Croatia is three points away from 13th place out of a possible 15 major competitions since independence. The upcoming match between Wales and Turkey is crucial for the “firemen” as a point will be enough to secure their qualification for the Euros, either by drawing with Turkey or winning against Armenia. However, this match is not just about the ranking but also about the draw for the final tournament.
In addition to Croatia and Wales, there are three other unknowns that can influence their qualification process. UEFA ranks national teams according to their performance in the qualifiers, with Germany, Portugal, France, Spain, Belgium, and England being considered superpowers. If the qualifications were to end today, Croatia would be in the third strong group that includes Scotland and Slovakia among others. However, if they win against Armenia and draw or lose against Wales, they risk ending up in the fourth round with a more difficult draw.
Hungary and Austria are safe in the second group along with Turkey, Denmark, Albania and Romania. If Croatia wins against Armenia, they will stay in the third round regardless of whether they win or lose against Wales. However, if they lose to Wales and Turkey wins against Armenia, Croatia will qualify for the Euros but will have a more difficult draw than if they had won against Wales.
Serbia will fall to the last round if at least two of Scenarios 2-4 occur: Scenario 2 – Slovenia wins over Kazakhstan; Scenario 3 – Czech Republic wins over Moldova; Scenario 4 – Croatia wins over Armenia. Therefore indirectly “fiery” can push Serbia towards a harder draw