Now that the European qualifiers for Russia 2018 are over, we now know who have booked their places in the final tournament. France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium and Iceland all won their groups respectively. Eight nations qualify for the playoffs while the second-placed team with the lowest points don’t make it. That side is Slovakia. Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Sweden, N.Ireland, Greece and ROI all make the playoffs.
We at Accumulator Tips have picked out our best XI from the last set of fixtures, so here we go:
Goalkeeper – Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland)
Helping Ireland to a playoff spot in Group D, Darren Randolph put in two great displays. He made four saves against Moldova and another four against Wales resulting in two clean sheets and two wins for Ireland. The Irishman was in fine form for his country.
Left-back – Yannick Carrasco (Belgium)
Playing a part in Belgium’s 4-3 win over Bosnia, Yannick Carrasco set up Jan Vertonghen and Michy Batshuayi. Despite the three-goal leakage, if Carrasco wasn’t on the field Belgium may not have won the match.
Left Centre-back – Kari Arnason (Iceland)
With a goal against Turkey in a 3-0 win and beating Kosovo 2-0, Arnason helped Iceland win Group I ensuring their qualification for Russia. Two clean sheets and a goal confirming their place was a dream come true.
Right Centre-back – Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland)
Helping ROI to a playoff place, Duffy kept two clean sheets and also didn’t manage to get booked either. His two performances contributed to Ireland’s outcome of a possible chance to play in Russia next year.
Right-back – Joshua Kimmich (Germany)
The 22-year-old set up Sebastian Rudy and even scored a goal for himself late in the game against Northern Ireland for their 3-1 victory. Then Kimmich set up Antonio Rudiger in their 5-1 win against Azerbaijan. The youngster looked quite the talent.
Left Wing – Kamil Grosicki (Poland)
The Hull City man scored against Armenia and set up Robert Lewandowski twice in Poland’s 6-1 win against Armenia. He also scored against Montenegro in their 4-2 victory helping Poland win their group by five points.
Left Central-midfield – Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland)
Key to most of Iceland’s attacking plays, Sigurdsson played an important role in helping Iceland win their group. The Everton midfielder scored and set up Johann Gudmundsson in their 2-0 win against Kosovo which was all important to actually win the group. If Sigurdsson wasn’t playing they may not have got the result they needed.
Right Central-midfield – Christian Eriksen (Denmark)
When is this guy never playing well? Mr consistent was important for Denmark yet again. A goal against Montenegro to win 1-0 and a penalty against Romania in a game that ended 1-1 was enough for Denmark to grab a playoff place.
Right Wing – Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
There is a reason why the Bayern winger is in our team of the week. Even though the Netherlands didn’t qualify, Robben scored and created a goal for Davy Propper in their 3-1 win against Belarus. He also bagged a brace in a 2-0 win against Sweden. His efforts are noteworthy enough for a place in our XI even if his side didn’t make it through.
Striker – Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
Against Armenia, Lewandowski scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 win including a freekick. He scored another goal against Montenegro. As a result, that takes his tally up to 16 for the qualifiers. The Bayern Munich striker also set up Kamil Grosicki. Due to his performances, Lewandowski showed his team play as well as solo qualities.
Striker – Marcus Berg (Sweden)
Playing a crucial role in Sweden’s finish for a playoff place, Berg managed to score four goals against Luxembourg. Every single goal was important as Sweden only got through to the playoffs by goal difference.