Highlights on Off The Ball

10:00 AM-01:00 PM

Highlights on Off The Ball

Republic of Ireland to face Portugal in World Cup qualifiers

Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland will be up against Portugal and Serbia in their campaign to r...

Republic of Ireland to face Po...

Republic of Ireland to face Portugal in World Cup qualifiers

Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland will be up against Portugal and Serbia in their campaign to reach the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

The draw consisted of 55 top European nations, split into six pots based on their official world ranking according to FIFA.

These pots were used to select the ten groups for the European World Cup qualifiers; five groups of six teams, and five groups of five.

Kenny's side did themselves no favours in the lead up to the qualifiers draw, as they failed to earn a victory, and were on the receiving end of two goalless defeats.

This resulted in them dropping out of the top 20 European teams, therefore dropping out of the second pot, into the third, alongside Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece and Finland.

The World Cup will be much more difficult to qualify for than the Euros, even without the difficult group, as there are almost half the spaces available to European countries in the World cup than there are spots in the Euros.

Of the 32 teams set to qualify for Qatar, 13 will be European, whereas Euro 2020 had 24 spots to fill.

In order to head to 2022, Ireland will have to either automatically qualify by finishing at the top of their group, or win one of the three qualifier play-off finals.

The play-offs will consist of the 10 runners-up and the two best-ranked Nations League group winners who don’t finish in the top two of their qualification group.

They will all face off in three separate paths to their respective finals, for the remaining spots in Qatar.

With Ireland failing to win their Nations League group, they will need to finish in the top two in their qualifiers group in order to be in with a shot of making the World Cup.

Ireland's World Cup qualifiers Group

Ireland were drawn in group A alongside Portugal, Serbia, Luxembourg, and Azerbaijan.

The Groups:

Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg,Azerbaijan
Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo
Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania
Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakstan
Group E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia
Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Island, Moldova
Group G: Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar
Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta
Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino
Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein

Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OffTheBall's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.

Read more about

Albania Andorra Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belarus Bosnia And Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Elgium England Estonia Faroe Islands Fifa World Cup Finland France Georgia Germany Gibraltar Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Israel Italy Kazakhstan Kosovo Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Moldova Montenegro Netherlands North Macedonia Northern Ireland Norway Poland Portugal Republic Of Ireland Romania Russia San Marino Scotland Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Stephen Kenny Sweden Switzerland Turkey Ukraine Wales World Cup World Cup Qualifiers