So now that Henrygate is over, after FIFA ruled out all possibility of a replay, it’s time to focus on qualification for Euro 2012.
UEFA has released the latest co-efficient rankings which place Ireland at 25th. These rankings are important as they are the basis for the qualifying draw that will take place in Warsaw on February 7th, 2010. With Poland and Ukraine qualifying automatically for the finals as co-hosts, the other 51 of UEFA’s 53 member national associations will be allocated to six pots in accordance with their rankings. The draw will then choose six groups of six teams and three groups of five.
25th spot means that Ireland will be placed in the 3rd pot of teams, alongside our compatriots from the north. This means that we could potently have to face to powerhouses of European football, but is a marked improvement of being in pot 4, which we were for the World Cup 2010 qualification.
I’ve had a look at the full pots, which you can see below, and I’m made two groups. The first is the Group of Death (basically the worst possible group we could get), while the second is the Group of Life (the best possible group). I based this not on the rankings themselves but on the likelihood of Ireland winning or losing against the opposition home and away.
Group of Death:
Spain (defending European champions)
Serbia (tough trip to Belgrade)
Slovenia (just beat Russia to qualify for WC)
Montenegro (Difficult in WC qualifying)
Azerbaijan (Long away trip of to relative unknown)
Group of Life:
France (purely for revenge reasons)
Denmark (excellent record against them)
Wales (great away trip to Cardiff)
San Marino (minnows)
The full list of pots is as follows: