• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • Here Are The Groups Irish Fans Want The Most - And Who We Want Least

Here Are The Groups Irish Fans Want The Most - And Who We Want Least

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
Share this article

In the days following the Bosnia game, we ran a poll asking readers to pick the teams we most wished to draw from each pot in the Euro 2016.

Turnout was almost on a par with last May's gay marriage referendum. On the eve of the draw, it is time to reveal the results.

Judging by the voting patterns, people are big on tribal showdowns and still have bad dreams about the nightmare that was Euro 2012.



The people are gung ho for another England-Ireland clash at a major tournament. Collectively, we have been deemed them the jackpot draw from Pot 1.

England haven't beaten Ireland since 1985 and we have fond memories of playing them at major tournaments. Many may also be hankering for another tribal showdown.


However, there were some downvotes for England, possibly from folk who can't bear the thought of losing to England and are unwilling to risk Ireland's long unbeaten record in the fixture by actually playing them again.


The Swiss topped the poll from Pot 2.


Clearly, Ireland's many frustrations against the Swiss during the Brian Kerr era are but a distant memory. Switzerland finished a very distant second to England in a very tame qualification group. They suffered a wobble against the Slovenians, losing 1-0 in Maribor.


In advance of the playoff draw, Irish supporters were praying that we would draw Hungary. The consensus was that they were the 'Estonia' of the third place nations.


Their victory over Norway hasn't changed attitudes too much. They beat Romania - in Jonathan Wilson's estimation, the most unimpressive team in Euro 2016 - into second place in this poll.

The feeling being that if Northern Ireland can top a qualification group containing these nations, then they can't be too clever.



Memories of 2012 still loom large in the minds of Irish supporters. We've been hurt by these teams before.



Notwithstanding Spain's abysmal performance at the 2014 World Cup, they remain one of Europe's most feared outfits.

We want to see no repeat of the humiliation in Gdansk.


Ireland's displays against the Germans - the post-World Cup celebrations may have fattened them up too much - mean that we'd rather meet them again than the Spanish.



The impact of summer, 2012 was even more evident in the Pot 2 vote. According to this poll, the two teams we want least are Italy and Croatia.

More people could tolerate a group containing Croatia but there wasn't much in it.

The Italians were unbeaten in their qualifying group although they did draw three games, with two of those coming against Croatia.

They did Ireland a favour in the final game of qualifying. We were fairly keen to keep Croatia out of the playoff draw. Had the Norwegians won in Rome they would have advanced automatically and Croatia would have been possible opponents in the playoff.

In typical Italian fashion, they gave us a scare, going 1-0 down, but they rescued the situation in the final 15 minutes eventually winning 2-1.


It was tight here.

Poland and Sweden were almost neck and neck in the voting but Ireland's defeat in Warsaw is fresher in the memory than the losses to Sweden in 2014 World Cup qualifying.

We're sick of looking at Poland.

Full voting

Pot 1

  1. England
  2. Portugal
  3. Belgium
  4. France
  5. Germany
  6. Spain

Pot 2

  1. Switzerland
  2. Ukraine
  3. Russia
  4. Austria
  5. Croatia
  6. Italy

Pot 3

  1. Hungary
  2. Romania
  3. Slovakia
  4. Czech Republic
  5. Sweden
  6. Poland

Read more: Exotic Transfer Favourite Andy Keogh Is On The Move Again









Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com