One big team on the European football scene will miss out on the World Cup 2022 tournament in Qatar afterimmediate past European champions Portugal and reigning European champions Italy were drawn in the same path in the playoffs.
Italy were piped to top spot by Switzerland in Group C and they had to settle for a place in the playoffs in their bid to secure a place at the World Cup 2022 tournament. On their part, Portugal lost their last Group A game to Serbia at home when a draw would have taken the 2016 European Championship winners to the World Cup 2022 tournament in Qatar. Serbia came from behind to beat Portugal 2-1 away from home thereby usurping their opponents at the top of Group A to book their place at next year’s World Cup tournament.
For the European playoffs, Portugal and Italy are in Path C alongside Turkey and North Macedonia. Portugal will need to beat rejuvenated Turkey over two legs in the semi-finals to qualify for the playoff final where they would meet the winner between Italy and North Macedonia in the other playoff semi-finals. Italy and Portugal have themselves to blame after failing to win their respective groups.
For Path A, the winner of the semi-final clash between Scotland and Ukraine will meet the winner of the semi-final clash between Wales and Austria in the final. For Path B, the winner of the semi-final clash between Russia and Poland will meet the winner of the semi-final clash between Sweden and Czech Republic in the final.