Football

Here's What Last Night's Disaster Means For Euro 2020 Qualifying

Here's What Last Night's Disaster Means For Euro 2020 Qualifying

Well, our first dalliance with the UEFA Nations League has been a disaster. One point and one goal from three games - and a trip to Aarhus to play Denmark yet to come - has left Ireland staring relegation in the face.

If Ireland are to avoid finishing bottom of their group and slipping down to League C, they will have to beat Denmark away and hope that Wales then beat Denmark in Cardiff.

Given all available evidence - we are going to be relegated. So, here's what that means and where we currently stand as regarding the impact these games will have on our seeding in the Euro 2020 draw.

What does Nations League mean for Euro 2020 qualification?

The results in the Nations League are deciding the ranking for the seeds in the draw for Euro 2020 qualification. If the Nations League didn't exist and we were doing this according to the old system, we would have been second seeds and might have squeezed into the Euros via a third-placed finish and a play-off.

If we get relegated, however, we will be down to third seeds, and scrapping it out for one of the two group spots that will qualify for the Euros. The third-placed safety net we benefitted from for Euro 2016 no longer exists.

Pot 1

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So, as the pots currently stand, we would be drawn against one of the following from the first pot. (All of these are subject to change until the Nations League finishes up, so take this as a guide as to how the challenge might look like).

Pot 1 will include the best 10 teams from League A. So, at the moment, they are:

France, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Spain, England

Pot 2

The two worst-ranked teams from League A drop to second seeds, so at the moment they are Iceland and Croatia. (Albeit Croatia are there because their goal difference is slightly inferior to Germany's, meaning Germany's dropping in there could happen). The rest of the pot is made up of the teams that don't get relegated from League B. (You're welcome, Wales).

Here's how it looks at the moment:

Iceland, Croatia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Russia, Turkey, Bosnia, Austria, Wales, Denmark

There we are, then. What's your nightmare draw from that? We are going to tentatively go for France and Croatia.... although maybe any draw that avoids Wales and Denmark again might be a good thing.

See Also: O'Neill's Era Is Done - We Must Now Decide Whether The Irish Team Is Worth Caring About

See Also: Irish Player Ratings As O'Neill's Reign Enters End Game Against Wales

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

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