England discover Plan B

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The Independent Football

The England football team today discovered the hurdle they face to reach the 2002 World Cup finals if they fail to beat Germany tomorrow.

England are favourites to end up as Group Nine runners-up, and today's FIFA draw would pitch them against the runners-up of Group Five, probably Ukraine or Belarus. Belarus trail group leaders Poland by five points, with Ukraine a further two points behind.

If Scotland fail to beat Belgium and win Group Six, they face a play-off against the runners-up of Group Three, which Denmark leads on 15 points with the Czech Republic and Bulgaria on 14 points.

The Republic of Ireland are leading Group Two, but would face a side from the Asian qualification tournament if they finish second to Portugal or Holland.