Tuesday 26 September 2017

World Cup permutations: Play-off table as it stands does not look too good for Ireland - here is what we need to do

Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Ireland face a mammoth task to secure a top-two spot in World Cup qualifying Group D following defeat against Serbia.

After taking just one point from Georgia last Saturday, Martin O'Neill's men really needed to bag three points at the Aviva because in a group where draws have been the dominant result, second place may even fall short.

Results against each groups' bottom side - in our case Moldova - are taken away from each team's final tally and eight runners up from the nine groups will progress to a play-off.

So as it stands, Ireland's group is in the worst position with Wales sitting on eight points after six games (They have played Moldova twice). They lie in ninth position in the runners up table with Bosnia in Group H above them on goal difference.

Ireland will finish on 19 points if the beat Moldova and Wales and taking away the six from Moldova, that will leave O'Neill's men with 13.

Here is how the runners-up table currently stands (minus results from bottom team):


Should Ireland finish second, we will finish on 13 points in the runners up table. Our current goal difference, taking away the 3-1 win in Moldova, is +1.

Realistically, the only groups Ireland can reel in are A, E, F and H with the latter our best bet.

If we win out last two games, we need the following results in Group H.

  • Bosnia take four points from last two games in Group H against Belgium and Estonia
  • Greece drop points in Cyprus in Group H


Oct 7

Bosnia v Belgium

Cyprus v Greece

Oct 10

Estonia v Bosnia

Greece v Gibraltar

Here is how our group look this morning:



Oct 6

Ireland v Moldova

Austria v Serbia

Georgia v Wales

Oct 9

Wales v Ireland

Serbia v Georgia

Moldova v Austria

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport