Ireland – far from qualifying from this group – could now finish SIXTH. My brother pointed this out to me last night and I laughed at first. But now I am not so sure.
Here’s the table right now:
Group D European Championship Qualifying Group
Ireland have played a game more than the three teams immediately below them, and only lie two ahead of Cyprus and three ahead of Wales and Slovakia.
If we lose away to Wales in November by 2-0 or 2-1 (this is plausible) then they end the group on equal points with us and are ranked ahead because of the method UEFA have chosen to separate teams finishing on the same points. Indeed, if they beat us and also pick up a point against Germany in their last game, they end the group ahead of us on points.
We are also in position to be overtaken by Cyprus and Slovakia too, thus ending bottom of the group. Cyprus play Germany away and then the Czechs at home. Two points or more from those two games and they pip us. Slovakia are away to San Marino in their last game, but also need a point away to the Czechs to finish ahead of us (because we beat them at home). All of these scenarios are not only possible – they seem quite plausible.
The idea of finishing sixth in this group, behind Germany, Czech Republic, Wales, Cyprus, and Slovakia, is too much to bear.