World Cup play-offs: What Wales and Republic of Ireland need in final match

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Scotland have seen their World Cup dreams dashed, Northern Ireland are assured of a play-off spot and Monday will see two more sides learn their fate

At least one team from the British Isles is guaranteed to be making the trip to World Cup 2018, and three more are still in the running. 

Wales, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are dreaming of joining England at the finals, although with one game left in UEFA's first qualifying phase the fight for places is heating up intensely. There are nine European groups with eight teams battling for runner-up play-off spots.

11/5 for Ireland and Wales to draw

What does each team need to do not only to claim at least a second-place finish, but also make sure they reach the all-important play-off phase? The guide below should answer all of your questions.


HOW WALES CAN QUALIFY FOR PLAY-OFFS


Sam Vokes Wales

Wales vs Republic of Ireland
Monday, October 9 (19:45 BST)

Win: Wales can guarantee a play-off place with a win. They could also still win their group with a victory if Serbia fail to beat Georgia at home.

Draw: If Wales draw, they will be at the mercy of other results.

If Serbia lose to Georgia by two goals or more, Wales can win the group with a draw - but if Serbia match Wales' result or even just lose by one, they win the group and qualify.

A draw will be enough to ensure Wales finish at least second in the group, but they could still be at risk of being the worst second-place team and missing out on the play-offs.

The results to watch out for in that regard will be in Group I, where Croatia currently sit second but still have work to do. Interestingly, should Wales and Croatia finish with identical points, goal difference and goals scored - which is a possibility - fair play would be the tie breaker and in that instance, Wales' poor disciplinary record could cost them.

If Greece fail to beat Gibraltar then Group H could also come into play because Bosnia & Herzegovina, who would not be able to catch Wales in the runners-up table, could jump into second place, but that's unlikely.

Lose:  If Wales lose, their World Cup dream is over.

Ireland will rise above Chris Coleman's men, leaving them in third place.


HOW REPUBLIC OF IRELAND CAN QUALIFY FOR PLAY-OFFS


Republic of Ireland celebrate against Georgia

Wales vs Republic of Ireland
Monday, October 9 (19:45 BST)

Win:  Only a win will suffice in Cardiff to keep Martin O'Neill's men's World Cup dreams alive. Three points would be guaranteed to clinch Ireland at least a second-placed finish, given that Wales currently lie ahead of them one point clear in second. 

If Serbia additionally lose to Georgia, Ireland could even grab first place in Group D. A Serbian draw would see the top spot decided on goal difference - Serbia currently edge that tie-breaker with nine goals in favour, compared to five for the Boys in Green.

Draw/Loss: Failure to take maximum points eliminates Ireland from the World Cup.


PLAY-OFF SPOTS AS THEY STAND


Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Portugal (PO*) 7 6 0 1 22 4 +18 18
2 Denmark (PO) 8 4 2 2 13 6 +7 14
3 Italy (PO) 7 4 2 1 11 8 +3 14
4 Sweden 7 4 1 2 17 7 +10 13
5 Northern Ireland (PO) 8 4 1 3 10 6 +4 13
6 Greece 8 3 4 1 9 5 +4 13
7 Slovakia 8 4 0 4 11 6 +5 12
8 Wales 7 2 5 0 7 5 +2 11
9 Croatia 7 3 2 2 6 4 +2 11

(PO) = qualified for play-off
(PO*) = play-off guaranteed but could still win group


HOW CAN I WATCH THE GAME?


Gareth Bale Wales European Qualifiers

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Wales' clash with Ireland can be watched live on television in the UK on Sky Sports Football and by stream via Sky Go.

In the US, the game can be watched live on television on FS2 and by stream via Fox Sports Go.

Viewers in Wales can watch live on SC4, while Ireland-based viewers can tune in to RTE 2.

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