the goal difference: for example, if Italy wins 1-0 and Switzerland wins 4-0, the goal difference would be favorable to the Swiss, but in case of a tie, the goal difference would benefit us. Another case: if Italy wins 2-1 and Switzerland 3-0, the Azzurri pass for the highest number of goals scored with the same goal difference. But there is more, with our 1-0 and theirs 3-0, therefore with the same goal difference and goals scored, Switzerland would still qualify: the third criterion concerns in fact the goals scored away in head-to-head matches. and Italy drew 0-0 in Basel, while at the Olimpico match Switzerland scored a goal that could prove decisive.
If Italy fails to get the first place and therefore direct qualification for the World Cup, it would go to the playoffs together with the other nine runners-up and the two best teams of the Nations League among those not already qualified or not already in the play-offs. These twelve teams will be divided into three groups of four who will play semifinals and finals: the three winners qualify. The best six runners-up will be seeded: each semifinal will see opposing one seeded and one unseeded, with pairing defined with a draw scheduled for November 26 in Zurich.
November 12, 2021 (change November 13, 2021 | 00:32)
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