The draw for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers has been made, with Ireland receiving a reasonably favourable group.
After a difficult year in 2020, Stephen Kenny's side entered this evening's draw in Switzerland as third seeds, meaning they could have been handed a very tough group.
Portugal will be top seeds in the group, being drawn in the same qualifying group as Ireland for the first time since the 2002 World Cup campaign.
Serbia were second seeds, another team that were knocked out of the Euro 2020 play-offs in recent months.
Luxembourg were the team to come from pot four, a relatively kind draw when you consider their record in qualifying for major tournaments.
With Ireland being in one of the five-team groups, the final drawn into the group was Azerbaijan.
The group in full is: Portugal, Serbia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 7, 2020
Overall, the draw could have been worse. Stephen Kenny will fancy his side's chances of securing a place in the top two, although improvements will be needed from the recent UEFA Nations League campaign.
The first game of the campaign will take place on March 14th or 15th, with three qualifiers taking place in total during that international window. The dates for each specific fixture have yet to be confirmed.