UEFA released the seedings for the Euro 2016 draw yesterday, and it brings up a potentially nightmare scenario for the Republic of Ireland - should we make it.
Three years ago, Giovanni Trapattoni's side were dispatched easily after being drawn in a group with Italy, Spain and Croatia. Thankfully that can't happen again - given that Croatia have joined Italy in pot two. That doesn't mean that a potentially horrific group could be on the cards.
The strongest possibility is that Ireland will be drawn in pot four along with Wales and Northern Ireland. That opens up the possibility of a group with Spain or Germany, Italy or Croatia, and Czech Republic, Ukraine, or Bosnia.
15 teams know what pot they will be in for the Euro 2016 draw - with another five teams waiting to see who prevails from the play-offs before finding out which pot they are in. Those countries are Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Turkey. France are already counted in pot one - but are already assured of a place in Group A to ensure that the hosts play in the opening game.
Germany, England, Portugal & Belgium join Spain in Pot 1 of #EURO2016 finals draw on 12 Dec: http://t.co/Z1MSyJorwd pic.twitter.com/AZIcH3N5Za
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) October 14, 2015
However, there is a small possibility that Ireland could sneak into the third pot of seeds. For that scenario to happen, three unseeded teams - Ireland (duh), Norway, and Slovenia - would need to negotiate their way through the playoffs.
That scenario does appear unlikely - but it throws up the possibility of Ireland being joined in a group with England and Northern Ireland.
Either way - all Irish eyes will be on the Euro 2016 playoff draw this Sunday, hoping that Martin O'Neill's man can reach their second European Championships in a row.
The seedings are determined based on the UEFA coefficients.
Coefficients of teams yet to determine which pot they could be in the Euro 2016 Draw:
Bosnia an Herzegovina (30.367) - playoff seeded
Ukraine (30.313) - playoff seeded
Czech Republic (29.403) - qualified
Sweden (29.203) - playoff seeded
Poland (28.306) -qualified
Romania (28.038) - qualified
Slovakia (27.171) - qualified
Hungary (27.142) - playoff seeded
Denmark (27.140) - playoff unseeded
Turkey (27.033) - qualified
Republic of Ireland (26.902) - playoff unseeded
Norway (26.439) - playoff unseeded
Slovenia (25.441) - playoff unseeded
See Also: The Euro 2016 Play-Off Seedings Have Been Confirmed
See Also: Everything You Need To Know About The Euro 2016 Playoff Draw
Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE