2018 World Cup qualifiers: Group A permutations

2018 World Cup qualifiers: Group A permutations
Thomas Partey of Ghana challenged by Remi Mulumba of DR Congo during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Afcon Quarter Final football match between DR Congo and Ghana at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 29 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 11:30

We look at who needs what to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup ahead of this weekend’s round of matches. Today’s focus is on Group A: Tunisia, DR Congo, Guinea and Libya.

Group A fixtures

Saturday 11 November
Tunisia v Libya - Olympic Stadium, Rades - 19h30 CAT
DR Congo v Guinea - Stade des Martyrs, Kinshasa - 19h30 CAT

Group A standings

Tunisia: 13 points / +7 goal difference
DRC: 10 / +5
Guinea: 3 / -6
Libya: 3 / -6

Who needs what to qualify?

It’s very straightforward for Tunisia, who need only avoid defeat at home to Libya to guarantee a place at Russia 2018.

DR Congo could still leapfrog to the top of the log and qualify, but only if they defeat Guinea, Tunisia lose at home to Libya, and the Leopards end up with the better goal difference (since the teams would be level on points in this scenario).

What’s likely to happen?

It’s hard to see the Carthage Eagles, who are unbeaten in Group A, stumble at the final hurdle. Especially at home, and especially against bottom-of-the-log Libya, who have conceded seven goals in their two away games.

If and when Tunisia confirm their place at Russia 2018, it will be their fifth qualification for the World Cup and a first since Germany 2006.

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