EUROBASKET 2015 QR
|Martin Hermannsson and Iceland will try to use their chance to qualify through Group A|
The nine teams that will complete the EuroBasket 2015 field will be decided on Wednesday night, upon the conclusion of action in the 2nd Qualifying Round.
No less than 14 teams, across the seven groups of the competition, are still in the run for these coveted tickets to next summer's big event, although their chances vary considerably.
There are several contenders who hold their fate in their own hands and will clinch qualification if they win their Day 6 encounter by a mere single-point margin, but there are also some teams that will be chasing a minor miracle on Wednesday.
All seven group winners qualify directly to the EuroBasket and the six best second-placed teams will accompany them.
In order to determine these six teams, the results of the second-placed sides in groups B through F (groups of four teams) against the bottom-placed team in their group will be discarded.
This means in practical terms that any team that reaches a 3-1 record (discounting results against the bottom team in the groups of four teams) secures qualification, while teams with a 2-2 record but positive goal average (above 1.0) stand excellent chances.
This is precisely the reason why Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Belgium and Latvia clinched qualification to EuroBasket 2015 already on Day 5 of the 2nd Qualifying Round, despite the fact that only Israel is certain of finishing first in their group.
We break down the situation in every group ahead of the decisive Day 6 clashes:
Iceland are the directly interested party in this group and their situation is quite clear.
The Nordic team will clinch first place in the group, and therefore qualify automatically to the EuroBasket, in case they defeat Bosnia and Herzegovina at home by 11 points or more. In the event Iceland win by less than 10 points, they will take second place in the group but are still certain of qualification, as they will finish with a 3-1 record. In case Iceland lose, their fate will be determined by results in other groups. While the Wednesday clash will decide first and second place in the group, it has no bearing on Bosnia and Herzegovina's qualification status, which is already secured. It is worth noting that Mirza Teletovic has received permission to not travel to Iceland and will therefore not play in this game.
|Nick Oudendag and the Netherlands have an important match ahead in Group B|
The winner of the direct clash between the Netherlands and Montenegro will take second place in the group, behind Israel, but that feat is not a guarantee of qualification in itself. Once their games against fourth-placed Bulgaria are discarded, the Netherlands' goal average is 0.83 (182 points for-209 points against) and Montenegro's is 0.92 (225-242). Therefore both teams need not only to win, but also to win by a generous point differential to be in a position to leapfrog second-placed teams in other groups.
Poland are in complete control of their destiny here, as in: should they beat Austria on Wednesday, they will claim the top spot in the group and qualify directly. A Polish win would automatically bring the Germans in second place, regardless of the result in Germany's game against Luxembourg. In this case, Germany would finish in second with a 2-2 record (games against fourth-placed Luxembourg are discarded) but with a quite favourable 1.06 goal average, which could very well prove enough to prevail over at least one of the second-placed teams in other groups. Austria from their part need to defeat Poland by a minimum of 21 points in order to claim second place in the group and by over 50 points to spring the big upset and win the group outright.
F.Y.R of Macedonia hold their fate in their own hands as a win against Belarus will see them safely through, either as first in the group or as second with a bulletproof 3-1 record. In case of a loss, F.Y.R of Macedonia will take second place in the group with a 2-2 record (once we discount results against Denmark) but as long as their loss is not by a catastrophically high margin they still stand excellent chances to qualify, as their current goal average (in the two games against Belgium and the first game against Belarus) is 1.05. Belgium are already through to the EuroBasket regardless of results on Day 6, while Belarus are out of the race even if they win.
|Krisztián Wittmann and Hungary are in Group E|
None of the top three teams in this group is assured of anything, but the Czech Republic hold an advantage, because they will claim top spot and punch a direct ticket to the EuroBasket in the event they win away at Hungary. A Czech win would automatically place Georgia in second place with a 1.04 goal average (292 points for - 281 points against in their four games against the Czechs and the Hungarians). Hungary need to beat the Czechs by a minimum of 17 points to claim second place in case of a triple tie at 4-2 at the top (which will be produced if Georgia also beat Portugal) and then hope that results in other groups go their way. The Hungarians still harbour hopes of clinching automatic qualification, in case they either defeat the Czechs by 33 points or in case they win by four points but at the same time Georgia loses to Portugal.
Romania control their destiny because in case they prevail over Latvia they will at the very least finish in second place with a 3-1 record, while if their win is by 24 points or more, they will clinch the top spot and direct qualification. In the event Latvia maintain their perfect record also after Day 6, Romania will finish in second place with a 2-2 record and their goal average will depend on which one of Sweden and the Slovak Republic finishes in fourth place.
Italy will claim the top spot and automatic qualification in the event they win at Switzerland, by any margin. In that case, Russia (who have already terminated their campaign on 2-2) would finish in second place but their 1.17 goal average is extremely favourable. If Italy lose to Switzerland by less than 50 points, Russia take first place in the group and Italy finish second, with their fate depending directly on the point differential of their defeat. Switzerland therefore need to beat Italy by 51 points just to leapfrog the Italians for second place, and then hope that results in other groups go their way.