With just nine months to go until the World Cup kicks off in Brazil and with the draw for the groups in December, it truly is the business end of this 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

This Tuesday sees the latest round of fixtures and many nations have their eyes set on confirming their place at the tournament, while some know one bad result could seal their exit from the tournament before it even begins.

So here we sum up the state of play in each continent - which teams could be celebrating and which could be booking a summer holiday come Wednesday morning?


Just three rounds of fixtures remain in Europe's qualifying race and 48 countries will be in action in the next of those rounds this Tuesday night. The winners of each of the nine groups plus the winners of four play-off matches between the best runners-up will make up UEFA's 13 team contingent next summer.

Only Belgium, Croatia and Spain are assured of at least second place in their group with no team yet guaranteed of making the final tournament, but that could all change this week.

An Italy win over the Czech Republic in Turin would send La Nazionale through to Brazil as group winners with two games to spare. Germany could also join them in confirming their spot should - or rather when - they beat the Faroe Islands, so long as Sweden fail to win in Kazakhstan. A Swedish win and Irish loss to Austria would, however, leave the Irish only able to qualify on goal difference.

A Holland win in Andorra, combined with a Romania draw or loss to Turkey would also see the 2010 beaten finalists return to the World Cup.

Switzerland, who top Group E, could also seal their place, but will need a draw between Iceland and Albania and for their trip to Norway to result in three points. Although that exact scenario may not play out this Tuesday, the Swiss should be able to confirm their place in the next round of matches.

Portugal sit out this round of Group F fixtures, allowing Russia the opportunity to retake the lead with a win at home to Israel. Greece, meanwhile are chasing Bosnia-Herzegovina with three home matches, the first of which is against Lativia this Tuesday night. Should Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina both win on Tuesday, Slovakia would be confirmed as out.

Ukraine and England take part in the biggest game in Group H with a draw suiting England perfectly, while France can assure themselves of second place in Spain's group at the expense of Finland with a win in Belarus.

South America

The top four teams in the South American qualifying league will qualify, while the fifth placed team will play a two-legged play-off with either Jordan or Uzbekistan.

Argentina, Colombia and Chile are all on the brink of qualification and assured of at least a play-off spot and Argentina and Colombia can both confirm their places with wins away to Paraguay and Uruguay respectively.

Uruguay themselves occupy the play-off spot at the moment, three points ahead of Venezuela with a game in hand. Ecuador, meanwhile, find themselves in the fourth automatic spot and could add to their two point lead over Uruguay as they face bottom side Bolivia in Tuesday's round.

Brazil have already qualified as hosts of the finals.


The top three teams in the final CONCACAF group stage will win a place in Brazil, while the fourth placed side will play New Zealand over two legs. Only three matches remain for each side in the race to qualify from the North American, Central American and Caribbean section of the qualifying race.

Costa Rica's win over the USA last Friday took them to the summit of the group as they leapfrogged the States. Those two nations look certain to qualify and a Costa Rican win in Jamaica could confirm their place if other results go their way.

One of those other results is that of the USA themselves as they look to confirm their place next summer with a win over Mexico in Ohio. The Mexicans lost to Honduras in the Azteca on Friday, costing Jose Manuel de la Torre his job and dropping them behind Honduras to the play-off spot.

Honduras host Panama on Tuesday and know that although a win wouldn't secure qualification, it would certainly be a huge step.


The African section of World Cup qualification saw 10 groups of four fight it out since June 2012. The last group games were played last Friday and the 10 winners will now play five two-legged play-off matches with the five victors progressing to Brazil.

The draw for the play-offs will take place on September 16 and will consist of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cape Verde Islands, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Senegal and Ethiopia.

2010 hosts South Africa have already been eliminated, having finished behind Ethiopia in Group A.


The final round of groups in the Asian qualifying was already completed with Japan, Iran, South Korea and Australia confirming their World Cup spots by finishing in the top two spots of each of the two groups.

The two nations that finished third in the groups - Uzbekistan and Jordan - play each other in a two-legged play-off with the winner meeting, as mentioned above, the fifth placed side in South American qualifying.

The first leg in Jordan ended 1-1 on Friday and the two meet again on Tuesday to try to win that lucrative tie with a South America side.


The Oceania qualifying has already been decided, with New Zealand - the only team to not lose a match in the 2010 World Cup - winning the right to a play-off with the CONCACAF's fourth placed nation to progress to Brazil.

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