QATAR host the 2022 World Cup in what promises to be an entertaining affair this winter.
Brazil, France and England are the front-runners to win the whole thing, with 2018 finalists Croatia are considered an outsider.
Gareth Southgate's men smashed six past Iran and face the United States, then Wales in the group stages.
There is a chance that teams will finish level on points in the group stages, seeing their fates decided on goal difference – but what happens if their goal difference and goals scored are identical too?
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What happens if teams are level on points, goal difference and goals scored at the World Cup?
If teams finish level on points at the end of the group stage, the decision on who goes through will be decided as the team who scored the most goals out of those in question would progress.
However, there is a chance that teams will finish level on points, goal difference and goals scored during the tournament in Qatar with a tight group stage expected.
If this happens, there is a set of criteria that will be followed, with head-to-head coming into play as well as the potential of fair play points being utilised.
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The criteria is as follows:
- Points obtained in the matches played between the teams level on point
- Goal difference in the matches played between the teams level on points
- Number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams level on points
- Fair play points in all group matches
The fair play point deductions are as follows (only one deduction can be applied to a player in a single match):
- Yellow card: -1 point
- Indirect (second yellow) red card: -3 points
- Direct red card: -4 points
- Yellow card and later a direct red card: -5 points
Have teams ever finished level on points, goal difference and goals scored at the World Cup?
Teams have finished level on all three variables once in World Cup history, and it came pretty recently.
Senegal and Japan both finished on four points in Group H as Russia hosted the tournament in 2018 with an identical goal difference, goals scored and goals conceded against each other after the criteria was followed.
However, Japan progressed due to amassing more fair play points than the Africa nation.
The Japanese saw a deduction of -4 in comparison to Senegal's -6 points, seeing them through to the knockouts.
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