World Cup 2018: Who will join England in Russia from the home nations?
England are in pole position to reach the World Cup next summer, but which of the other home nations will join the Three Lions in Russia?
With the World Cup less than 12 months way, the home nations will be hoping to secure their spots at the major tournament in Russia next summer in the upcoming qualifiers next month.
England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Wales all qualified for the European championship in 2016 as Chris Coleman’s men reached the semi-finals before losing to 2-0 to Portugal.
Some fans will already be looking for some World Cup betting tips but how many of the home nations with be in Russia next summer? England and Northern Ireland have all but booked their place but their neighbours’ futures are less certain.
Gareth Southgate took over the reins from Sam Allardyce in 2016 and the former Middlesbrough boss has steered England to the brink of qualification even if the Three Lions continue to struggle to produce champagne football.
England are five points clear of Slovakia at the top of Group F with two games remaining in what has been a pretty straightforward qualifying campaign for the 1966 world champions – on the pitch at least.
Goals from Eric Dier and Marcus Rashford helped to secure a 2-1 win against Slovakia at Wembley after the visitors had taken a third minute lead against Southgate’s men.
Scotland are in the same group as England but trail Southgate’s men by six points. While winning the group is close to impossible, the Tartan Army are only a point behind Slovakia after England did their rivals a favour.
Northern Ireland are in second place in Group C behind defending world champions Germany. Michael O’Neill’s side are five points behind Joachim Low’s men but in a good position to reach the World Cup playoffs.
The Northern Irish are nine points clear of Azerbaijan with two games to play, which means O’Neill’s men should make it through to the playoffs as one of the eight runner-ups.
They are aiming to reach their first World Cup finals since 1986 and compete in successive major tournaments for the first time in their history.
Down south, the Republic of Ireland’s hopes of reaching Russia 2018 are in doubt following a disastrous run of results in the most-recent instalment of World Cup qualifying.
Martin O’Neill’s men dropped to third place and are four points behind Serbia following a 1-1 draw with Georgio before a 1-0 loss to the Group E leaders at the Aviva Stadium.
Worryingly for the Boys In Green, Wales have woken from their slumber in the World Cup qualifying campaign to hoist themselves above their celtic neighbours with a one-point cushion.
Ireland still have their destiny in their hands with regards to securing second place in the competition with a home clash against Moldova before a trip to the Millennium Stadium next month.