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Thread: Euro 2020 qualifying

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Euro 2020 qualifying

    With the first phase of the Nations League over, the seedings are confirmed for the draw, which is on Sunday week at 11am.

    We're third seeds, having been relegated from League B. The four teams in the League A finals - England, Switzerland, Portugal and Holland - will be in a five-team group. (Those teams will play off to decide the overall Nations League winner; this is separate from the Euro play-off)

    There'll be one other five-team group, and the other five are six team groups, with one of Latvia, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Malta and San Marino included as the sixth seeds.

    The full pots are here. Germany as second seeds is the obvious key to avoid - although if we do draw Germany, we can't draw England, Italy, Spain or Holland because we are being given a little boost as a co-host - each co-host can only be drawn alongside one other co-host. If we draw Azerbaijan, Hungary or Scotland, then we avoid England, Italy, Spain, Holland and Germany. Also, if we draw Kazakhstan, then we can't draw England, Spain, France or Portugal because Kazakhstan can't play more than one country far away from them. That all seems a bit excessive to be honest, and I'd say the draw is going to be very confusing.

    Something like France, Germany, Ireland, Romania and Kosovo would be horrible (Kosovo are unbeaten in 2018, surprisingly, and are starting to find their feet at international level)

    On the other hand, you could get Poland/Switzerland, Iceland (in a slight decline maybe? Took a hammering in the Nations League), Ireland, Estonia, Gibraltar and San Marino, and you'd think we might have a chance there.

    No play-offs any more; it's just the top two go through. We would like lots of League A and League B teams in particular to qualify; we finished 23rd overall, and so it seems we around 15 of those above us to qualify directly and we'd be guaranteed a play-off spot. Entirely possible with 20 teams coming out of hte groups.

    Have to say I'd rather UEFA did away with all the crap in the Nations League and just had five divisions of 11, with the league winners of each (bar Division 5) qualifying, and that's that.

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    I’m barely starting to get my head around the whole thing. Barely!

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    Seasoned Pro Razors left peg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post


    No play-offs any more; it's just the top two go through. We would like lots of League A and League B teams in particular to qualify; we finished 23rd overall, and so it seems we around 15 of those above us to qualify directly and we'd be guaranteed a play-off spot. Entirely possible with 20 teams coming out of hte groups.
    Can you explain that a bit more? No play offs but we'd be guaranteed a play off spot.

    Not trying to be a smart arse, is there playoffs yes or no ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    Can you explain that a bit more? No play offs but we'd be guaranteed a play off spot.

    Not trying to be a smart arse, is there playoffs yes or no ?
    There is a playoff but it's based on the Nations League performance in combination with the group performance -- not strictly based on group performance.
    Eirebhoy's "We Love You" Chant. RIP:

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    There are play offs per se.. and being a complete nerd, I have used the results of Euro 2016 qualifying to give an example of how we might fair out in these.

    As already said above, and via a really complicated draw which will take place here in Dublin next month, there will be 10 groups (5 x 5 teams, and 5 x 6 teams)

    The top two in each group, automatically qualify.

    So 20 teams, home and hosed.


    The last 4 teams, come from a play off scenario, and are based on where teams finished in the Nations League. Each section (A,B,C,D) will provide one of the last 4 teams.

    The play off will be based on the top 4 teams, who didn't already qualify, playing a semi final/final and the eventual winner joining the 20 in the finals in 2020.

    Allow me to start from the bottom up now, because things are going to get a teensy bit complicated.

    League D had the weakest teams in the Nations League, but will still provide at least 1 finalist. So assuming that none of the League D teams qualify via the groups, the League D play off will be between the 4 winners,

    Georgia v Belarus
    Macedonia v Kosovo

    These are one off semi finals, with the top 2 teams getting home advantage. A coin toss for final venue takes place after semi final.


    So far, easy enough.

    Same applies to Group C. At least 1 team must progress to finals. So based on the final standings that will come from

    Scotland v Finland
    Norway v Serbia

    Same rules, top 2 home semis, coin toss for final. So Scotland already know if they cannot get out of the group, they'll have a semi final against Finland (or someone lower down) to make a final.

    The "someone lower down" kicks in, if Finland qualify via the group stages. In that case, Scotland play the worst lowest if more than Finland, Norway or Serbia qualify.

    So lets say only Finland of those 4 qualify via the group, in that case the 5th best Group C team was Romania. But if Finland and Serbia were to qualify, Norway would play Romania, and Scotland would get Bulgaria, the 6th best.


    Now, finally we get to Ireland's chances.

    Based on 2016:

    Five Group C teams would not have qualified under the 2020 system.. Sweden, Denmark, Bosnia, Ukraine and Ireland (all these teams qualified via play offs, but would not have made the top 20 in the groups)

    So because Group B has to provide a finalist, if the same 5 do not make it through the group stages, the play off will be between

    Sweden v Denmark
    Bosnia v Ukraine

    And Ireland wouldn't make the play offs.

    BUT!!!!

    As Group A must also provide a finalist, and less than 4 teams are left after group stages, the next worst teams are "promoted up", to provide semi finalists.


    So based on 2016

    The only Group A team that did not qualify, is Holland.

    So the next worst teams in the Nations League would be

    Ireland

    Who were the last of the 5 Group B teams not to qualify.

    But that's still only 2 teams for the Group A play off!!!!

    So we go down to Group and get Romania and Bulgaria (assuming one of the top 4 don't automatically qualify)

    So the play offs for Group A would be

    Holland v Bulgaria
    Ireland v Romania


    It sounds complicated.. but there's a mad logic to it all.

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    Ireland would be hoping that maybe Iceland are the only Group A team not to automatically qualify.. 11 teams

    Top 6 of the group B teams and 3 Group C/D teams.

    In that scenario

    The Group A play off would be between

    Iceland/Ireland/N. Ireland/Group C team

    Mad Ted

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    Seasoned Pro Razors left peg's Avatar
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    Maybe Im being particularly thick today... but Im still confused

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    Maybe Im being particularly thick today... but Im still confused
    Oh God no, if you saw the discussions over here (https://foot.ie/threads/236899-Repub...s-League/page9) you'd appreciate how complicated this is - a couple of us nearly lost our minds trying to figure it out and one important detail is still being debated. But I'll try to give the basics. There will be two ways of qualifying for Euro 2020:

    1. The traditional way through the qualifiers starting in March - 10 groups - top 2 from each qualify - 20 teams

    2. In March 2020, four different play-off tournaments will take place to determine the final four qualifiers, so yes there will be playoffs - the big difference is that the participants in these play-offs will not be chosen based on coming third in a group in the upcoming qualifiers. Rather they will be based on positions in the Nations League - each league will be assigned a play-off path/tournament with four participants who will play single-legged semi-finals and a final and the winner will qualify for Euro 2020 (and yes, that does mean that it is guaranteed that a team from League D will play in Euro 2020 - currently one of Belarus, Georgia, Macedonia and Kosovo, as they are the group-toppers in that league and will participate in the League D playoff path, unless one of them qualifies through the main qualifiers)

    Now the assigning of the teams to these four playoff paths is where it gets really confusing but this is what we think we understand happens:
    - Teams are selected for play-off paths starting with League D, then League C, then League B, then League A, with group toppers automatically included in their own League's play-off path, which is how I know the likely make-up of the League D
    - If one or more group-toppers from a League have already qualified through the main qualifiers, then the next-ranked team(s) within that League, who have not already qualified, will be selected until there are four
    - If there are not enough non-qualifiers left in a League (as could well happen with League A if, say, 10 have already qualified), then the next-ranked leftover team(s) in the League(s) below will be selected and this is where it gets really messy - I thought initially that the team(s) selected at this point would then be dragged up to the play-off tournament for the higher league but Stuttgart88 pointed out that this is not the case - apparently they will be put into a draw with the other selected teams from their own League, who didn't top a group, and the team(s) to be assigned to the higher League's playoff path will be drawn at random.

    What does this mean for us? Well, even if we fail to get a top-two spot in the main qualifiers, there's still a very good chance that we will be participating in these play-offs in spite of our performances these past few weeks - as we are the eleventh-ranked team in League B and the 23rd-ranked overall, if fifteen or more teams from League A and League B qualify through the traditional route, then we will be selected for the play-offs as there will be a maximum of seven teams from League A and B ranked above us. But we may get dragged up to the League A play-off tournament which could feature a top team who had a poor qualifying tournament

    I hope that gives some insight into how this labyrinthine process will work

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  13. #9
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    Can you explain that a bit more? No play offs but we'd be guaranteed a play off spot.

    Not trying to be a smart arse, is there playoffs yes or no ?
    Ha! I missed that. But maybe it's an appropriate way of phrasing it given the mess UEFA have made of all this.

    To be honest, I'm only now seeing just how many A/B sides will qualify automatically, rendering the whole Nations League play-off even more daft.

    Even more basically - there is still a play-off, but our position in the qualifying group doesn't determine it. It's other teams' positions in their qualifying groups that'll determine it.

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    International Prospect tricky_colour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fixer82 View Post
    I’m barely starting to get my head around the whole thing. Barely!
    Same here, is there some sort of university course available to help with standing it?

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    International Prospect tricky_colour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    Maybe Im being particularly thick today... but Im still confused
    Well I think it is more the case it is particular confusing system, however I think I now understand it.


    I think it is best explained by example. So as it stand,
    teams in bold go up to group A,
    teams in italics go down to group C,
    those in normal font remain in group B




    Group 1
    Played Won Draws Lost For Against Goal difference Points
    Ukraine 4 3 0 1 5 5 0 9
    Czech Republic 4 2 0 2 4 4 0 6
    Slovakia 4 1 0 3 5 5 0 3

    Group 2
    Sweden 4 2 1 1 5 3 2 7
    Russia 4 2 1 1 4 3 1 7
    Turkey 4 1 0 3 4 7 -3 3

    Group 3

    Bosnia and Herzegovina 4 3 1 0 5 1 4 10
    Austria 4 2 1 1 3 2 1 7
    Northern Ireland 4 0 0 4 2 7 -5 0

    Group 4

    Denmark 4 2 2 0 4 1 3 8
    Wales 4 2 0 2 6 5 1 6
    Republic of Ireland 4 0 2 2 1 5 -4 2


    So insane as it might seem that is how I understand it

    Any confusion is fully justified imo.

    Indeed I think if you are particualar think it is easier to understand.
    Last edited by tricky_colour; 21/11/2018 at 8:12 AM.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Well that's just the promotion/relegation. That's got nothing to do with the play-offs

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    Quote Originally Posted by samhaydenjr View Post
    Oh God no, if you saw the discussions over here (https://foot.ie/threads/236899-Repub...s-League/page9) you'd appreciate how complicated this is - a couple of us nearly lost our minds trying to figure it out and one important detail is still being debated. But I'll try to give the basics. There will be two ways of qualifying for Euro 2020:

    1. The traditional way through the qualifiers starting in March - 10 groups - top 2 from each qualify - 20 teams

    2. In March 2020, four different play-off tournaments will take place to determine the final four qualifiers, so yes there will be playoffs - the big difference is that the participants in these play-offs will not be chosen based on coming third in a group in the upcoming qualifiers. Rather they will be based on positions in the Nations League - each league will be assigned a play-off path/tournament with four participants who will play single-legged semi-finals and a final and the winner will qualify for Euro 2020 (and yes, that does mean that it is guaranteed that a team from League D will play in Euro 2020 - currently one of Belarus, Georgia, Macedonia and Kosovo, as they are the group-toppers in that league and will participate in the League D playoff path, unless one of them qualifies through the main qualifiers)

    Now the assigning of the teams to these four playoff paths is where it gets really confusing but this is what we think we understand happens:
    - Teams are selected for play-off paths starting with League D, then League C, then League B, then League A, with group toppers automatically included in their own League's play-off path, which is how I know the likely make-up of the League D
    - If one or more group-toppers from a League have already qualified through the main qualifiers, then the next-ranked team(s) within that League, who have not already qualified, will be selected until there are four
    - If there are not enough non-qualifiers left in a League (as could well happen with League A if, say, 10 have already qualified), then the next-ranked leftover team(s) in the League(s) below will be selected and this is where it gets really messy - I thought initially that the team(s) selected at this point would then be dragged up to the play-off tournament for the higher league but Stuttgart88 pointed out that this is not the case - apparently they will be put into a draw with the other selected teams from their own League, who didn't top a group, and the team(s) to be assigned to the higher League's playoff path will be drawn at random.

    What does this mean for us? Well, even if we fail to get a top-two spot in the main qualifiers, there's still a very good chance that we will be participating in these play-offs in spite of our performances these past few weeks - as we are the eleventh-ranked team in League B and the 23rd-ranked overall, if fifteen or more teams from League A and League B qualify through the traditional route, then we will be selected for the play-offs as there will be a maximum of seven teams from League A and B ranked above us. But we may get dragged up to the League A play-off tournament which could feature a top team who had a poor qualifying tournament

    I hope that gives some insight into how this labyrinthine process will work
    Was that not what I just said??

    And I even gave examples

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    Quote Originally Posted by Insidetherock View Post
    Was that not what I just said??

    And I even gave examples
    Sammy has put in the hard yards in the previous thread so deserves to be the oracle on this matter

    I think you're substantially right BUT we left it in the other thread that there's some ambiguity over which teams get bumped up to fill the A play off spots if there aren't 4 non-qualified A teams. The actual text of the rules suggests there is a draw, other parts of the same text suggest that the draw isn't really a draw it's more of a UEFA fait accompli, and an illustrative video suggests it's reverse-merit based.

    By ambiguity I mean Sammy and I agree, Geysir doesn't

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    One day you'll be given the opportunity to realise that I had the play off format sussed out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    One day you'll be given the opportunity to realise that I had the play off format sussed out.
    Oh please... I'm not sure UEFA have the play-off format sussed out. Incidentally, from a fan and team logistics point of view, if your team wins a playoff semi-final, and is not chosen as the host for the final, you will have three days to make arrangements to get there (the host of the final will be chosen in November 2019, so the final could be in a neutral venue).

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    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    One day you'll be given the opportunity to realise that I had the play off format sussed out.
    Because you looked at the video but ignored the written rules! I take it you're not a details man

    Anyway, by virtue of being lucky enough to have been a B team this time around, our bad NL will still likely produce a play off.

    The key question now is whether being 23rd (or 7th out of the 8 B teams not officially guaranteed a play off as of today) is an advantage or not.

    If there is a draw, it's a random outcome.

    If it's as per the simple video, then it depends on whether any A teams mess up. I think right now I'd prefer the video scenario.

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    Just in case 'tis forgotten. This is a scenario after the qualifiers have finished, an interesting scenario that was posed about a team that finishes in 5th place, league 2.
    All teams in Nations League 1 have already qualified via the group qualifiers.
    There are 5 unqualified teams left in league 2. The question was, what happens to the 5th team in league 2? How does it 'play out'? Does the team that's in 5th place in league 2 gain an advantage over the first 4?
    Does the 5th team move up to league 1 and is joined there by teams 5,6,7 from pot 3, therefore the team that finishes fifth gains an advantage over the top 4 teams.

    In the Uefa qualifiers 'play-offs explained' video, there are three teams left in league 1 and 5 teams in league two, the 5th team in league 2 is moved up to fill the vacant spot in league 1 and play off with 3 higher ranked teams. So, definitely no advantage is given to the team that finishes 5th in league 2 over and above the teams that finished in the top 4.

    It follows (in my opinion) that if one team is left in league 1, the remaining three spots will be filled by the 5th of 5 in league 2 and the 5th and 6th from league 3.
    Theoretically still no advantage gained by the league 2 5th team as there is still a super seed league 1 team in the 4 play off positions.

    However, if all teams have qualified in league 1, then does the the 5th team from league 2 move up to league 1 and play it off with teams 5,6,7 from league 3
    In that scenario the team that finishes fifth in league 2 does gain an advantage over the teams that filled the top 4 positions.

    How is this interpreted?
    "If a league does not have four teams to compete, the remaining slots are allocated to teams from another league, according to the overall UEFA Nations League rankings."

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    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    Just in case 'tis forgotten. This is a scenario after the qualifiers have finished, an interesting scenario that was posed about a team that finishes in 5th place, league 2.
    All teams in Nations League 1 have already qualified via the group qualifiers.
    There are 5 unqualified teams left in league 2. The question was, what happens to the 5th team in league 2? How does it 'play out'? Does the team that's in 5th place in league 2 gain an advantage over the first 4?
    Does the 5th team move up to league 1 and is joined there by teams 5,6,7 from pot 3, therefore the team that finishes fifth gains an advantage over the top 4 teams.

    In the Uefa qualifiers 'play-offs explained' video, there are three teams left in league 1 and 5 teams in league two, the 5th team in league 2 is moved up to fill the vacant spot in league 1 and play off with 3 higher ranked teams. So, definitely no advantage is given to the team that finishes 5th in league 2 over and above the teams that finished in the top 4.

    It follows (in my opinion) that if one team is left in league 1, the remaining three spots will be filled by the 5th of 5 in league 2 and the 5th and 6th from league 3.
    Theoretically still no advantage gained by the league 2 5th team as there is still a super seed league 1 team in the 4 play off positions.

    However, if all teams have qualified in league 1, then does the the 5th team from league 2 move up to league 1 and play it off with teams 5,6,7 from league 3
    In that scenario the team that finishes fifth in league 2 does gain an advantage over the teams that filled the top 4 positions.

    How is this interpreted?
    "If a league does not have four teams to compete, the remaining slots are allocated to teams from another league, according to the overall UEFA Nations League rankings."
    That is the slight anomaly that I sussed out as well..

    Frankly the only team from Group A that don't look like making it, is Iceland. There's a slight possibility Poland mightn't either.

    Therefore, we might be better off being pretty crap, and hope 6 of the Group B teams qualify.. then, instead of playing a play off against Group B teams, we could end up playing Iceland, Norn Iron and Romania/Bulgaria.

    Looking at tables as they stand, I'd be willing to stake a few bob on being in a play off with Iceland/Norn Iron and one more of either Poland or Romania/Bulgaria.

    And, if it's just Iceland and us, we'd even manage a home draw for the first leg


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    A reminder of the actual rules as opposed to the cartoon Geysir loves so much:

    Article 16 says:
    Sixteen teams enter the play-offs, which are played in four separate paths of four teams each, to determine the remaining four teams that qualify for the final tournament.

    To determine the 16 teams that enter the play-offs, the following principles apply in the order given:

    a. Four play-off slots are allocated to each league from UEFA Nations League D to UEFA Nations League A, i.e. in reverse alphabetical order.
    b. The UEFA Nations League group winners enter the play-offs unless they have qualified for the final tournament directly from the qualifying group stage.
    c. If a UEFA Nations League group winner has directly qualified for the final tournament, the next best-ranked team in the relevant league ranking (see Regulations of the UEFA Nations League) which has not directly qualified will enter the play-offs.
    d. If fewer than four teams from one league enter the play-offs, the remaining slots are allocated on the basis of the overall UEFA Nations League rankings (see Regulations of the UEFA Nations League) to the best-ranked of the teams that have not already qualified for the final tournament, subject to the restriction that group winners cannot be in a play-off path with higher-ranked teams.

    The UEFA administration conducts a draw to allocate teams to the different playoffs path, starting with UEFA Nations League D, subject to the following conditions:
    a. A group winner cannot form a path with a team from a higher-ranked league in the overall UEFA Nations League rankings.
    b. If four or more teams from a league enter the play-offs, a path with four teams from the league in question must be formed.
    c. Additional conditions may be applied, subject to approval by the UEFA Executive Committee, including seeding principles and the possibility of final tournament host associations having to be drawn into different paths.

    Possible interpretations discussed on the last 2 pages of this thread

    https://foot.ie/threads/236899-Repub...s-League/page9

    where Sammy and I agree, but Geysir argues that there is no draw.

    I do wonder myself if there a draw but in the scenario Geysir describes just above maybe it is a draw? Maybe draw means something slightly different in Swiss or whatever language the rules were originally drafted in?

    For insidetherock's benefit the debate included whether there actually is a draw or not, and stemmed from the fact that UEFA says the draw starts with Pot D. But there is no need for a draw for pot D. Article 17 says that 1 plays 4, 2 plays 3, and where, so why have a draw for pot D? But for all other scenarios it makes sense. And a random draw avoids the "advantage of being 5th" scenario which would be unfair on the 4 better ranked teams.
    Last edited by Stuttgart88; 23/11/2018 at 9:20 AM.

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