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Italian soccer is on the brink of disaster

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ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

European World Cup qualifying: How each nation can still make Russia 2018

Belgium, Germany and England have qualified for the World Cup from the European section.

The final rounds of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup have been completed. The only places left now will be decided by the four playoffs in November.

Qualified: Belgium, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain (plus Russia as hosts)
Playoffs: Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Greece
Places yet to be decided: 2 automatic, 3 playoff places for 4 finals berths

The nine group winners qualify automatically, with the other four places decided by playoffs between the eight best runners-up. To determine the worst runners-up, points gained against the nation that finishes bottom of the group are discounted from the calculation.

GROUP A

France secured top spot with Sweden into the playoffs.

GROUP B

Portugal won at home to Switzerland in the final game to steal top spot on the final day.

GROUP C

Germany booked top spot and a direct route to Russia with a win in Northern Ireland on Thursday, so their final game at home to Azerbaijan is meaningless. Northern Ireland are guaranteed the runners-up spot and a place in the playoffs.

GROUP D

Serbia won the group with Republic of Ireland making the playoffs.

GROUP E

Poland won the group with Denmark guaranteed a playoff place.

GROUP F

England finished first but Slovakia missed out on the playoffs as the worst runners-up.

GROUP G

Spain have qualified for the finals after Italy were held at home by Macedonia. Italy are guaranteed a playoff place.

GROUP H

Belgium qualified as group winners, with Greece into the playoffs.

GROUP I

Iceland went through as group winners, with Croatia into the playoffs.

Dale Johnson has been an editor and journalist at ESPN for 18 years. You can follow him on Twitter @dalejohnsonESPN.

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