Euro 2020: What Group E teams must do to qualify for Round of 16

The final round of Group E matches in the Euro 2020 group stages sees Sweden take on Poland while Spain will face Slovakia.

Spain have scored just once in two games but can still make the next round. (Credit: Twitter/@EURO2020)

Euro 2020 is now reaching the business end of the tournament. As such, teams are looking to secure safe passage into the next round. However, the close nature of the games thus far mean that as things stand, there are a number of spots still up for grabs. Not only that, but the order in which teams can finish is far from certain. This means that the group standings will only be assured once the final matchday ends. (Euro points table)

Things are particularly tight in Group E, something that’s surprised more than a few people. Few gave Sweden and Slovakia a chance of topping the group before the tournament.

But, as things stand, it is Sweden who are on top and are closely followed by Slovakia. Spain and Poland, seen by many as pre-tournament favourites from Group E, languish at third and fourth, respectively.

The final round of matches sees Sweden take on Poland, while Spain face Slovakia. Let’s take a look at how these teams can qualify and at what position.

No sweat for Sweden, Slovakia could find things tricky

As things stand, the Swedes have it easiest of all the four teams. Since they have four points from two games, their qualification is secured. They could lose or draw their final match and still not have to worry.

However, a win in their final match will guarantee a finish as group winners. They could also win the group if they draw, but would have to hope that Spain vs Slovakia also finishes all square.

Given how people gave a Sweden sans talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic little chance of such a finish, their form has been remarkable. And they would not want it to stop any time soon.

Slovakia, meanwhile, could make it to the next round in a number of different ways. A win against Spain will ensure they are through – and even a first-place finish is possible if Sweden drop points too in this case.

However, a draw too is enough for them to get through to the next round. Where they finish would depend on the points tally and goal differences of other teams.

A loss, however, is something they cannot afford. A loss will see them finish the group stages with three points and reliant on factors beyond their points to make it through.

It’s worth noting that qualification for Slovakia is mathematically possible if they qualify. However, they’d rather not have to be in such a predicament in the first place.

Spain, Poland need wins to keep Euro 2020 dream alive

Spain have yet to register a win so far in Euro 2020. A win against Slovakia would propel them to five points, enough to secure their qualification into the next round.

It could even see them top the group if Sweden drop points against Poland. However, Spain are also a team that could qualify if they finish third. But again, they’d rather not let it reach that far.

For Poland, the equation is simple – win or bust. A draw will see them finish with 2 points and guaranteed elimination from the tournament. Win, however, and they can sneak in even with a third-place finish.

This group is set for an exciting conclusion.

Sportslumo Desk

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