Play begins today, with a few games Sunday, then continues Wednesday. At the end of that stretch, 27 berths will be decided – and some big-name teams are sure to be out. Already in: host Germany, the U.S. and Mexico from CONCACAF, five-time champion Brazil and two-time winner Argentina from South America, first-time European qualifier Ukraine, and Asian powers Iran, Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Things are most complicated in Europe, where eight group winners and the best two second-place teams advance. The other six runners-up advance to playoffs for three berths. Nine more European berths will be decided with today’s 21 games and Wednesday’s 23. Three-time winner Italy, 1998 titlist France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden are on the verge of advancing, and Poland had the upper hand in its group. Teams that could be forced into playoffs, or eliminated, include powers England, Spain, Russia and the Czech Republic. All five African berths will be determined today. Perennial underachiever Ghana appears a sure bet, and Togo also can claim its first berth. Cameroon needs to beat Egypt to clinch its sixth berth, and Angola can deny powerful Nigeria with a win at Rwanda, the last-place team in its group. The other African spot will go to Morocco or Tunisia, who meet near Tunis. Tunisia needs only a tie to advance. Ecuador and Paraguay can clinch berths today, and the fifth-place team in South America – likely Uruguay, Colombia, Chile or Venezuela – will play Oceania champion Australia in a playoff for another spot. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The outlook for next year’s World Cup in Germany remains hazy. Only 10 nations have qualified for the 32-team field. The picture will become clearer in the next few days, with 76 qualifying games scheduled from Cameroon to Croatia and Portugal to Paraguay.