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Rob1981

How many points needed to get through as a best third place team? *Permutations thread*

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Lots of mixed views on the 24-team format. I've always assumed that we will get a load of negative football in the group stage if teams know they can get through just by avoiding defeat rather than actually winning. I’ve been banging on about this for years, without knowing if there was anything to actually back this up.

So I thought I would look at the data...

Spent a happy half hour this morning making a list of all the third place teams from Euro 96 onwards (Euros and World Cups) and listing out their respective records. 60 teams in total, which you would rank as follows:

TOP THIRD (1-20)

                         P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
Italy 2004                3   1   2   0   3   2   +1    5
Spain 1998                3   1   1   1   8   4   +4    4
Russia 2012               3   1   1   1   5   3   +2    4
Croatia 2012              3   1   1   1   4   3   +1    4
Ivory Coast 2010          3   1   1   1   4   3   +1    4
Morocco 1998              3   1   1   1   5   5    0    4
South Africa 2002         3   1   1   1   5   5    0    4
Denmark 1996              3   1   1   1   4   4    0    4
Ecuador 2014              3   1   1   1   3   3    0    4
Italy 1996                3   1   1   1   3   3    0    4
Slovenia 2010             3   1   1   1   3   3    0    4
Argentina 2002            3   1   1   1   2   2    0    4
Spain 2004                3   1   1   1   2   2    0    4
Norway 2000               3   1   1   1   1   1    0    4
Switzerland 2010          3   1   1   1   1   1    0    4
Costa Rica 2002           3   1   1   1   5   6   -1    4
Bulgaria 1996             3   1   1   1   3   4   -1    4
South Korea 2006          3   1   1   1   3   4   -1    4
Cameroon 2002             3   1   1   1   2   3   -1    4
Scotland 1996             3   1   1   1   1   2   -1    4

MIDDLE THIRD (21-40)

                         P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
South Africa 2010         3   1   1   1   3   5   -2    4
Portugal 2014             3   1   1   1   4   7   -3    4
Australia 2010            3   1   1   1   3   6   -3    4
Portugal 2002             3   1   0   2   6   4   +2    3
Croatia 2014              3   1   0   2   6   6    0    3
Bosnia 2014               3   1   0   2   4   4    0    3
Russia 2002               3   1   0   2   4   4    0    3
Belgium 1998              3   0   3   0   3   3    0    3
Czech Rep 2000            3   1   0   2   3   3    0    3
New Zealand 2010          3   0   3   0   2   2    0    3
Paraguay 2006             3   1   0   2   2   2    0    3
England 2000              3   1   0   2   5   6   -1    3
Ivory Coast 2006          3   1   0   2   5   6   -1    3
Denmark 2012              3   1   0   2   4   5   -1    3
Ivory Coast 2014          3   1   0   2   4   5   -1    3
Czech Rep 2006            3   1   0   2   3   4   -1    3
Sweden 2008               3   1   0   2   3   4   -1    3
Croatia 2002              3   1   0   2   2   3   -1    3
Italy 2014                3   1   0   2   2   3   -1    3
Czech Rep 2008            3   1   0   2   4   6   -2    3

BOTTOM THIRD (41-60)

                         P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
Iran 1998                 3   1   0   2   2   4   -2    3
Poland 2006               3   1   0   2   2   4   -2    3
Colombia 1998             3   1   0   2   1   3   -2    3
Spain 2014                3   1   0   2   4   7   -3    3
Denmark 2010              3   1   0   2   3   6   -3    3
Belgium 2000              3   1   0   2   2   5   -3    3
Greece 2010               3   1   0   2   2   5   -3    3
Ukraine 2012              3   1   0   2   2   4   -2    3
Jamaica 1998              3   1   0   2   3   9   -6    3
Uruguay 2002              3   0   2   1   4   5   -1    2
Austria 1998              3   0   2   1   3   4   -1    2
Croatia 2006              3   0   2   1   2   3   -1    2
Germany 2004              3   0   2   1   2   3   -1    2
Russia 2014               3   0   2   1   2   3   -1    2
Angola 2006               3   0   2   1   1   2   -1    2
Croatia 2004              3   0   2   1   4   6   -2    2
Romania 2008              3   0   2   1   1   3   -2    2
South Africa 1998         3   0   2   1   3   6   -3    2
Austria 2008              3   0   1   2   1   3   -2    1
Tunisia 2006              3   0   1   2   3   6   -3    1

With me so far? So if two-thirds of the third place teams are going through to the Round of 16, I would expect a record from one of the top two tables here to be good enough. Barring a freak set of results in nearly all groups of course.

So what can we conclude?

So four points from three games and you are as good as certain to get through... whereas four points in the 16-team and 32-team format was sometimes good enough but often not, depending on all the other results.

If you only get three points you’ve still got a pretty good chance if your goal difference is OK against the other groups. So three draws is probably OK, or one win and two defeats as long as you keep your goal difference positive overall.

But.

Then I looked at USA 94, the last twenty-four team tournament where teams knew they could finish third and still get through, and the six third placed teams finished like this:

                         P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
Argentina 1994            3   2   0   1   6   3   +3    6  (Q)
Belgium 1994              3   2   0   1   2   1   +1    6  (Q)
USA 1994                  3   1   1   1   3   3    0    4  (Q)
Italy 1994                3   1   1   1   2   2    0    4  (Q)
Russia 1994               3   1   0   2   7   6   +1    3
South Korea 1994          3   0   2   1   4   5   -1    2

So you had not one but two third-place teams finishing on six points, which has never ever happened even once since in any tournament. And Russia went home, despite three points and a positive goal difference i.e. a record good enough to get through based on all the subsequent tournament data above.

So I actually don’t know what any of this means.

Anyway, use this thread to try and make sense of it.

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It will lead to negative football for sure. Particularly from smaller nations who will see last 16 as a good tournament

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This is only tangentially relevant but I found this to be an interesting read on how the current implementation of the 24-team system is imbalanced:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/290626039/EURO-2016-The-Group-E-effect

And a discussion on the topic from reddit from a few months ago:

https://www.reddit.com/r/soccer/comments/3vsq8d/european_championships_is_unbalanced_the_group/

I find it odd that FIFA would approve a system which has a statistical imbalance based on the random factor of which group a team is drawn into, before even taking into account the strength of other teams in the group.

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Good number crunching that

I'm basically banking on us beating Slovakia in our first game and that being enough. Reckon both teams will be thinking the same which should lead to an open game not a negative game really

That's my fallback position should we lose the next 2, not that I expect us to

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It could lead to more open games in the first set of matches with teams knowing that one win will probably put them through, taking the pressure off the other 2 games. It should also mean that every team has something to play for in the last game of the group even if they lost their first 2, rather than the dead rubbers you sometimes get. There's also more incentive to finish top of the group than before (at least in A-D) as you'll play a theoretically weak third place team, rather than a stronger 2nd place team as you would in a 16/32 team tournament.

However the unbalance created is rather unfair as detailed in that reddit post. France's probable semi final run is a third place team in the second round, followed by Austria in the qfs. The winner of E (Belgium?) would play 2nd place Croatia/Turkey/Spain followed by Germany.

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Yeh that's why I'm against 24 team tournaments with 3rd place progressions. Draw is a nonsense

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24 teams is too much and overall quality of this tournament will be lower than the usual euros.

Anyhow, my money is on Italy having 3 draws in the group and getting to the semi-final at least, in their usual fashion.

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However the unbalance created is rather unfair as detailed in that reddit post. France's probable semi final run is a third place team in the second round, followed by Austria in the qfs. The winner of E (Belgium?) would play 2nd place Croatia/Turkey/Spain followed by Germany.

Not just France, Winner of Group D also gets a third place team follow by a runner up so can get right to the semis without meeting another group winner.

All a bit of a nonsense.

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Do we know yet the brackets for the draw, i.e. Winners Group A vs Winners Group B?

Also, difficult to do this with 3rd placed teams but I think I saw a table about that bit somewhere else 'if group A is best 3rd they play xyz'?

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thirdplace.JPG

Here.

So there are 15 different possibilities for which groups the best 4 out of the 6 third place teams could come from.

ABCD, ABCE, ABCF, ACDE etc.

So they have to wait until all six groups are finished, then compare records to find the best four, then see which specific combination of four it is out of the 15 possibilities.

Only then do they divvy out third place teams against group winners according to the above.

Takes some of the drama out of the final matchday for me... third place in Group A&B probably will have to wait 2-3 days after they've played their final match to find out whether or not they're through.

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So in terms of the "unfairness" of the draw, four Group Winners get to play a third place team in the R16 whereas the other two Group Winners have to play a runner-up.

Equally four Runners Up get away with playing another Runner Up, but two of them have to play a group winner.

Then in the QF there are two matches where the Group A winner and Group D winner (having already only played a third place team) would still get away with only playing the winner out of two runners-up, rather than another group winner. But the group winners from the other groups have to face each other.

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Cheers

That doesn't look bad for winners/runners up of our group then

I remember reading about a couple of winners not facing runners up

We're Group B and 1B vs 3A, C, D and even 2B vs 2F not too bad on the surface

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Yeah, until we contrive to finish third and have to play Germany or Spain :thup:

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thirdplace.JPG

I suppose this isn't quite as convoluted as it looks at first glance.

Each third place team can only play one of two out of the six group winners by the looks of it.

3rd in Group A = Winner B or Winner C

3rd in Group B = Winner C or Winner D

3rd in Group C = Winner A or Winner B

3rd in Group D = Winner A or Winner B

3rd in Group E = Winner A or Winner D

3rd in Group F = Winner C or Winner D

Except if you're 3rd in Group A, D, E or F you have a 70/30 chance of being paired with one specific group winner over the other, but 3rd in Group B or C and it's 90/10.

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Unless they're sticking their heels in, I expect this new format to be REALLY short-term and they'll increase the teams by a few. It's too complex and unfair, and a team in third place in qualifying then third place in the group stage can go through to the knockout stages of the finals.

Combine this bigger 2016 tournament with the new friendly league and the World Cup and Euro qualifiers, European international football has a chance of getting really stale.

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Well I think we're stuck with it how it is now.

Nobody will vote to take it back down to 16 teams in a million years and 32 would be absurd for a confederation with only 55 or so countries in it.

They'd be better going down the rugby World Cup route and having bigger groups in the group stage. Keep it at 24 teams but have four groups of six, then the top four out of six in each group into the round of sixteen. Extend the tournament by another week, guarantee everybody five group stage games not three. Perfect :cool:

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^Perfect idea!^

Just top 2 rather than top 4 go through to the knockout stages.

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On PES I made it on the back of 2 draws. I wouldnt rule that out tbh. Realistically, losing your opening 2 group games means little as you still have a fair shot at making it. Worst case scenario will be people switching back and forth on channels on group game 3 to see which game is more interesting at the time.

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They'd be better going down the rugby World Cup route and having bigger groups in the group stage. Keep it at 24 teams but have four groups of six, then the top four out of six in each group into the round of sixteen. Extend the tournament by another week, guarantee everybody five group stage games not three. Perfect :cool:

Yeah that's what I'd do but probably top 2 through rather than top 4, but that would definitely create dead rubbers.

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They'd be better going down the rugby World Cup route and having bigger groups in the group stage. Keep it at 24 teams but have four groups of six, then the top four out of six in each group into the round of sixteen. Extend the tournament by another week, guarantee everybody five group stage games not three. Perfect :cool:

I think they'll keep the groups shorter as there is more stock and interest in knock out football at tournaments even if it's Austria vs Albania rather than Austria vs Albania 5th match of a group in which neither are getting out*

* no Albanians were harmed in the making of this comment

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It should also mean that every team has something to play for in the last game of the group even if they lost their first 2, rather than the dead rubbers you sometimes get.

Not quite. The Portugal v Switzerland and Spain v Greece games at Euro 2008 would still have left neither team with anything to play for, because the teams were guaranteed 1st and 4th respectively in both cases. But the only scenario that can produce dead rubbers is 6-3-3-0 with the 6 yet to play the 0.

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Going by playing a hell of a lot of editions of the 24-team format in FM, 3 points will usually be enough to get you at least third. 2 points might be enough as long as your one defeat was a narrow one, and two other sides did similar but with heavier defeats. So we could end up with a Copa America like system where a team could win the tournament without actually winning a game in regulation time. Two draws and a defeat in the group stage, then penalties all the way.

I can't work out whether this will lead to more negativity or not. Initial thought was that it would, but given teams can effectively seal at least third place with one win, I'd be inclined to think they'd go for that. Having said that, three draws could also do the same.

What I think it will do is make the final round of group games very interesting. Where in the World Cup, you could have teams well and truly out after two games, it can all change in the Euros. A win in that final game could see you qualify, so there should be some hail mary attacking there.

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Not quite. The Portugal v Switzerland and Spain v Greece games at Euro 2008 would still have left neither team with anything to play for, because the teams were guaranteed 1st and 4th respectively in both cases. But the only scenario that can produce dead rubbers is 6-3-3-0 with the 6 yet to play the 0.

In that example, isn't the team on 0 after 2 games still in with a chance of making 3rd place?

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In that example, isn't the team on 0 after 2 games still in with a chance of making 3rd place?

Nah - head-to-head is the first tie-breaker and they've already lost to both the teams on 3 points, so they can't be overhauled.

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Not quite. The Portugal v Switzerland and Spain v Greece games at Euro 2008 would still have left neither team with anything to play for, because the teams were guaranteed 1st and 4th respectively in both cases. But the only scenario that can produce dead rubbers is 6-3-3-0 with the 6 yet to play the 0.
In that example, isn't the team on 0 after 2 games still in with a chance of making 3rd place?

Definitely in with a chance, but even a win in that final group game might not guarantee it, could come down to goal difference with two teams on 6 and two on 3.

All in all, I can't wait for the pundits to proclaim it a nonsense when they can't understand it.

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https://www.theguardian.com/football/video/2016/jun/09/why-24-is-an-awful-number-for-a-knockout-tournament-euro-2016-video?CMP=twt_gu

This has confused the hell out of me. Especially the 3rd place tiebreaker is goals scored and if the teams involved happen to play on the final group stage it triggers a penalty shootout.

Penalty shootouts in a group stage? :D

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Penalty shootouts in a group stage? :D

There'd have been one in Euro 2008 had Turkey v Czech Republic been a draw.

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Come on guys, it's only hours now until the first match of the second round of Euro 2016 qualifying! A whole EIGHT teams will be eliminated! You can't buy this kind of drama!

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https://www.theguardian.com/football/video/2016/jun/09/why-24-is-an-awful-number-for-a-knockout-tournament-euro-2016-video?CMP=twt_gu

This has confused the hell out of me. Especially the 3rd place tiebreaker is goals scored and if the teams involved happen to play on the final group stage it triggers a penalty shootout.

Penalty shootouts in a group stage? :D

Saw that Guardian thing yesterday... "87% chance of qualifying with three 0-0 draws"... not sure how they're calculating that.

I'd love to see penalties to decide a group stage though :cool:

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So anyone wanna attempt to predict where the 4 3rd place teams might come from?

I reckon group B's 3rd place team will be better then group C's.

It's gonna be confusing.

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Difficult to call without seeing the other groups play their 2nd games. I think Northern Ireland will be borderline. Can see at least three groups getting four points for 3rd

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You only need 2 3rd place teams to get 3 points and all the 4 point teams will probably go through.

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Looking like thats Ireland & Sweden both out bar a shock in the last round of matches.

Depending on what happens in the group F games later I would say between groups A & D for the other 3rd place side to miss out.

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Depends what team Italy put out. I mean, the squad is actually quite interchangeable in midfield and attack because there's no quality. So it might not make much of a difference. But if he rests Barzagli, Bonucci or Chiellini, Ireland have a chance.

They could also do with Portugal and Hungary winning later, to keep more potential 3rd place teams on low points

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There actually are tournaments that have the same 24 team format - the U20 and U17 World Cups. Below are all the 4th ranked 3rd placed teams that qualified from each tournament

U20 WC

2015 - Hungary 3 points and +1 GD

2013 - Ghana 3 points and 0 GD

2011 - Guatemala 3 points and -10 GD

2009 - Costa Rica 3 points and -3 GD

2007 - Brazil 3 points and -1 GD

2005 - Chile 3 points and -1 GD

2003 - Canada 3 points and -2 GD

2001 - Australia 4 points and -1 GD

1999 - Costa Rica 4 points and -1 GD

1997 - UAE 3 points and -8 GD

U17 WC

2015 - Australia 4 points and -2 GD

2013 - Russia 3 points and +2 GD

2011 - Argentina 3 points and -4 GD

2009 - UAE 3 points and -5 GD

2007 - Tajikistan 3 points and -1 GD

So only three times in 15 tournaments has 4 points been necessary to qualify

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Dont think anyone was suggesting teams will need 4 points. In fact, 4 points will probably guarantee progression. Using Ireland as an example, they can only get 2 or 4. And 2 is unlikely to be enough with their GD.

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It bloody hurts the head looking at all the permutations. Someone do the maths :D

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Here's one I made earlier:

GROUP A

FRA 6 +3

SUI 4 +1

ROU 1 -1

ALB 0 -3

Remaining fixtures: Romania v Albania, France v Switzerland

ROMANIA WIN, FRANCE WIN: France win the group. If either game is won by more than one goal, Romania are second and Switzerland are third. If both games are won by exactly one goal, Romania and Switzerland are separated by goals scored (currently 2 each). Either way, the third-placed team will have 4.

ROMANIA WIN, FRANCE DRAW: France first, Switzerland second. Romania third on 4.

ROMANIA WIN, FRANCE LOSE: Switzerland first, France second. Romania third on 4.

ROMANIA DRAW, FRANCE WIN OR DRAW: France first, Switzerland second. Romania third on 2.

ROMANIA DRAW, FRANCE LOSE:

Switzerland first, France second. Romania third on 2.

ROMANIA LOSE, FRANCE WIN OR DRAW:

France first, Switzerland second. Albania third on 3.

ROMANIA LOSE, FRANCE LOSE:

Switzerland first, France second. Albania third on 3.

Group B

ENG 4 +1

WLS 3 =

SVK 3 =

RUS 1 -1

Remaining fixtures: England v Slovakia, Wales v Russia

ENGLAND WIN, WALES WIN OR DRAW: England first, Wales second. Slovakia third with 3.

ENGLAND WIN, WALES LOSE: England first, Russia second. Wales third with 3.

ENGLAND DRAW, WALES WIN: Wales first, England second. Slovakia third with 4.

ENGLAND DRAW, WALES DRAW: England first, Wales second. Slovakia third with 4.

ENGLAND DRAW, WALES LOSE: England first, Slovakia second. Russia third with 4.

ENGLAND LOSE, WALES WIN: Wales first, Slovakia second. England third with 4.

ENGLAND LOSE, WALES DRAW: Slovakia first, England second. Wales third with 4.

ENGLAND LOSE, WALES LOSE: Slovakia first. England and Russia both on 4: if either victory is by more than one goal, Russia are second. If both games are won by one goal, it comes down to goals scored. (England currently have 3, Russia 2.) Either way, the third-placed team will have 4.

Group C

GER 4 +2

POL 4 +1

NIR 3 +1

UKR 0 -4

Remaining fixtures: Germany v Northern Ireland, Poland v Ukraine

GERMANY WIN, POLAND WIN: Germany and Poland qualify. If Poland win by two more than Germany, Poland win the group. If Germany win by at least as many as Poland, Germany win the group. If Poland win by one more than Germany, it comes down to goals scored. (Poland currently have 1, Germany 2.). Northern Ireland third with 3.

GERMANY WIN, POLAND DRAW OR LOSE: Germany win, Poland second. Northern Ireland third with 3.

GERMANY DRAW, POLAND WIN:

Poland first, Germany second. Northern Ireland third with 4.

GERMANY DRAW, POLAND DRAW OR LOSE:

Germany first, Poland second. Northern Ireland third with 4.

GERMANY LOSE, POLAND WIN:

Poland first, Northern Ireland second. Germany third with 4.

GERMANY LOSE, POLAND DRAW:

Northern Ireland first, Poland second. Germany third with 4.

GERMANY LOSE, POLAND LOSE:

Northern Ireland first. If Germany lose by at least two more than Poland, Poland second. If Germany lose by no more than Poland, Germany second. If Germany lose by one more than Poland, it comes down to goals scored (Germany have 2, Poland 1). Either way, third place has 4.

Group D

ESP 6 +4

CRO 4 +1

CZE 1 -1

TUR 0 -4

Remaining fixtures: Czech Republic v Turkey, Spain v Croatia

CZECH REPUBLIC WIN, SPAIN WIN: Spain first. If either win is by more than one goal, Czech Republic are second and Croatia are third. If both wins are by exactly one goal, it comes down to goals scored (Croatia currently have 3, Czech Republic 2). In either case, third place has 4.

CZECH REPUBLIC WIN, SPAIN DRAW: Spain first, Croatia second. Czech Republic third with 4.

CZECH REPUBLIC WIN, SPAIN LOSE: Croatia first, Spain second. Czech Republic third with 4.

CZECH REPUBLIC DRAW, SPAIN WIN OR DRAW: Spain first, Croatia second. Czech Republic third with 2.

CZECH REPUBLIC DRAW, SPAIN LOSE: Croatia first, Spain second. Czech Republic third with 2.

CZECH REPUBLIC LOSE, SPAIN WIN OR DRAW:

Spain first, Croatia second. Turkey third with 3.

CZECH REPUBLIC LOSE, SPAIN LOSE: Croatia first, Spain second. Turkey third with 3.

Group E

ITA 6 +3

BEL 3 +1

SWE 1 -1

IRL 1 -3

Remaining fixtures: Belgium v Sweden, Italy v Republic of Ireland

Italy have won the group.

BELGIUM WIN, ITALY WIN: Belgium second. Third-placed team eliminated on 1 point.

BELGIUM WIN, ITALY DRAW: Belgium second. Republic of Ireland third on 2, and eliminated.*

BELGIUM WIN, ITALY LOSE: Belgium second. Republic of Ireland third on 4.

BELGIUM DRAW, ITALY WIN OR DRAW: Belgium second. Sweden third on 2.

BELGIUM DRAW, ITALY LOSE: Belgium second. Republic of Ireland third on 4.

BELGIUM LOSE, ITALY WIN OR DRAW: Sweden second. Belgium third on 3.

BELGIUM LOSE, ITALY LOSE: Sweden and Republic of Ireland tie on 4 points. If Republic of Ireland's winning margin is at least 3 more than Sweden's, Republic of Ireland second. If it is no more than one more than Sweden's, Sweden second. If it is exactly two more than Sweden's, it comes down to goals scored (both are currently on 1 goal). Either way, third place has four points.

Group F

HUN 4 +2

ISL 2 =

POR 2 =

AUT 1 -2

Remaining fixtures: Iceland v Austria, Hungary v Portugal

ICELAND WIN, HUNGARY WIN: Hungary first, Iceland second. Portugal third with 2.

ICELAND WIN, HUNGARY DRAW: Hungary and Iceland qualify. If Iceland win by one goal, Hungary first. If Iceland win by at least three goals, Iceland first. If Iceland win by exactly two goals, it comes down to goals scored. (Hungary have 3, Iceland 2.) Portugal third with 3.

ICELAND WIN, HUNGARY LOSE: Portugal and Iceland qualify. Whichever of them wins by the bigger margin wins the group; if they win by equal margins, it comes down to goals scored (Iceland currently have 2, Portugal 1). Hungary third with 4.

ICELAND DRAW, HUNGARY WIN: Hungary first, Iceland second. If Hungary win by exactly one goal, Portugal are third with 2. If Hungary win by more than one goal, the third-placed team are eliminated.

ICELAND DRAW, HUNGARY DRAW: Hungary first. Iceland and Portugal are second and third in some order, separated by goals scored. Third-placed team has 3.

ICELAND DRAW, HUNGARY LOSE: Portugal first, Hungary second. Iceland third with 3.

ICELAND LOSE, HUNGARY WIN: Hungary first, Austria second. Whichever of Iceland and Portugal loses by the smaller margin is third; if they lose by the same margin, it comes down to goals scored.

ICELAND LOSE, HUNGARY DRAW: Hungary first, Austria second. Portugal third with 3.

ICELAND LOSE, HUNGARY LOSE: Portugal first, Hungary second. Austria third with 4.

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Go back to 16 teams :mad:

I cant believe the World Cup used all this aswell back in the 80s :D

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Go back to 16 teams :mad:

I cant believe the World Cup used all this aswell back in the 80s :D

Aye. Thing is, the Champions League had 24 teams previously but did 6 group winners and best 2 runners up straight to QF, was actually hard as nails to get out of those groups. Shame they didn't do it with this, I always liked that the Euros group stages were often tougher than the WC.

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Go back to 16 teams :mad:

I cant believe the World Cup used all this aswell back in the 80s :D

You must have missed the World Cup's that had two group stages ;)

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Here's one I made earlier:

GROUP A

FRA 6 +3

SUI 4 +1

ROU 1 -1

ALB 0 -3

Remaining fixtures: Romania v Albania, France v Switzerland

ROMANIA WIN, FRANCE WIN: France win the group. If either game is won by more than one goal, Romania are second and Switzerland are third. If both games are won by exactly one goal, Romania and Switzerland are separated by goals scored (currently 2 each). Either way, the third-placed team will have 4.

ROMANIA WIN, FRANCE DRAW: France first, Switzerland second. Romania third on 4.

ROMANIA WIN, FRANCE LOSE: Switzerland first, France second. Romania third on 4.

ROMANIA DRAW, FRANCE WIN OR DRAW: France first, Switzerland second. Romania third on 2.

ROMANIA DRAW, FRANCE LOSE:

Switzerland first, France second. Romania third on 2.

ROMANIA LOSE, FRANCE WIN OR DRAW:

France first, Switzerland second. Albania third on 3.

ROMANIA LOSE, FRANCE LOSE:

Switzerland first, France second. Albania third on 3.

Group B

ENG 4 +1

WLS 3 =

SVK 3 =

RUS 1 -1

Remaining fixtures: England v Slovakia, Wales v Russia

ENGLAND WIN, WALES WIN OR DRAW: England first, Wales second. Slovakia third with 3.

ENGLAND WIN, WALES LOSE: England first, Russia second. Wales third with 3.

ENGLAND DRAW, WALES WIN: Wales first, England second. Slovakia third with 4.

ENGLAND DRAW, WALES DRAW: England first, Wales second. Slovakia third with 4.

ENGLAND DRAW, WALES LOSE: England first, Slovakia second. Russia third with 4.

ENGLAND LOSE, WALES WIN: Wales first, Slovakia second. England third with 4.

ENGLAND LOSE, WALES DRAW: Slovakia first, England second. Wales third with 4.

ENGLAND LOSE, WALES LOSE: Slovakia first. England and Russia both on 4: if either victory is by more than one goal, Russia are second. If both games are won by one goal, it comes down to goals scored. (England currently have 3, Russia 2.) Either way, the third-placed team will have 4.

Group C

GER 4 +2

POL 4 +1

NIR 3 +1

UKR 0 -4

Remaining fixtures: Germany v Northern Ireland, Poland v Ukraine

GERMANY WIN, POLAND WIN: Germany and Poland qualify. If Poland win by two more than Germany, Poland win the group. If Germany win by at least as many as Poland, Germany win the group. If Poland win by one more than Germany, it comes down to goals scored. (Poland currently have 1, Germany 2.). Northern Ireland third with 3.

GERMANY WIN, POLAND DRAW OR LOSE: Germany win, Poland second. Northern Ireland third with 3.

GERMANY DRAW, POLAND WIN:

Poland first, Germany second. Northern Ireland third with 4.

GERMANY DRAW, POLAND DRAW OR LOSE:

Germany first, Poland second. Northern Ireland third with 4.

GERMANY LOSE, POLAND WIN:

Poland first, Northern Ireland second. Germany third with 4.

GERMANY LOSE, POLAND DRAW:

Northern Ireland first, Poland second. Germany third with 4.

GERMANY LOSE, POLAND LOSE:

Northern Ireland first. If Germany lose by at least two more than Poland, Poland second. If Germany lose by no more than Poland, Germany second. If Germany lose by one more than Poland, it comes down to goals scored (Germany have 2, Poland 1). Either way, third place has 4.

Group D

ESP 6 +4

CRO 4 +1

CZE 1 -1

TUR 0 -4

Remaining fixtures: Czech Republic v Turkey, Spain v Croatia

CZECH REPUBLIC WIN, SPAIN WIN: Spain first. If either win is by more than one goal, Czech Republic are second and Croatia are third. If both wins are by exactly one goal, it comes down to goals scored (Croatia currently have 3, Czech Republic 2). In either case, third place has 4.

CZECH REPUBLIC WIN, SPAIN DRAW: Spain first, Croatia second. Czech Republic third with 4.

CZECH REPUBLIC WIN, SPAIN LOSE: Croatia first, Spain second. Czech Republic third with 4.

CZECH REPUBLIC DRAW, SPAIN WIN OR DRAW: Spain first, Croatia second. Czech Republic third with 2.

CZECH REPUBLIC DRAW, SPAIN LOSE: Croatia first, Spain second. Czech Republic third with 2.

CZECH REPUBLIC LOSE, SPAIN WIN OR DRAW:

Spain first, Croatia second. Turkey third with 3.

CZECH REPUBLIC LOSE, SPAIN LOSE: Croatia first, Spain second. Turkey third with 3.

Group E

ITA 6 +3

BEL 3 +1

SWE 1 -1

IRL 1 -3

Remaining fixtures: Belgium v Sweden, Italy v Republic of Ireland

Italy have won the group.

BELGIUM WIN, ITALY WIN: Belgium second. Third-placed team eliminated on 1 point.

BELGIUM WIN, ITALY DRAW: Belgium second. Republic of Ireland third on 2, and eliminated.*

BELGIUM WIN, ITALY LOSE: Belgium second. Republic of Ireland third on 4.

BELGIUM DRAW, ITALY WIN OR DRAW: Belgium second. Sweden third on 2.

BELGIUM DRAW, ITALY LOSE: Belgium second. Republic of Ireland third on 4.

BELGIUM LOSE, ITALY WIN OR DRAW: Sweden second. Belgium third on 3.

BELGIUM LOSE, ITALY LOSE: Sweden and Republic of Ireland tie on 4 points. If Republic of Ireland's winning margin is at least 3 more than Sweden's, Republic of Ireland second. If it is no more than one more than Sweden's, Sweden second. If it is exactly two more than Sweden's, it comes down to goals scored (both are currently on 1 goal). Either way, third place has four points.

Group F

HUN 4 +2

ISL 2 =

POR 2 =

AUT 1 -2

Remaining fixtures: Iceland v Austria, Hungary v Portugal

ICELAND WIN, HUNGARY WIN: Hungary first, Iceland second. Portugal third with 2.

ICELAND WIN, HUNGARY DRAW: Hungary and Iceland qualify. If Iceland win by one goal, Hungary first. If Iceland win by at least three goals, Iceland first. If Iceland win by exactly two goals, it comes down to goals scored. (Hungary have 3, Iceland 2.) Portugal third with 3.

ICELAND WIN, HUNGARY LOSE: Portugal and Iceland qualify. Whichever of them wins by the bigger margin wins the group; if they win by equal margins, it comes down to goals scored (Iceland currently have 2, Portugal 1). Hungary third with 4.

ICELAND DRAW, HUNGARY WIN: Hungary first, Iceland second. If Hungary win by exactly one goal, Portugal are third with 2. If Hungary win by more than one goal, the third-placed team are eliminated.

ICELAND DRAW, HUNGARY DRAW: Hungary first. Iceland and Portugal are second and third in some order, separated by goals scored. Third-placed team has 3.

ICELAND DRAW, HUNGARY LOSE: Portugal first, Hungary second. Iceland third with 3.

ICELAND LOSE, HUNGARY WIN: Hungary first, Austria second. Whichever of Iceland and Portugal loses by the smaller margin is third; if they lose by the same margin, it comes down to goals scored.

ICELAND LOSE, HUNGARY DRAW: Hungary first, Austria second. Portugal third with 3.

ICELAND LOSE, HUNGARY LOSE: Portugal first, Hungary second. Austria third with 4.

Bravo Sir. :applause:

I think 24 teams makes it more interesting as the last games are more wide open where as in a 16 or 32 size tournament the groups stages can be settled really early and 1 point becomes more important. It gives teams something to fight for.

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Best result tonight for Wales and Northern Ireland has got to be a Romania and Albania draw. That sees Romania finish on 2 and Albania finish on 1, so presumably they would both be out of it. More chance then of a third place team elsewhere getting through with only three points.

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I think a few teams will get through on 3 points. Unless they lose heavily, Wales will be one of them. They would be unlucky to go out with 3 points and a -1 GD. And if England do the business then they might end up 2nd.

Northern Ireland are a team that need to be careful. In a great position now, but not beyond the realms to see them lose by 2+ to Germany

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We are going to have the strange situation where teams don't know if they are through all not for a few days, so will stay in France and continue training and possibly end up with no more games.

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Looking at the tables I reckon at least 3 3rd placed teams will get only 3 points. Maybe more. Might be good news for N. Ireland as long as they don't concede too many goals against Germany.

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Two are guaranteed to get at least three. Group F is in a state where I would be amazed if it didn't have a 3rd place finish on 3 points. Portugal would have to lose to Hungary for Group F not to have 3 points in 3rd place.

Group E will difficult. Sweden and Ireland are going to struggle to get to 3 points.

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right at the end, after fair play.

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