Last Group Stage: Who will make it?21st Jun 2016 |
What makes group C as good as decided is the fact that Ukraine is already out. Northern Ireland will go for 3rd place by defending against Germany. The only real element of excitement in this group is what Northern Ireland’s goal difference will be. They might be a candidate for one of the bottom two 3rd places, but I think they might make it through. As they have scored two goals in the completion they need to lose by at least four goals to go below Albania in the ranking of 3rd placed teams. Germany will finish 1st and Poland will finish 2nd, unless Northern Ireland manages not to lose against Germany while Poland wins against Ukraine.
Spain will finish 1st unless Croatia wins against them today. Possible, but quite unlikely. Czech Republic-Turkey is the exciting game here. A draw won’t be good enough for either, as Czech Republic would then get 3rd place with two points. That certainly won’t be enough. Turkey probably has to win by large numbers to get to the round of 16. They have a goal difference of -4, by far the worst of all the somewhat likely candidates for 3rd place. If we judge by their recent form, I believe Czech Republic can win and secure themselves a place in the round of 16.
Czech Republic or Croatia?
If Czech Republic wins while Croatia loses, we have to start calculating goal difference. If not, you can look away from this paragraph. Czech Republic-Croatia ended 2-2, and this means that goal difference will be decisive in case of Czech’ victory and Croatian loss. If Croatia lose by one goal and Czech Republic wins by one, both will have 3-3 in goal difference. In this case the fair play conduct will decide. If Croatia loses by more than one and/or Czech Republic wins by more than one, Czech Republic will secure the 2nd place. Given the high quality of Spain and the poor performance from Turkey, I think Czech Republic will take 2nd place.