Euro 2021 third-place rules: How best 3rd-place teams advance from groups

The group stage of the 2021 Euros will see 16 of the 24 teams advance to the knockout rounds.

In addition to the top two teams in each of the six groups (12 in total), the four best third-place finishers will also qualify for the Round of 16.

To make it easy, we’ve created a separate standings table (below) for the current third-placed teams. The lucky four teams to move on are determined by the following criteria established by UEFA in this specific order:

  1. most points
  2. superior goal difference
  3. most goals scored
  4. most wins
  5. fewest disciplinary points in group stage matches
  6. position in the overall European Qualifiers rankings

Croatia and Spain are currently on the outside looking in with Switzerland, Portugal, Austria and Finland having currently accumulated the most points. Switzerland have played one more game than the rest of the field.

Third-Place Teams (top 4 advance)

TeamGroupPTSGPWLDGFGAGD
1. SwitzerlandA4311145-1
2. PortugalF3211054+1
3. AustriaC32110330
4. FinlandB32110110
5. SpainE22002110
6. CroatiaD1201112-1

(PTS=points, W=Wins, L=Losses, D=Draws, GF=Goals For [Scored], GA=Goals Against [Allowed], GD=Goal Difference)

Once we know the four 3rd-placed teams that will be advancing, the next step will be to figure out their opponent in the Round of 16.

UEFA has already outlined the Round of 16 matchups based on the groups from which the third-place teams hail (page 19 of tournament regulations). The predetermined permutations follow below:

Round of 16 Pairings

3rd-Place Teamsvs. B1vs. C1vs. E1vs. F1
A, B, C, DA3D3B3C3
A, B, C, EA3E3B3C3
A, B, C, FA3F3B3C3
A, B, D, ED3E3A3B3
A, B, D, FD3F3A3B3
A, B, E, FE3F3B3A3
A, C, D, EE3D3C3A3
A, C, D, FF3D3C3A3
A, C, E, FE3F3C3A3
A, D, E, FE3F3D3A3
B, C, D, EE3D3B3C3
B, C, D, FF3D3C3B3
B, C, E, FF3E3C3B3
B, D, E, FF3E3D3B3
C, D, E, FF3E3D3C3

Here’s the full Round of 16 schedule with TV and streaming assignments in the USA. We’ll be slotting in the names of the teams as they clinch:

Euro 2021 – Round of 16

DateMatchTime (TV channels)Stream
Sat, June 26Wales vs. B212 pm ET (ESPN)fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Sat, June 26Italy vs. C212 pm ET (ESPN)fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Sun, June 27Netherlands vs. D3/E3/F312 pm ET (ESPN)fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Sun, June 27B1 vs. A3/D3/E3/F33 pm ET (ABC, Univision, TUDN)fuboTV , ESPN app, ESPN3, TUDN.tv
Mon, June 28D2 vs. E212 pm ET (ESPN)fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Mon, June 28F1 vs. A3/B3/C33 pm ET (ESPN)fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Tues, June 29D1 vs. F212 pm ET (ESPN)fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Tues, June 29E1 vs. A3/B3/C3/D33 pm ET (ESPN, Univision, TUDN)fuboTV , ESPN app, TUDN.tv

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