Friday 2 December 2016

Ireland's bad seed

Published 16/06/2015 | 02:30

Martin O'Neill will make the trip to Russia in July to find out what teams Ireland are drawn with for the World Cup qualifiers
Martin O'Neill will make the trip to Russia in July to find out what teams Ireland are drawn with for the World Cup qualifiers

The next official task on Martin O'Neill's agenda is the trip to Russia for the World Cup 2018 qualifying draw on July 25, even though the Derryman still doesn't know if he will be in charge for that campaign.

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FIFA's decision to stage the draw in the summer has again created the unusual scenario where the seedings have been decided in the middle of a European Championships race.

With the world ranking used to sort out the European candidates, underdogs who've enjoyed a good run of recent results have benefited, with Wales now top seeds despite not qualifying for a major event since 1958.

Ireland will be fourth seeds alongside a Faroe Islands side that have just defeated Greece for the second time in this campaign.

The rankings will be confirmed on July 9 but we now know how the pots are going to be divided with the exception of one permutation. If Italy beat Portugal in a friendly tonight, they will be Pot 1.

Pot 1 - Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Romania, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, Croatia/Italy

Pot 2 - Croatia/Italy, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Denmark, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Pot 3 - Poland, Ukraine, Scotland, Hungary, Sweden, Albania, N Ireland, Serbia, Greece

Pot 4 - Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Ireland, Norway, Bulgaria, Faroe Islands, Montenegro, Estonia

Pot 5 - Cyprus, Latvia, Armenia, Finland, Belarus, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Moldova

Pot 6 -Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Georgia, Malta, San Marino, Andorra

Dream Draw - Wales, Iceland, N Ireland, Ireland , Lithuania, Andorra

Nightmare Draw - Spain, France, Poland, Ireland, Armenia, Kazakhstan

Irish Independent

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