How can Scotland qualify for Euro 2016 play-offs?

Scotland face Poland at Hampden on October 8. Picture: Michael Gillen
Scotland face Poland at Hampden on October 8. Picture: Michael Gillen
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Scotland have to avoid defeat against Poland tomorrow night and hope other results go their way to have any hope of making Euro 2016. Here are four possible scenarios

Scotland face Poland in a must-win tomorrow night, and have to hope other results go their way to have any hope of making the Euro 2016 play-offs.

The Poles put eight past Gibraltar last month - after scoring seven in the first match against the European minnows - and also defeated Germany in Warsaw.

Adam Nawałka’s men also secured wins against Georgia both home and away, but needed a late equaliser to grab a 2-2 draw with Scotland in the first fixture.

Currently Germany are on 19 points, Poland on 17, Ireland on 15 and Scotland on 11. Germany are still to play Ireland in Dublin, and have a final fixture against Georgia in Leipzig.

Poland host Ireland in four days time while Scotland play Gibraltar in Faro.

Scotland will need to negotiate the play-offs if they are to reach France 2016, but how could the remaining group matches turn out?

POSSIBLE OUTCOMES

1. Scotland beat Poland and Gibraltar; Ireland lose to Germany and Poland

Scotland have to beat both Poland and Gibraltar to have the best chance of securing third.

Two wins for the Scots would take them on to 17 points, and that vital third spot, with Germany topping the group on 22 points and Poland coming second with 20 points.

2. Scotland draw with Poland and beat Gibraltar; Ireland lose to Germany and Poland

This scenario would also be enough to land that third place, with Germany finishing first, Poland second and Scotland third - qualifying via UEFA’s head-to-head ruling.

Poland and Scotland drew 2-2 in Warsaw, but the Poles defeated Germany 2-0, Georgia 4-0 and put a combined 15 goals past Gibraltar over their two meetings - so don’t bet against Lewandowski and Co pulling off a result against the Irish with home advantage.

However, in the last ten meetings between the two countries, there have been six draws, two Irish wins and two Polish wins, with the first Group D meeting ending in a 1-1 draw - so it could be tight in Warsaw on October 11.

3. Scotland beat Poland and Gibraltar; Ireland beat Germany but lose to / draw with Poland

This would be the worst way to miss out on third. If Ireland can shock Germany in Dublin on October 8 but then fail to beat Poland, Scotland would miss out on that coveted third spot even if they had registered wins against Poland and Gibraltar.

4. Scotland lose to Poland

Good night Vienna, or rather, Paris.

Failure to secure any sort of favourable result against Poland would render the final match meaningless for Scotland, with Poland guaranteed a second or third place finish no matter what happens in the other matches.

But let’s not think about that happening.

REMAINING FIXTURES

October 8: Georgia v Gibraltar

October 8: Ireland v Germany

October 8: SCOTLAND v Poland

October 11: Germany v Georgia

October 11: Gibraltar v SCOTLAND

October 11: Poland v Ireland

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