Spain will take part in the World Cup play-offs if they beat minnows San Marino as expected in their final qualifier on Wednesday but their chances of direct qualification are now out of their hands.
The Spanish need European group VII leaders Serbia & Montenegro to drop points against regional rivals Bosnia in their final game in Belgrade to have any hope of automatically booking their place in next yearís finals in Germany.
Serbia are guaranteed first place if they beat Bosnia, but should they lose, a Spanish victory over San Marino will allow Luis Aragonesí side to grab the all-important top spot.
If Serbia and Bosnia draw, Spain could still finish top as long as they beat San Marino by a margin of five goals, while a four-goal victory would be enough if Serbia draw 0-0 or 1-1.
The two teams would have to play off at a neutral ground to decide the group leadership if Spain win by four goals and Serbia and Bosnia draw 2-2.
France, meanwhile, must find finally find the way to goal and thrash Cyprus on Wednesday if they are to seal qualification.
After their disappointing 1-1 draw in Bern last week, the French will book their trip to Germany if they win in Paris and Switzerland fail to beat Ireland in Dublin. However, if Switzerland carve out a success at Lansdowne Road as they did in qualifying for Euro 2004, France would need to win by four goals more than the Swiss win to secure a direct berth in Germany.
Goals though, have proved hard to come by in this campaign. France have scored just 10 in their nine games with half of those coming against the Faroe Islands. Switzerland, Israel and Ireland have all scored more. A draw could still put France into the play-offs, as long as the Dublin result is decisive one way or the other. If both are drawn France will be out. (REUTERS)