As it stands, the Republic of Ireland need to defeat Denmark by two clear goals to be absolutely certain of qualification to Euro 2020.
A single-goal win in their final group game (on Monday, November 18) would likely be enough to seal qualification among the top-two in Group D but doesn’t guarantee it. Should Switzerland draw with Georgia or (much less likely) Gibraltar in one of their remaining games, it would lead to a three-way tie for top-spot on 15 points — assuming Denmark dispatch Gibraltar before their trip to Dublin.
Ireland’s goal difference in matches between the three teams (-2) is worse than Switzerland and Denmark (both +1).
Should Switzerland win both games, as expected, and Ireland win, Mick McCarthy’s men would edge Denmark in the head-to-head based on results between the two teams.
Safe in our assumption that Gibraltar won’t produce a monumental shock, anything less than a win won’t be enough for Ireland. However, if Ireland finish outside the top-two, there is the likely reprieve of a play-off through the Nations League pathway.
Ireland finished 11th of 12 teams in League B of the Nations League, and 23rd overall. A four-way play-off, involving semi-finals and a final, for a place at Euro 2020 will take place between the top-four-ranked teams from League B yet to qualify for the Euros.
Ireland are not guaranteed to make that play-off, but the next best League B teams who miss out will be moved into League A’s play-off, as all but Iceland, and possibly Croatia, are more than likely to qualify through the front door.