What do Ireland need to do to qualify for Russia 2018?

With four games to go, the team remain in a good position

BY Daniel Kelly 07:39 Monday 12 June 2017, 7:39 12 Jun 2017

Ireland's Jonathan Walters scores the equalising goal Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Despite the initial disappointment after the Republic of Ireland's 1-1 draw with Austria, Sunday's results were favourable towards Martin O'Neill's side.

Serbia's 1-1 draw with Wales in Belgrade means that Ireland remain four points clear of Wales and Austria, with only four games remaining.

Source: UEFA.com

Martin O'Neill's side now know that three wins from the final four games is enough to guarantee a spot in the top-two of Group D, and could even be enough to win the group.

With two double-headers to come in September and October respectively, Ireland have two home and two away matches left to play.

In September, the team meet Georgia in Tbilisi on September 2nd, before welcoming Serbia to Dublin three days later. In October, Martin O'Neill's side are at home to bottom-side Moldova on October 6th, before travelling across the Irish Sea to play Wales in Cardiff three days later.

With the four-point gap to Wales and Austria, a minimum of nine points from the final four games will be an insurmountable lead.

Despite Ireland's 2-2 draw with Serbia in Belgrade, it is goals difference and not head-to-head record that counts when try to separate teams on the same amount of points at the end of the group stages.

A win over Serbia would be brilliant for the team, but not crucial in the bid of finishing in the top-two. With four games left, qualification for Russia 2018 remains in Ireland's hands. What more could they ask for?

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week