What needs to happen from tonight’s Euro 2016 Qualifiers for Ireland to become a seeded team in the play-offs?

After many days of results going for and against the Republic of Ireland in their bid to become one of the seeded teams for the European Championship play-offs, it all comes down to tonight. The word permutations has been thrown around more than a Conor Murray pass in Cardiff and the mathematicians have been brought in to sort it out at times. Thankfully, things have started to sort themselves out and we’ll know our faith, in terms of seeding by 9:30 tonight. The final round of group stage qualifiers take place and Ireland’s seeding hopes rest in the hands of the likes Turkey, Croatia and Cyprus.

After Ireland’s loss to Poland, there was still a multitude of possibilities concerning the teams that would join us in the play-offs. After Monday’s results, that’s cut down significantly. 

Ukraine, Sweden and Slovenia joined Ireland, Denmark and Hungary as third place finishers. Ukraine’s 1-0 loss at home to Spain now means it’s almost certain that Hungary will get automatic qualification as best third place finishers. So that means there’s three groups left to be decided tonight.

Group A

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
Iceland Iceland 9 6 2 1 17 5 12 20
Czech Republic Czech Republic 9 6 1 2 16 12 4 19
Turkey Turkey 9 4 3 2 13 9 4 15
Netherlands Netherlands 9 4 1 4 15 11 4 13
Latvia Latvia 9 0 5 4 6 18 -12  5
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 9 0 2 7 6 18 -12  2


As bad as they’ve been we don’t want the Netherlands to leapfrog Turkey into third spot. Turkey face Iceland at home tonight while the Dutch host the Czechs. Turkey are behind us in the rankings as things stand but they would go ahead of us with a win so a draw between Turkey and Iceland is what’s needed.

Group B

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
Belgium Belgium 9 6 2 1 21 4 17 20
Wales Wales 9 5 3 1 9 4 5 18
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 9 4 2 3 14 10 4 14
Israel Israel 9 4 1 4 15 11 4 13
Cyprus Cyprus 9 4 0 5 14 14 0 12
Andorra Andorra 9 0 0 9 4 34 -30  0

Cyprus to beat Bosnia would be ideal for Ireland here. The two teams face each other in Nicosia tonight and it could be winner takes all depending on Israel’s clash with Belgium. It’s anyone but Bosnia in terms of Ireland’s hopes of a seeded spot so a win for Cyprus would be the best option for us.


Group H

Teams P W D L F A +/- Pts
Italy Italy 9 6 3 0 14 6 8 21
Norway Norway 9 6 1 2 12 8 4 19
Croatia Croatia * 9 5 3 1 19 5 14 17
Bulgaria Bulgaria 9 2 2 5 7 12 -5  8
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 9 1 3 5 7 16 -9  6
Malta Malta 9 0 2 7 3 15 -12  2

Italy vs Norway is the big one here. A win for the Italians and Croatia beating Malta would see Norway (ranked below us) drop into third and Croatia (ranked above us) gain an automatic qualification spot.


So where does all that leave Ireland? As things stand the seedings would look like this:

Seeded: Ukraine (9), Croatia (13), Bosnia (14) and Sweden (18)  

Unseeded: Denmark (20), Ireland (21), Turkey (25) and Slovenia (28)

That means we need two teams to drop out of the seedings and none to jump in (other than Ireland of course). In other words we need all of the following to happen.

Group A: We need Turkey and Iceland to draw.

Group B: Cyprus to beat Bosnia or Cyprus and Bosnia to draw and Israel to beat Belgium.

Group H: Italy to beat Norway and Croatia to beat Malta.


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