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"Qualification In Sight": Ireland's Opponents React To The World Cup Draw

Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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Martin O'Neill welcomed what looked like a favourable draw for the boys in green who are hoping to get back to our first World Cup finals since 2002.

Clearly though, there are other teams in the group who are having similar thoughts, and are viewing Ireland as a team that they will want to get points off of.

So how did the media of Ireland's opponents react to the group?


The Western Mail were extremely positive about Wales' chances of reaching the Russian finals. They were excited to draw Austria from pot 2, but wary of Serbia from Pot 3 viewing Ivanovic and co as the worst possible draw.

As for Ireland:

The Irish are nowhere near the force they have been in the past under Jack Charlton and Mick McCarthy.

While Ireland beat them the last time the two sides met - given Wales' rise up the rankings, they are looking at earning at least four points of us. The cheap flights between Cardiff and Dublin hints that they might bring over a large number of fans to Lansdowne to try to make it feel like a home game for the Welsh.


There is a general wariness of the tactical astuteness of Martin O'Neill however, and while they feel confident in dispatching Ireland - they know it won't be without it's difficulties.



Austrian paper Kurier called it a feasible chance for Austria to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1998. The Austrians are an up and coming team - and most papers noted how Austria dealt with Ireland the last time we met in qualifiers back in the last World Cup qualifiers.

The Austrians are aware that they got the better of us on those occasions, but remember how difficult those games were. That said, Austria are most focused on being happy to have drawn Wales and how they avoided the likes of Germany and Spain.

Austrian manager Koller was very satisfied with the group, just like Welsh coach Chris Coleman and Martin O'Neill:


This is a very balanced group but I'm satisfied with the draw of Moldova, Ireland and Wales are opponents. We know Serbia has the moment perhaps a little problem in principle but that are also  very good footballers. In our group, all the teams are very dangerous. But there are also harder groups.

We have played  three of the five teams that we drew and that is  reassuring. Against Wales and Ireland, we must physically very good physically. Wales have an outstanding player who has given us many problems with Bale. We had two close games with Ireland. Any team can in this group to be the front runners, but also it's easy to finish in third.



Serbia's media were thanking Oliver Bierhoff for putting them in an "easy group". The Serbs will be looking to build on their current U21 World Cup winning team - although their captain Chelsea's Bratislav Ivanovic played it a lot cooler by saying that this wasn't the group that they wanted to draw.

If we were free to chose our group, this isn't what we would have chosen.

Our group is by far the most open, and as third seeds that should give us a good chance of qualifying.

via Zurnal

See Also: The Fixtures For Ireland's 2018 World Cup Qualifying Campaign Have Been Released
See Also: The Best Stories Of The Sporting Week You May Have Missed


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