Croatia is currently three points short of qualifying for the Euros, and their performance in the qualifications has been subpar. If Wales draws with Turkey, Croatia will have enough points to qualify for the Euros with a defeat against Armenia. However, this match is not just about placement, but also the draw for the final tournament. The outcome of this match could determine the path of Zlatko Dalić’s chosen team to a great result.
There are still three unknowns before the draw for additional qualifications on Thursday regarding direct travelers to Germany. These national teams can impact Croatia’s chances of making it to the Euros. Uefa ranks national teams according to their performance in the qualifications, and as of now, Croatia would be in the third strong group, which includes Scotland and Slovakia and possibly Netherlands and Serbia. This means that Croatia won’t be able to play against some strong opponents like England or Spain during their final round matches.
If Turkey wins against Armenia, they will replace Croatia in the third strong group, which would make it more difficult for them to make it to the Euros. However, if Croatia beats Armenia and loses against Wales or ties with them, they will end up in a tougher draw in Group B than if they won all their remaining matches.
The weakest strong group will consist of three national teams that are placed through play-offs and which won’t be known at the time of drawing (the matches are at the end of March). As well as runners-up from each group with poor performance so far are Slovenia, Czech Republic and Switzerland. With a win over Armenia, Croatia will surely stay in this group and have a tougher draw compared to other groups.
Serbia will fall into last round if at least two out of these scenarios happen: Slovenia wins over Kazakhstan; Czech Republic wins over Moldova; or Croatian win over Armenia.
Twelve national teams will fight for remaining three places through mini-tournaments at next meeting in March. Currently Poland from League A, Israel and BiH from League B; Georgia Greece Luxembourg from League C are safe there.
If qualifications ended right now playoff pairs would be Poland – Estonia (which would join from League D) ; Wales – Finland/Iceland/Ukraine while Israel would play against Ukraine or Iceland; Bosnia Herzegovina – Finland or Ukraine; Georgia – Luxembourg; Greece – Kazakhstan.
Overall, Croatia’s chances of making it to the Euros depend on how they perform against Turkey and Armenia as well as how other teams perform in their remaining matches.