With two games to play, the United States could be in peril of failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. But the U.S. is not the only Cup perennial that could miss out on Russia 2018. Several other prominent teams are also struggling and might be sitting it out next summer, depending on the results of the final games in October.

Europe

When the qualifying draw was made in 2015, it was clear that at least one giant would be in a difficult position about now. Italy, which has made 14 consecutive World Cups, and Spain, which has made 10 straight, were drawn into the same group, with only one automatic qualifying spot available.

Spain drubbed Italy, 3-0, last weekend, and at 3 points up with two games to play, is very likely to get the spot. That puts Italy in the position of having to play a home-and-home playoff against another group runner-up to qualify.

Italy will be favored to win its playoff, but the opponent could be tricky: A team like Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Bosnia or Montenegro could await.

European champion Portugal, despite a continent-leading 14 goals by Cristiano Ronaldo, is also second in its group. But it has the advantage of playing the leader, Switzerland, at home in its final game.

The Netherlands, a semifinalist last time, is in even worse shape, standing third in its group. It will probably need to win its last two games, at Belarus and home to Sweden, even to get into the playoffs.

South America

Four teams get automatic qualifying berths, and one will be Brazil. Uruguay and Colombia are leading for two more spots. That leaves a scramble for the fourth position, with mighty Argentina, and the winner of the last two Copa Americas, Chile, both in the mix along with Peru.

Every team trips up occasionally in the marathon 18-game South American qualifying tournament, but Argentina’s mere 6 wins in 16 games is worrisome. Particularly embarrassing were losses at home to Ecuador and Paraguay and two draws against Venezuela.

Before you start fretting about a World Cup without Lionel Messi, consider that Argentina has a fairly favorable schedule: a home game against Peru, then away against Ecuador. Chile plays Ecuador at home, then must visit Brazil, although that game seems less daunting since Brazil has already qualified. Still, one of them will probably miss the top four.

There is an escape hatch: The fifth-place team will have a potentially easy-ish playoff against New Zealand for a final World Cup spot.

Africa

Ghana has played in the last three World Cups, making the quarterfinals in 2010. But it is on the brink of elimination. With two games to go, it stands only third in its group, 4 points back of Egypt, which has been a continental power but hasn’t made the World Cup since 1990, and 2 back of Uganda. Just one team will qualify.

Barring a miracle, Ghana won’t be going to Russia.

Asia

Australia is the Asian champion, but may not make the Cup. It finished third in its qualifying group, behind Japan and Saudi Arabia, and now must win two playoff series. The first will be against surprising Syria. A win there will put it in a playoff against the fourth-place team in the North American region.

A United States-Australia series, with only one World Cup berth available, would be a nail-biting conclusion to the long months of qualifying.