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The Telegraph Have Re-Done Their Euro 2016 Power Rankings, And Holy Shit Northern Ireland!

The Telegraph Have Re-Done Their Euro 2016 Power Rankings, And Holy Shit Northern Ireland!
By PJ Browne

Back in November, after the Euro 2016 playoffs had been completed, The Telegraph ranked the 24 teams headed to France this summer.

Ireland placed 15th -middle of the pack - not the worst.

After the latest round of international friendlies, the paper has updated its rankings.

In the interim, Ireland have faced Switzerland and won 1-0. We've also drawn 2-2 with Slovakia. Neither game featured a full strength Ireland team. The time between qualification and the friendlies also saw Ireland fare well in terms of long-term injuries - bar Rob Elliot.

However, those results have seen Ireland drop one place in The Telegraph's rankings.

Also, their estimations of the team's abilities appear to have deteriorated. We've gone from an 'awkward opponent' to one which requires luck. Harsh.

Recorded an excellent 1-0 win over Switzerland and a decent 2-2 draw with Slovakia in friendlies, but were relieved to pip Scotland to a place in the actual qualifying. Neither form nor natural talent favours the Irish. Maybe luck will work.

Two of our Euro 2016 Group E opponents - Belgium and Italy - are in the top ten, while Sweden are ranked below us in 18th.

The most startling movers are Northern Ireland. 19th after securing automatic qualification, they have risen 11 (eleven) places to eight.

Their two recent friendlies saw similar outcomes to Ireland. A 1-1 draw with Wales and a 1-0 win against Slovenia. Hardly remarkable, game-changing results.

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Perhaps, it was the acquisition of QPR striker Conor Washington - yet to score for the Championship side since his move from Peterborough - which has facilitated their surge.

Here's the updated list.

24. Hungary
23. Albania
22. Ukraine
21. Turkey
20. Romania
19. Wales
18. Sweden
17. Switzerland
16. Ireland
15. Russia
14. Poland
13. Czech Republic
12. Iceland
11. Slovakia
10. Portugal
9. Austria
8. Northern Ireland
7. Croatia
6. Italy
5. Belgium
4. England
3. Spain
2. France
1. Gemany

Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

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