What England has to do to qualify for last 16 of Euro 2016, how Group B can shape up
We analyse the last two fixtures of Group B post the England vs Wales game to check the permutations possible for Group B.
When UEFA Euro 2016 was announced as a 24 team format against the traditional 16 team format, there were a lot of eyebrows raised, people inferred the 'minnows' will be played out of the park by the top teams, and the tournament will lose it shine and spark. To the contrary, we have witnessed a competition where the biggest margin of a win has been two goals, and the same applies to Group B.
England fans would have feared the same old script of ‘England in major competitions’ repeating itself when Gareth Bale scored from a free kick 35 yards out in the first half through an assist by Joe Hart (how often English goalkeepers are the villain is quite astounding). Thankfully, uncle Roy threw out the rule book and threw some caution to the wind, sending on three strikers.
Conclusion, England won the game in stoppage time. Vardy and Sturridge, both second-half substitutes scored, broke a lot of Welsh hearts and we had to see that terrible goal celebration by Daniel Sturridge (thank god for Danny Rose).
After each team had played, here's how they stand
England are definitely the favorites to qualify from the group stages, but interestingly Wales, Slovakia, and Russia still have things in their own hands, in relation to qualification to the next round. Let's analyze the possibilities arising off the remaining two fixtures
1. Slovakia vs England:
England leads the table with 4 points from two games, with a goal difference of 1. So, a win will assure them qualification via first place from the group. A draw, can also allow them to finish first, provided the other game also finishes in a draw, or Russia win the other game.
A loss (especially by a margin of a two goals), however, will spice things up, this potentially might allow both Russia and England to end with four points on the board (given that in the other game Wales lose to Russia) might spark a potential controversy, the first time ever in group stages of the Euros, fair play might come into play to decide who goes through to the round of 16.
2. Wales vs Russia:
,This game will take place at the same time as Slovakia vs England, obviously, the winner will qualify as the first or second place team (depending on the Slovakia vs England game). If Wales lose they will have hope and pray that they get through via as one of the four third-place teams into the round of 16. Russia, on the other hand, if they lose, will be knocked out.
A draw will edge the ball into Wales’ court as they have are on 3 points on board and will be on 4 points, allowing them to more or less ensure qualification into the next round. Interestingly, it may all potentially come down to then number of yellow and red cards the Welsh players accumulate. Absolutely mind blowing isn't it? Keep an eye on this space.
|Possible points table||Wales beat Russia||Wales and Russia Draw||Wales lose to Russia|
|England beat Slovakia||England-7, Wales-6, Slovakia-3, Russia-1||England-7, Wales-4, Slovakia-3, Russia-2||England-7, Russia-4, Wales-3, Slovakia-3|
|England and Slovakia Draw||Wales-6, England-5, Slovakia-4, Russia-1||England-5, Wales-4, Slovakia-4, Russia-2||England-5, Slovakia-4, Russia-4, Wales-3|
|England lose to Slovakia||Wales-6, Slovakia-6, England-4, Russia-1||England-4, Slovakia-6, Wales-4, Russia-2||Slovakia-6, Russia-4,England-4, Wales-3|
So, still debating on if the 24 team format has been a success?