Football

Ireland's Potential Opponents For Euro 2020 Qualifying Confirmed

Ireland's Potential Opponents For Euro 2020 Qualifying Confirmed

John Delaney called the staging of the Euro 2020 qualifiers draw in Dublin's Convention Centre "a really good day for Irish sport", and whether or not you agree with that, it's probably Irish football's best achievement of the year.

After their Nations League relegation, Ireland face a potential nightmare draw, as they have dropped to the third pot in the seeding. The pots have been decided on the basis of Nations League performances.

Incredibly, Germany have dropped into pot 2.

Here is the full seeding.

Euro 2020 Seeding

Pot 1

Belgium, Croatia, England, France, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Poland

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Pot 2

Germany, Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Denmark, Russia, Austria, Wales, Czech Republic, Sweden

Pot 3

Slovakia, Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Serbia, Finland, Scotland, Bulgaria, Israel

Pot 4

Albania, Cyprus, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Montenegro, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania

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Pot 5

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Gibraltar, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Faroe Islands

Pot 6

Andorra, Latvia, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Malta

 

It means that Ireland could end up in a group with France AND Germany.

The top two teams in each group qualify for the European Championships, meaning a third-place finish will not be enough to earn Ireland a playoff, as happened for Euro 2016. Instead, should Ireland fall short, they will have to look to the Nations League for a playoff position.

Ireland should be optimistic of getting this playoff, given that they are handed to the highest-placed Nations League teams who fail to qualify for the Euros through the traditional route. If you were to rank teams based on their record in Leagues A and B in the Nations League - given that most of the League A sides will qualify for the Euros the traditional route, the odd couple that don't will look to League B opponents - Ireland stand 23rd of 24th. The only scenarios in which they would miss out on a playoff is six of the teams ranked ahead of Ireland or the six sides ranked below them fail to qualify via the group.

The playoffs consist of a one-off semi-final and then a final, with the higher-ranked side given home advantage in the semi-final.

The championships are being staged across Europe in 2020, with Dublin set to host four games at the Aviva Stadium. Should the Republic of Ireland qualify, they will be guaranteed at least two games in Dublin.

 

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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