Juventus
    03.10.2017 14:21 - in: FIFA World Cup S

    World Cup Scenarios for International Bianconeri

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    As we enter the final week of 2018 World Cup group qualifying see what the scenarios are for our Bianconeri eyeing Russia

    We've reached crunch time for our Juve internationals as just two games remain before the end of the group stage of World Cup Qualifying and many of our Juventus players are within touching distance of next summer's showcase in Russia. 

    Here are the scenarios for each of our Bianconeri who still have a shot at making it to Russia. 

    AROUND EUROPE

    ITALY - Buffon, Barzagli, Bernardeschi, Chiellini, Rugani

    Gli Azzuri host Macedonia at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin on Friday night before traveling to Albania for the final match of qualifying on Monday night. 

    Facing a Macedonia side with just seven points from eight matches, Italy will look to click at least a playoff spot needing just a point to ensure they'll at least remain alive after this weekend. 

    Three points behind Spain, Italy face a formidable task to take over first place in the group needing to win both their matches and have Spain to take no more than a point from matches at home against Albania and on the road at Spain. 17 goals behind Spain on difference, Italy will need to finish above Spain on points to automatically qualify.

    CROATIA - Mandzukic

    Mario Mandzukic and Croatia hold the slightest of leads at the top of their group with Iceland level on points while Turkey and Ukraine are just two points behind entering a dramatic final week of qualifying.

    If Croatia can win at home against Finland and away to Ukraine, they will ensure passage to Russia while any slip up could send them to the playoff or even out all together. 

    FRANCE- Matuidi

    Blaise Matuidi and Les Bleus are a point ahead of Sweden at the top of the group entering the final two matches. A tricky trip to Bulgaria on Saturday will be the toughest test for Matuidi and France. If they can win that match, then a coronation against bottom side Belarus awaits on Tuesday. 

    POLAND - Sczcesny

    Poland sit three points above Montenegro and Denmark heading into the final two matches. They will travel to Armenia on Thursday needing a win to keep pace while a point would ensure at least a playoff spot for Poland with Montenegro facing Denmark on the same day. A potential winner-take-all showdown with Montenegro in Warsaw awaits Poland on Sunday.

    SWITZERLAND - Lichtsteiner

    Stephan Lichtsteiner and Switzerland sit three points above Portugal in a two-horse race. With both teams likely holding form against Hungary and Andorra respectively, a mouthwatering winner-take-all match to directly qualify to Russia awaits on Tuesday in Lisbon.

    AFRICA

    MOROCCO - Benatia

    Medhi Benatia and Morocco sit one point behind Ivory Coast in the table with two matches left in qualifying. They'll host Gabon on Saturday and if they win will travel to Ivory Coast on the final matchday in November with a win earning a spot in Russia.

    SOUTH AMERICA

    ARGENTINA - Dybala

    Paulo Dybala and the Albiceleste sit in an unfamiliarly precarious position heading into the final two matches of qualifying tied on points and goal difference with Peru in the fourth and final direct qualifying spot.

    Argentina will host Peru on Thursday night in Buenos Aires with a win relieving much of the pressure on them. They'll have a tricky away trip to Ecuador on Tuesday and if they fail to win on Thursday, this could be make-or-break. 

    BRAZIL - Alex Sandro

    Breathe easy, Brazil! You're in! Having already qualified for Russia 2018, Alex Sandro and Brazil will have victory lap matches against Bolivia and Chile ahead. 

    COLOMBIA - Cuadrado

    There's one foot in the World Cup for Juan Cuadrado and Colombia. Los Cafeteros host Paraguay with a win ensuring a trip to Russia next summer. They'll want to get it done right then and there too as a tricky trip to Peru awaits on the final day.

    URUGUAY - Bentancur

    It's the same story for Uruguay as they need just a point to book their place in Russia and face Bolivia and Venezuela - the only two sides already eliminated from qualifying - on the final two days. Perhaps we could see a Uruguay debut for Rodrigo Bentancur! 

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