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Euro 2020 knockouts: How can third-placed teams secure qualification? - explained

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The group stage schedule in Euro 2020 is set to end this week. With the slots for the knockouts all but decided, the question that comes up is how third-place teams will qualify for Euro 2020 knockouts.

As it stands, only Group A and Group C have had their winners disclosed. Italy, currently on a 30-game unbeaten run, finished as group A winners with three wins and zero goals conceded. The Netherlands, meanwhile, top Group C following wins over Ukraine and Austria and join Italy, Wales and Belgium as the teams to earn early tickets to the knockout round.

As per the rules, the top two teams from each of the six Euro groups will automatically qualify for the knockouts. Accompanying them will be the four third-placed teams who have a good record from the group stage round.

How are the four third-placed teams decided?

Based on the following criteria, the third-placed teams in each of the six groups in Euro 2020 will be decided.

  1. Maximum points
  2. Superior goal difference
  3. Most goals scored
  4. Most wins
  5. Disciplinary record
  6. Overall European qualifiers rankings

Furthermore, the rule of a head-to-head record - used to determine the top two teams in a group - will not be applicable.

Who will the four third-placed teams face in the knockouts

Each of the four third-placed teams that qualify will play the team that won a group in the knockouts. However, the sides who played earlier in the group stage won’t face each other in the upcoming round.

Here are the permutations of how the round-of-16 schedule should look:

Third-placed teams Winner (Group B) Winner (Group C) Winner (Group E) Winner (Group F)
ABCD 3A 3D 3B 3C
ABCE 3A 3E 3B 3C
ABCF 3A 3F 3B 3C
ABDE 3D 3E 3A 3B
ABDF 3D 3F 3A 3B
ABEF 3E 3F 3B 3A
ACDE 3E 3D 3C 3A
ACDF 3F 3D 3C 3A
ACEF 3E 3F 3C 3A
ADEF 3E 3F 3D 3A
BCDE 3E 3D 3B 3C
BCDF 3F 3D 3C 3B
BCEF 3F 3E 3C 3B
BDEF 3F 3E 3D 3B
CDEF 3F 3E 3D 3C

Here’s how the round-of-16 line-up for Euro 2020 looks like:

Saturday, June 26

Wales vs 2B - 9:30 PM IST

Sunday, June 27

Netherlands vs 3D/3E/3F - 9:30 PM IST

Italy vs 2C - 12:30 AM IST

Monday, June 28

2D vs 2E - 9:30 PM IST

1B vs 3A/3D/3E/3F - 12.30 PM IST

Tuesday, June 29

1D vs 2F - 9:30 PM IST

1F vs 3A/3B/3C - 12:30 PM IST

Wednesday, June 30

1E vs 3A/3B/3C/3D - 12:30 PM IST

Who can register third-place finish in their Euro 2020 groups

With the winner and runner-up of Group A already decided - Italy and Wales - Switzerland are likely to finish third in the group.

Here are the teams still in contention to secure a third-place finish in their respective groups.

Group A: Switzerland

Group B: Russia / Finland / Denmark

Group C: Ukraine / Austria

Group D: Croatia / Scotland

Group E: Sweden / Slovakia / Spain

Group F: France / Germany / Portugal

Featured photo: AFP / Niklas Halle'n

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