Soccer / Football : World Cup 2018
Almer out indefinitely
Austria goalkeeper Robert Almer needs surgery on his injured right knee for a third time, ruling him out of the World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Georgia in September. The 33-year-old Austria Vienna keeper had two knee operations after a Europa League game against Roma in October last year. Almer played 32 times for Austria and set a national record two years ago when he didn't concede a goal for 603 minutes in qualifying for Euro 2016.
Morrison facing lengthy injury spell
James Morrison is facing weeks on the sidelines after playing through an entire half at Hampden with medial ligament damage. The Scotland midfielder suffered the knee injury in the opening seconds of the 2-2 draw with England after being clattered in a tackle by defender Kyle Walker. Morrison bravely fought through the next 44 minutes as he tried to dismiss the knock, but had to concede defeat at the half-time interval and James McArthur took over the second period. The West Brom star was sent for medical checks immediately after the contest, where it was diagnosed that he's sustained medial-ligament damage.
Gagliardini replaces Marchisio
Inter midfielder Roberto Gagliardini has been added to Italy's squad to face Liechtenstein on Sunday. He is called up as a replacement for Claudio Marchisio, who was withdrawn after 19 minutes of Wednesday's friendly win over Uruguay. Marchisio has undergone tests that uncovered a mild groin strain in his right leg, leading to his departure from the national squad.
Woodburn out of Wales squad
Liverpool striker Ben Woodburn has withdrawn from the Wales squad ahead of their World Cup qualifier in Serbia. The 17-year-old has suffered a calf injury and is replaced by Marley Watkins. Wales take on Serbia on Sunday without talisman Gareth Bale - who is suspended for the Belgrade qualifier - four points adrift of the Group D leaders.
Injured Vardy pulls out of England squad
Gareth Southgate has suffered a setback with striker Jamie Vardy pulling out of England's games with Scotland and France with a thigh injury. The Leicester forward sustained the injury in training with the squad at St George's Park, and immediately returned to his club for treatment. Southgate has decided not to call up a replacement, which leaves the England manager with Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Jermain Defoe as front line strikers for the two matches, with Wayne Rooney not in the squad.
McGoldrick a doubt for Ireland's qualifier against Austria
Martin O'Neill has confirmed that forward David McGoldrick is a doubt ahead of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Austria. The Ipswich Town man sat out training this morning and the manager confirmed that McGoldrick had picked up a knee injury. "David McGoldrick has a niggle behind his knee," said O'Neill. "He had a scan and is waiting for results." The manager also confirmed that everyone else in the squad is fit for Sunday, but emphasised that there is a lot of training sessions ahead of the game.
Rakitic to miss Iceland match
Ivan Rakitic will miss Croatia's World Cup 2018 qualifier against Iceland on June 11 in Reykjavik. Barcelona's medical team has asked coach Ante Cacic to exempt the midfielder from the match due to an inflamed abdominal wall. "I spoke with Rakitic and we both agreed that he would skip the Iceland match," Cacic told reporters. Cacic added that he has enough midfielders on his roster, including European champions Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic.
Hazard suffers fractured ankle
Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard sustained an ankle fracture in training and will miss this week's international matches, the Belgian Football Association confirmed on Sunday. Hazard, who scored 16 goals and provided five assists to help Chelsea win the Premier League, is ruled out of his country's friendly against Czech Republic on Monday and a World Cup qualifier against Estonia on June 9.
"Eden Hazard will miss both games with Belgium this week due to an ankle injury which he suffered during this afternoon's training session," Belgium team media officer Stefan van Loock said in a statement. "Medical imaging showed that the injury is an ankle fracture," he added without giving a timeline for the 26-year-old winger's recovery.
|4||Faroe Isl.||5||-8||1-2-3 (6)|
|6||San Mar.||0||-29||0-0-6 (6)|
|11.6||Israel - Albania||0 : 3|
|11.6||Moldova - Georgia||2 : 2|
|11.6||Iceland - Croatia||1 : 0|
|11.6||Maced. - Spain||1 : 2|
|11.6||Italy - Liechten.||5 : 0|
|11.6||Serbia - Wales||1 : 1|
|11.6||Finland - Ukraine||1 : 2|
|11.6||Ireland - Austria||1 : 1|
|11.6||Kosovo - Turkey||1 : 4|
|10.6||Slovenia - Malta||2 : 0|
|10.6||Norway - Czech||1 : 1|
|10.6||Poland - Romania||3 : 1|
|10.6||Germany - San Mar.||7 : 0|
|10.6||Scotland - England||2 : 2|
|10.6||Lithuania - Slovakia||1 : 2|
|10.6||Azerbaijan - N.Ireland||0 : 1|
|10.6||Kazakhstan - Denmark||1 : 3|
|10.6||Monteneg. - Armenia||4 : 1|
|9.6||Bosnia - Greece||0 : 0|
|9.6||Holland - Luxemb.||5 : 0|
|9.6||Belarus - Bulgaria||2 : 1|
|9.6||Sweden - France||2 : 1|
|9.6||Latvia - Portugal||0 : 3|
|9.6||Faroe Isl. - Switzerl.||0 : 2|
|9.6||Estonia - Belgium||0 : 2|
|9.6||Andorra - Hungary||1 : 0|
|9.6||Gibraltar - Cyprus||1 : 2|
World Cup 2018 stats
|home wins||45 %|
|away wins||33 %|
League format : Soccer / Football : World Cup 2018
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018. This will be the first World Cup held in Europe since 2006. The final tournament will involve 32 national teams, which include 31 teams determined through qualifying competitions and the automatically qualified host team.
Apart from Russia, a total of 13 slots in the final tournament are available for UEFA teams. The 52 teams will be divided into nine groups to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The eight best second-placed teams contested home and away play-off matches for the remaining four places. In determining the best eight second-placed teams, the results against teams finishing last were not counted.
The eight best runners-up will be determined by the following parameters in this order:
- Highest number of points
- Goal difference
- Highest number of goals scored