By Paul Jones
Wales’ European Championships qualification fate is set to be determined over the next few days, so here’s a reminder of the state of play.
The last group stage fixtures from the Euro 2024 qualifiers are set to be played across the coming days, though some nations have already booked their place at the tournament in Germany next summer.
England are already among them – Gareth Southgate just needs the Three Lions to just take one point from their remaining two fixtures to guarantee top spot in Group C, with Malta and North Macedonia their upcoming opponents.
But for the likes of Wales, and plenty of others, there’s still work to do and the next few days will prove crucial.
The state of play in Group D
As a reminder, the qualification groups will provide 20 of the 24 nations who will play at the European Championship, alongside hosts Germany and three play-off winners who will be chosen according to their Nations League performances.
Meanwhile, eight nations are already through to the finals alongside Germany, being uncatachable in their respective Euro 2024 qualifier groups.
So, who has already qualified for Euro 2024?
Germany, obviously, as hosts. From the qualifiers, the following eight are guaranteed to be there next summer: Spain (qualifying Group A), Scotland (A), France (B), England (C), Turkey (D), Belgium (F), Austria (F), Portugal (J).
For Wales, the situation in Group D remains full of various possibilities with two matches still to play.
Three teams are in the running for second behind already qualified Turkey, but it looks like Wales or Croatia, who are level on points.
The latter have the easier fixtures left, facing fifth-placed Latvia and fourth-placed Armenia, while Rob Page’s squad face Armenia then group-toppers Turkey.
However, Turkey have already qualified and Wales have the better head-to-head record over Croatia thanks to Harry Wilson’s brace in October’s 2-1 win.
Here’s the twist: Armenia are only three points back, so if they manage to beat both Wales and Croatia, we could see a three-way tie on 13 points.
— Graham Thomas (@Graham_Thomas) November 13, 2023
Naturally that mini-league would depend on the upcoming two fixtures in terms of head-to-head (-to head) results, but earlier in the group Armenia beat Wales 4-2 and lost 1-0 to Croatia, so the “as it stands” in that hypothetical trio is Wales and Croatia both joint-top with four points, then Armenia on three.
Everything to fight for, then – but two Wales wins means they will simply go through.
Should Wales miss out, the back door route is through the play-offs, their place there having been secured through their performances in the Nations League.