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Thread: 2022 World Cup qualifying

  1. #1
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    2022 World Cup qualifying

    Couldn't see a thread for this, but merge away if there is one already.

    Draw is on 7th December at 5pm Irish time.

    We're confirmed in Pot 3 - though when you look at our form in recent years, it's amazing we actually had a chance of being in Pot 2 up to yesterday.

    The pots are -

    Pot 1: Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Germany, Netherlands
    Pot 2: Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Wales, Austria, Ukraine, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia, Romania
    Pot 3: Russia, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Hungary, Czech Republic, Scotland, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Finland, Greece
    Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Israel, Georgia, Luxembourg
    Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra
    Pot 6: Moldova, Malta, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino

    10 groups - 5 of 6 teams and 5 of 5. The 10 group winners qualify for the World Cup, and the 10 runners-up will join the two highest-ranked Nations League winners who fail to qualify in a play-off. But unlike previous years, you have to win two play-offs to qualify - so 12 teams gets reduced not to 6, but to 3.

    I don't think we'll be troubling the qualification end of things anyway, but sure we can but dream.

    I'd like a 6-team group - we could do with some shooting practice, although God knows if the games were as bad as against Gibraltar last time, that could be counter-productive for confidence.

    We could be lucky and get -
    Denmark (really only them or Croatia out of group 1 would be remotely manageable)
    Slovakia (we were the match of them in the Euro play-off)
    Ireland
    Luxembourg
    Andorra
    San Marino

    Or we could be unfortunate and get -
    England
    Switzerland
    Ireland
    Bosnia
    Armenia

    If we were back in vintage foot.ie days of everyone travelling to the games, I'd enjoy -
    Denmark (getting utterly ****ed on would detract from an away trip somewhat!)
    Ukraine
    Ireland
    Georgia
    Faroes
    Liechtenstein

    Obviously the second and fourth seeds hold the key to the draw really.

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  3. #2
    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    That's the great thing about football. There's always another game, another campaign.

    We have the Draw in December, and when the fixtures are out we will have 3 qualifiers in 6 days in March which will make or break the campaign. With the next set of games in September after that, the March window is crucial as SK won't have any friendlies in advance of those games. If we can get a result or two then 3 or 4 friendlies in and around Euro 21 will help for the remaining games in the campaign.

    Nothing beats blind optimism

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  5. #3
    Seasoned Pro Kingdom's Avatar
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    There are significant stipulations in terms of composition of the groups too:
    distance, winter countries, fighting nations, etc.

    Prohibited clashes: For political reasons, matches between following pairs of teams are considered prohibited clashes, unable to be drawn into the same group: Armenia / Azerbaijan, Gibraltar / Spain, Kosovo / Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo / Serbia, Kosovo / Russia, Russia / Ukraine.
    Winter venues: A maximum of two teams whose venues are identified as having high or medium risk of severe winter conditions can be placed in each group: Belarus, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Ukraine.
    The two "hard winter venues" (Faroe Islands and Iceland) generally cannot host games in March or November, and therefore cannot be drawn together; the others shall play as few home matches as possible in March and November.
    Excessive travel: A maximum of one pair of teams identified with excessive travel distance in relation to other countries can be placed in each group:
    Azerbaijan: with Iceland, Gibraltar, Portugal.
    Iceland: with Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel.
    Kazakhstan: with Andorra, England, Faroe Islands, France, Gibraltar, Iceland, Malta, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Wales.
    My preference is for a 6 team group too, as it means avoiding the NL finalists. We don't need that kind of hardship. I think being in pot 3 could be a blessing. There are a few countries how appear to be on the cusp of an upward curve in pot 3 (Norway, Hungary, the Czechs) and Russia are a bear that we've never tamed, while in Pot 2, there is the opposite with half of the countries beginning that long descent downwards (Swiss, Sweden, Wales, Austria, Slovakia, while I wouldn't be hugely concerned by Romania either).
    I could cope with any combination of the below.

    Pot 1: Portugal, Denmark, Croatia,
    Pot 2: Sweden, Wales, Austria, Slovakia, Romania
    Pot 3: Ireland
    Pot 4: Slovenia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Georgia, Luxembourg
    Pot 5: Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra
    Pot 6: Liechtenstein, San Marino

    That said:
    Denmark/Slovakia/Ireland/Luxembourg/Latvia/Liechtenstein is more preferable to
    Portugal/Sweden/Ireland/Slovenia/Lithuania/San Marino (I don't fret too much for the pots 5 & 6 above)
    That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age

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    Seasoned Pro Kingdom's Avatar
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    These are the qualifying dates: As RAM says, the start is crucial. Due to weather stipulations for the winter countries there isn't a generic formula applied for matches. if we could get the bottom of second bottom seed away first, maybe the reverse at home, and then the second seed away last game in March, it would give hopefully some form of foundation, for the summer where we could really look at the squad.

    Qualifying group stage:
    Matchday 1 24–25 March 2021
    Matchday 2 27–28 March 2021
    Matchday 3 30–31 March 2021

    Matchday 4 1–2 September 2021
    Matchday 5 4–5 September 2021
    Matchday 6 7–8 September 2021

    Matchday 7 8–9 October 2021
    Matchday 8 11–12 October 2021

    Matchday 9 11–13 November 2021
    Matchday 10 14–16 November 2021
    That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age

  7. #5
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingdom View Post
    My preference is for a 6 team group too, as it means avoiding the NL finalists. We don't need that kind of hardship.
    That's a good point actually.

    The restrictions on teams in the same group are daft. Though if it means we dump Germany/Holland on the North like last time, that's one thing going for it!

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    If the draw is anything like the FAI's browser history we’ll get

    Denmark
    Wales
    Ireland
    Bulgaria
    Cyprus
    Gibraltar

    I don't care who we get really. I just want to see a goal.
    Hello, hello? What's going on? What's all this shouting, we'll have no trouble here!
    - E Tattsyrup.

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  10. #7
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    I wonder if we might not want Germany out of Pot 1. It really seems like Low is stuttering there, and it might be the best time to play them (provided it was while Low is still there).

    Aside from that, no really good choices in Pot 1. People will say Denmark, but sick of playing them, so I'd prefer someone else. Portugal maybe?
    Pot 2, Slovakia or Serbia I suppose. No more Wales, please.
    Pot 4, would want to avoid Bosnia, Luxembourg (they've been punching above their weight recently), and Georgia, though it seems destined that we'll play the latter until the trumpets sound. Any of the others I wouldn't mind.
    Pot 5, I suppose the only thing I'd want to avoid are the distant trips to central Asia.
    Pot 6, if it comes to it, take your pick, I wouldn't want to see Gibraltar again I suppose because they'd fancy it.

    So I'd be reasonably happy with
    Germany
    Serbia
    Ireland
    North Macedonia
    Cyprus
    Malta

    and would be very unhappy with
    Belgium
    Switzerland
    Bosnia
    Kazakhstan
    Moldova

    And would be despairing at the regularity of
    Denmark
    Wales
    Ireland
    Georgia
    Armenia
    Gibraltar
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

  11. #8
    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    Would probably prefer to see Portugal from pot 1. Ronaldo, you'd assume, will step away from internationals after next summers Euros. He'll be 37 by the time the World Cup comes around.

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  13. #9
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Maybe - but thinking about it more, probably what we want in a first seed is a side who'll beat the second seed home and away.

    If we have Portugal (or Denmark, as I suggested), they'd be quite liable to get more points against us than against the second seeds, and that has us on the back foot straight away.

    So - Spain, Germany, Belgium or France? (I don't want to endure us getting ****ed on twice more by England...)

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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigel-harps1954 View Post
    Would probably prefer to see Portugal from pot 1. Ronaldo, you'd assume, will step away from internationals after next summers Euros. He'll be 37 by the time the World Cup comes around.
    I think he wants to break the international goalscoring record first. He's on 102 at the moment, only 7 behind Ali Daei's 109 for Iran. Probably wants the most international caps as well, he has 170 and could break Ahmed Hassan's record total of 184 after the European Championships next year.
    Might still want to try and win the world cup too. Even at 37, you wouldn't bet against him being able to play in the tournament.
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    I think he wants to break the international goalscoring record first. He's on 102 at the moment, only 7 behind Ali Daei's 109 for Iran. Probably wants the most international caps as well, he has 170 and could break Ahmed Hassan's record total of 184 after the European Championships next year.
    Might still want to try and win the world cup too. Even at 37, you wouldn't bet against him being able to play in the tournament.
    He’s a fit chap. He could still do a job for ya !

  17. #12
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    From Pot 1 Croatia, Swiss and maybe Italy for me.

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    On current form my prime choices would be

    pot 1. Denmark - it would pee them more than it would us. Croatia 2nd choice

    pot 2. Romania - incredible that they are in the 2nd pot.
    pot 4. Bulgaria or Georgia
    pot 5 is a dirty scrappy pot but Latvia, Andorra would be more of a doddle, avoid the Faroes, it's a hard rock.


    pot 6 avoid Malta, "small island big balls"

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    As already said, almost laughable that we were in with a shout of pot 2. Our real quality is that of a pot 4 team and probably one of the poorer ones at that.

    I actually feel relaxed about the future which is not how I felt around 2012 or 2014. Part of it is the realisation of where we are at, but most of it is the fact that we have some outstanding talent coming through. We have bright years ahead of us I feel.

    Regarding groups, while on paper you want the easiest group, it might actually impact on the team. People will get carried away thinking that we can win the group because they will look at the teams and think we can/should beat them as we did in the past, but this team doesn't have McGraths, Keanes or Ronnie Whelans etc. Football isn't like that - Bulgaria used to be a top team and they're a bigger shambles than we are now.

    This campaign people need to be realistic. We won't get near the tournament unless bizarre things happen like games being cancelled due to covid and we get awarded the 3 points etc. It's about allowing the young players become seasoned internationals and be ready for the 2024 campaign. It might be that we take a few belts on the face with the youth from the 1st, 2nd or 4th seeds, but it will stand to them moving forward. Knight and O'Shea look like great talents and there are many more bubbling under. The best of them is Troy Parrott who has the potential to be absolutely top class. Even with him, in the coming months he could find himself getting schooled by Slovenian or Macedonian defenders in the qualifiers and that's part of his development. Nations bigger and better than us like Belgium have wrote off whole campaigns with a view to emerging the better for it. Yes, that's Belgium a country with a big football culture with big football clubs.

    I hope I'm wrong and I look back in two years at this post and rejoice at being wrong, but I don't see it happening.

    The 20/1 group that we could win:

    Denmark (Croatia are better. A very decent team but we should have beaten them last year in Lansdowne Road)
    Romania (a poor side living of their name)
    Luxemburg (play nice stuff but we should get 6 points. The other pot 4 teams look scary right now even Georgia)
    Andorra
    San Marino

    I think we would get a playoff in that group. The teams we would face would be superior but by then I think we will have a better pool so you never know on the day. Lots of opportunity for points and goals in that group and that's going to be important for Stephen and his young team. The public will buy into things if they see us trying to play football, scoring and winning even if it's against poor teams.

    For bingo purposes we'll get
    Belgium, Wales, Slovenia, Andorra, Liectenstein.

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    Theres not a huge amount of difference between 2nd and 3rd, but I'd still rather we had been in 2nd so dont buy into that argument. But in terms of finishing 1st being 2nd or 3rd isnt really that big of a difference so I suppose in that sense it doesnt matter. Unless we get Denmark we are not good enough to get 1st unless some weird natural or otherwise disaster occurred.

    The first 3 fixtures will be tough but you know what? I would like our first fixture to be away against the top seeds. Don't give me buy time or lets have something to play for coming into the last games, thats never worked in our favour before bar Wales away, lets get it out of the way and whatever happens happens, then we have the hard one at home further down the line. We showed in the last wc qualifying that building up a head of steam counts for little.

    Realistically world cup qualification is getting more difficult regardless of what pot we are in(outside 1) because the teams are all improving around us, but also because of the way in which those finishing second have to qualify. Its very unfair I feel, given the general strength and tradition of the European leagues and International teams.

    The pineapple mentioned about old foot going away, that never happened, but all day long give me some boring place like andorra or lecheinstein or N macedonia or Estonia etc than some nice place like norway or Georgia to go visit. Where we can go and get points over some nice place to visit.

    Sadly, having to admit that world cups are not something we can realistically hope to qualify anymore, unless we've 10 underage teams making tournaments consistently thats just the case. We wont produce enough players good enough to win a group unless we slowly rank up to 1st, so the best we can hope for is good showings, good results and then improve our seeding.

    If i was to take a Group now
    Croatia
    Slovakia
    Ireland
    Slovenia
    Latvia
    San Marino

    Look to finish 2nd there is realistic, decent showing in playoffs and look forward to 2024. IF by some chance we were to beat croatia in one of the games, then I might start to dream.
    Last edited by paul_oshea; 19/11/2020 at 4:27 PM. Reason: D'oh!!!

  21. #16
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_oshea View Post
    The pineapple mentioned about old foot going away, that never happened
    The Fans' Forum archive says otherwise. Lots of activity up to to the YBIG split around 2007. Faroe Islands in Jun 2005 was a particular highlight; lots of foot.ie heads at that one. I think there was even foot.ie t-shirts done up.

  22. #17
    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_oshea View Post
    If i was to take a Group now
    Croatia
    Slovakia
    Norway
    Slovenia
    Latvia
    San Marino
    You might want to reconsider that selection.
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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  24. #18
    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    In the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, the third seeds were Ukraine, Scotland, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Albania, Northern Ireland, Serbia, and Greece.
    Of these, Sweden, Poland, and Sweden qualified for the tournament, Northern Ireland and Greece went out in the play offs. So being in the third seeds isn't as bad as you might think.
    We were the only fourth seed to get to the play offs.
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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  26. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    The Fans' Forum archive says otherwise. Lots of activity up to to the YBIG split around 2007. Faroe Islands in Jun 2005 was a particular highlight; lots of foot.ie heads at that one. I think there was even foot.ie t-shirts done up.
    Ah right I kinda thought you meant pre-covid. That old foot.ie that now has left to ybig like citizen/neilmcd/conor/etc ya they all go to games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    You might want to reconsider that selection.
    Noted haha

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