Nowhere is the Road to Russia more fraught with danger than in the continent of Africa.
Each of the five CAF World Cup qualification groups pits four teams against each other in a do-or-die scrap to claim one automatic ticket to the promised land, with no play-off route available for the nearly-rans, a backdoor way into the tournament afforded to teams in the other five federations.
Finish top of the pile or wait your turn for another four years.
With just two teams qualified for the 2018 tournament so far - Nigeria and Egypt - the final batch of games promises to be high in drama as the fight to secure the final three places for next summer's main event concludes.
Here's how the groups are set heading into the final batch of games, running from Friday 10th November through to Wednesday 15th November:
Barring a spectacular slip-up, table-toppers Tunisia should be joining the party next summer.
One point at home against rock-bottom Libya is all the Eagles of Carthage need to reach their fifth World Cup.
Should Nabil Maâloul's men suffer a shock defeat though, DR Congo could pip them to the post and reach their first World Cup in 44 years with a victory over Guinea.
Tunisia v Libya - Saturday 11th November 12:15PM ET, beIN SPORTS 4
Congo DR v Guinea - Saturday 11th November 12:15PM ET, beIN SPORTS 3
What looked like the group of death at the beginning of the qualification campaign, ended up being a stroll in the park for in-form Nigeria.
Saying that, the Super Eagles will be looking to finish things off with a bang when they face off against an Algeria side desperate to salvage a modicum of pride having notched up a dispiriting one point from their previous five games.
Algeria v Nigeria - Friday 10th November 2:20PM ET, beIN SPORTS
The stage is set in Abidjan for a cardiac arrest-inducing classic between the Ivory Coast and Morocco.
The Elephants trail their first-placed guests by one point and will be looking to draw on their home advantage to get over the line.
Adding to the drama stakes is the fact that Herve Renard, the man who guided the Ivory Coast to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, is now in charge of the Atlas Lions.
Expect all sentimentality between the chiseled-Frenchmen and his former employers to be put aside for the full 90 minutes as the visitors try to hold onto their slender advantage.
The other Group C clash sees Mali travel to Franceville where a win would see them finish third, one point above hosts Gabon.
Ivory Coast v Morocco - Saturday 11th November 12:15PM ET, beIN SPORTS & beIN SPORTS 5
Gabon v Mali - Saturday 11th November 9:15AM ET, beIN SPORTS 3
Group leaders Senegal and South Africa are playing a catch-up game due to the original meeting (which the Bufana won 2-1) being expunged after the referee was caught up in a match-fixing scandal.
A win this time around would put Senegal in the driving seat heading into Wednesday's final game, also against South Africa.
- South Africa v Senegal - Friday 10th November 11:50AM live on beIN SPORTS
Egypt will be looking to cap off their impressive qualifying campaign with a win over Ghana.
The Pharaohs clinched their spot to Russia with a 1-0 win over Congo last month. The scorer that night, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, won't be involved this time around; good news for the Black Stars who will be looking to finish off on a positive note.
Elsewhere, Congo and Uganda will be fulfilling their AFCON obligations in a match with nothing but pride on the line.
- Congo v Uganda - Sunday 12th November 9:15AM ET, beIN SPORTS 3
- Ghana v Egypt - Sunday 12th November 10:20AM ET, beIN SPORTS