Full Analysis of 2nd spot after 8 matches:
After Today's Matches:
Group B: Portugal/Switzerland
Group C: Northern Ireland
Group G: Italy
have mathematically taken play off spots.
5 spots left.
Group F: Slovakia is Tricky. They have already 12 points but only have one match left that counts. and that Match is vs Scotland away, which is another attender for 2nd spot.
If Slovakia lose to Scotland, They go second with 11 points and a GD -2.
If Slovakia and Scotland draw, Slovakia remains 2nd with 13 points and a GD + 6. Still above us unless we throw 5 goals to Cyprus.(In case of even GD aka if we scored 4 to Cyprus, bigger attack matters and currently we got 7 while they have 11).
All this according to the most possible scenario that Slovenia loses at England next matchday and is off the 2nd spot hunt.
My opinion is that Slovakia will dominate this Group and it's too hard we find a savior from here, and even if they don't its too many results needed to be combined. I'd give a 5% chance at best the results help us. Group A: Sweden-Netherlands. Currend 2nd spot team Sweden has 10 points right now. Other 2nd spot contender is Netherlands with right now 10 points. The last placed team has not been decided in that Group. Both Belarus(currentl last) and Luxemburg have 5 points. Belarus has a harder programme as they have France away and Netherlands at home. I expect Belarus who already have a worse GD than Luxemburg by 2 goals to finish last. which means that Luxemburg just need to concede 2 less from Sweden away and Bulgaria at home. I believe a totally uninterested Bulgaria in last matchday will not score many.
So based in this Scenario Sweden can reach +3 points and go to 13(with more than +3GD if they Beat Netherlands, while Netherlands can get +3 points at best if they beat Sweden at home. Both teams can end up with maximum 13 points same as us, depending on the match between them. Currently Sweden with +3 GD and Netherlands with a +2. It is obvious that we can hope that both teams either draw each other or win by one goal.
I would honestly give this group a 25% chance to give a last team.
Group E: It's a battle of Montenegro/Denmark. Currently both at 10 points with a maximum of 16. Denmark currently has a +6 GD while Montenegro has a +3. Their upcomming matches have them to play each other at Montenegro(note that Montenegro beat Denmark away). Last matchday however Montenegro plays at Poland away and Denmark plays Romania,which might be a factor. The Group is not yet decided, but based on Montenegro last matchdays I give them few chances of finishing above Denmark, as they have the same Goal Differences so it might come down to Montenegro conceding lots to Poland or Denmark scraping goals to uninterested Romania. I believe Denmark have higher chances to finish 2nd and based on their current GD(+6) they most likely will finish above us even if they lose to Montenegro. I give this group slim chances to give the last spot. 5% .
Group I: Currently even Croatia is in the game for possible second. This is definately not good for us.
Croatia 10 points with a possible 16 against Finland and Ukraine(4th and 5th teams). They will definately scrap at least 4 points and be above us if second. No point to check GD. If they somehow end up with only one win at 13 points they have a GD +2. Will probably top the Group with 4 points though.
Iceland already 13 points and a GD of +3 with the possibiliy of becomming 16 or 14 against Turkey away. It's the 2nd spot derby. If Iceland lose Turkey steals their 2nd spot and they are currently with 8 points and a -1 GD. For Turkey to finish 2nd they need 2 wins which will get them to 14 points and above us in points. This is probably the most possible scenario as Turkey are currently on fire and even beat Croatia athome. Their last match is vs Finland. If the match Turkey-Iceland goes to draw Iceland grab a point and are above us in point.
All these possibilities considering Ukraine is non typically off the hunt for 2nd spot (They play neither Turkey nor Iceland to their last 2 matches to be able to steal points from them and they are already 2 points behind Iceland).
Best case scenario: Turkey win Iceland, Iceland are stuck in 13 points and a GD < +2 and Turkey drops points away to Finland. Too many results needed for our favor find it hard , Id give them however more than the others, a 15% as all teams have low GD and low goals scored if it comes to that it might be a factor. So 15% they are a bottom playoff spot team.
Group D: Wales have currently 8 points and have played Moldova twice which means they have a possible maximum of 14. Mathematically , based on all the combinations of their upcomming matches they can't get 5 points and be on tie with us so the GD doesnt matter , although it would be in our favor as they have +1. (The 13 points is a given from the fact that we need to beat Cyprus to possibly be in 2nd spot, so we ll end up 2nd only with 13 points , or with 10 goals vs Gibraltar, which is impossible ). Wales Play Georgia away which ended up in a tie last time they met , and then have Ireland at home so I would give them slight c hances of reaching those 14 points. Which means that Ireland with playing Moldova at home has higher chances to finish 2nd. Ireland currently have also 10 points and a GD OF +1 If I am not wrong, after losing to Serbia today. Considering that even if they end up second, it's probabl gonna be with low goals or draw vs Wales(which means Wales go 2nd with 12 points and are behind us in case of draw), as they play them away, and both teams are not offensive powerhouses. Since they have only one match left due to playing Moldova again, max points they can also get is 13. In other words Ireland has higher chances than Greece to be last team because of them playing Wales and us Cyprus. Group gets a 25% for giving the last team.
Group H is our Group. We ve talked about everything . If im not Wrong 25% was meant to be left for our spot as well. However, considering that we win Cyprus convincingly and our GD goes up from +3 to +5. I think that can have it non-typically settled.
It seems to be between us / Netherlands/Sweden and Wales/Ireland
Friendly reminder that the Netherlands-Sweden match is played 10 october at 21:45 , Wales- Ireland at 9 october 21:45 and Greece - Cyprus at October 7 21:45. So even if we win Cyprus, we might have to wait till the last minute of the last qualifier to know if we grabbed a spot or not, if prelast matchday results don't settle it down. The fact that we will have a GD +5 (if we win cyprus by 2) or +6 (if we win by 3) which is a hopeful but not impossible scenario puts the pressure on all the teams mentioned on the run to not only win, but to make sure they have an efficient GD with the other contender for last spot , aka us. Ireland and Wales might surely struggle offensively based on their current GD and latest results. So If we were secured the 2nd spot( and not Bosnia) I believe our chances would be at least half than the other two Groups.
To sum up / too long didnt read version : If we win Cyprus by 2 and Bosnia draws/loses to Belgium we will most likely not finish as the 9th team.
Sorry for the long post but I think im giving an insight and relaxing people who ll be on their feet this whole month till the last qualifiers. I literally had nothing better to do (+ Wanted to see our chances for myself).