Soccer / Football : World Cup 2018
Japan replace Halilhodzic with Nishino
Japan fired coach Vahid Halilhodzic on Monday, two months before the World Cup, and immediately replaced him with Akira Nishino, the technical director of the Japanese football association. Halilhodzic was appointed in March 2015, having guided Algeria to the last 16 of the previous finals in Brazil, and Japan advanced to Russia 2018 as winners of Group B in the Asian section of qualifying. Nishino has previously managed the national team at youth level, including their under-23s at the 1996 Olympics.The 63-year-old has also had success as a manager at club level.
Gomez withdraws from England squad
Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has returned to his club to have an ankle injury assessed. Gomez picked up the problem during England's 1-0 win over Netherlands on Friday and the original plan was for him to be looked at by the England doctors rather than withdraw from the squad. But he has now returned to Liverpool, with no replacement being named, meaning the likes of Alfie Mawson and James Tarkowski could win a first cap against Italy on Tuesday.
Fellaini suffers fresh injury scare
Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has trained separately from the rest of the Belgium squad following further complications with an enduring knee problem. The Belgian enjoyed a superb start to the season but suffered knee ligament damage during a friendly with Bosnia and Herzegovina in October. It was thought he would only be out for a month but continued problems with his knee has limited him to just two starts since September.
Wilshere ruled out of Italy friendly
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will not return to the England squad for Tuesday's international friendly against Italy at Wembley. Wilshere, 26, missed the 1-0 win against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday with a minor knee injury. Liverpool's Joe Gomez will stay with the squad for further assessment on the injury he picked up against the Dutch.
Silva leaves Spain squad for personal reasons
David Silva has been released from the Spain squad for personal reasons and he will not face Argentina at Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday. The midfielder has also spent time away from his club Manchester City this season after his son was born 'extremely' prematurely.
Ozil returns to Arsenal early
Mesut Ozil will miss Germany's friendly with Brazil on Tuesday evening. The Arsenal midfielder played a full game on Friday night as Joachim Low's side registered a 1-1 draw with Spain. After their match in Dusseldorf, Germany's players travelled to Berlin to begin preparations for their friendly against Brazil. But both Ozil and Muller did not board the flight with the rest of their teammates and have returned to their clubs early. The German Football Association has given no indication that Ozil has left the squad due to injury.
Italy waits on Verratti injury
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti will be assessed after picking up an injury during Italy's 2-0 friendly defeat against Argentina in Manchester. Verratti impressed during the Azzurri's first game under interim boss Luigi Di Biagio but limped out of the action after 72 minutes to be replaced by Bryan Cristante. Di Biagio did not confirm the nature of the injury sustained by Verratti, who has a history of groin issues, but his participation in Tuesday's match against England at Wembley is now in doubt.
Davis ruled out of Korea friendly
Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis has been ruled out of Saturday's friendly with South Korea, boss Michael O'Neill has announced. The 101-cap midfielder has missed Saints' last five games with a hamstring injury and has remained in England rather than linking up with his Northern Irish team-mates. Davis was pictured in training with Southampton earlier this week so could be back for Mark Hughes' first Premier League game in charge at West Ham after the international break. O'Neill also has concerns over Niall McGinn, Kyle Lafferty and Stuart Dallas for the game against the South Koreans at Windsor Park.
|4||Faroe Isl.||9||-12||2-3-5 (10)|
|6||San Mar.||0||-49||0-0-10 (10)|
|Ireland - Denmark||1 : 5 (0:0)|
|Italy - Sweden||0 : 0 (0:1)|
|Switzerl. - N.Ireland||0 : 0 (1:0)|
|Greece - Croatia||0 : 0 (1:4)|
|14.11||Ireland - Denmark||1 : 5|
|13.11||Italy - Sweden||0 : 0|
|12.11||Greece - Croatia||0 : 0|
|12.11||Switzerl. - N.Ireland||0 : 0|
|11.11||Denmark - Ireland||0 : 0|
|10.11||Sweden - Italy||1 : 0|
|9.11||N.Ireland - Switzerl.||0 : 1|
|9.11||Croatia - Greece||4 : 1|
|10.10||France - Belarus||2 : 1|
|10.10||Luxemb. - Bulgaria||1 : 1|
|10.10||Holland - Sweden||2 : 0|
|10.10||Hungary - Faroe Isl.||1 : 0|
|10.10||Latvia - Andorra||4 : 0|
|10.10||Greece - Gibraltar||4 : 0|
|10.10||Belgium - Cyprus||4 : 0|
|10.10||Estonia - Bosnia||1 : 2|
|10.10||Portugal - Switzerl.||2 : 0|
|9.10||Israel - Spain||0 : 1|
|9.10||Moldova - Austria||0 : 1|
|9.10||Iceland - Kosovo||2 : 0|
|9.10||Ukraine - Croatia||0 : 2|
|9.10||Maced. - Liechten.||4 : 0|
|9.10||Serbia - Georgia||1 : 0|
|9.10||Finland - Turkey||2 : 2|
|9.10||Wales - Ireland||0 : 1|
|9.10||Albania - Italy||0 : 1|
|8.10||Slovenia - Scotland||2 : 2|
World Cup 2018 stats
|home wins||47 %|
|away wins||34 %|
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