Written by Archie (Argentina)
For Argentina it is simple – a win or a draw gets them through as group winners, a loss to Serbia leaves them relying on goal difference or a result for the Ivory Coast vs Japan. Should they lose and avoid a 31 point swing in goal difference they will be through.

For Japan a win, and a win for Argentina will definitely send them through in second place, though if Serbia win vs Argentina then the top 2 will be decided on goal difference from 3 tied teams, with -6 goal difference vs Serbia’s +11 they are still in a good position, but this means they need at least a 18 point win from their fixture vs Ivory Coast, should Serbia beat Argentina, or to match Serbia’s GD +17. A draw would also be enough, should Serbia lose.
For Serbia they need a win, or a narrow loss, with Japan also losing to grab a place in the knockout stages. Their 2nd highest goal difference in the group, with +11, puts them in a strong position, as a win for them would leave Japan needing a big win to get through ahead of them, thanks to their 17 point goal difference advantage. A draw would also be enough, should Japan lose.

For the Ivory Coast, there is but one scenario that will see them qualify, a win for themselves, and for Argentina will leave the bottom 3 teams on 3 points apiece, with the last spot in the knockout round taken by the team with the best goal difference, thanks to the circular nature of their head to head record. So Ivory Coast need to overturn a 47 point goal difference deficit between themselves and Serbia between their game and Argentina’s game vs Serbia. Should they manage a deficit reduction this large they will definitely finish in the top 2, however any other result will leave them behind Serbia and/or Japan in the final rankings.


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