If Ireland end up in the play-offs, here's how the Germany result could affect the seedings 4 years ago

If Ireland end up in the play-offs, here's how the Germany result could affect the seedings

Right, here's the craic.

Ireland are third place at the moment.

They're seeded at the moment.

But, if they don't beat Poland (or draw at least 2-2), they will finish third and there's a good chance that they will initially slip to a non-seeded place.

After the rankings update, that might change.

Best third placed team is off the table

1

Only eight games are considered for this race - they remove the results against the bottom seeds of each group (Gibraltar in our case).

If Ireland beat Poland, they could take over Hungary but, if Ireland beat Poland, they would finish second anyway.

Hungary being in that automatic position is bad news though because they were the closest to us in the UEFA rankings - we would presumably take over them once they're updated. And, although Ukraine have a game in hand to win that place back, Ukraine's last considered game is against Spain.

RIGHT NOW, we'd be seeded for the play-offs

2

Seeding is decided based on UEFA's national team coefficient rankings. And, if you're in the top four highest rank teams (outside of the automatic qualifier), you are seeded for a play-off game.

Those teams could change though

3

Both Holland and Bosnia have kinder fixtures (just about) than Turkey and Israel respectively as they chase third place in their own groups. But they're two points adrift with two games left. They are both ranked higher than Ireland (at the moment) though so if they were to finish third, they would come in as a seeded team and subsequently bump Ireland down.

The biggest concern is that Albania - the lowest ranked team of them all - will not finish third. They have one game left (a game in hand) against the worst team in their group, Armenia. And they are just one point behind Denmark who have no games left.

If Albania win (a draw won't be enough), they will move to second and bump Denmark to third.

Denmark would then come in as a higher ranked team than Ireland (initially) and so move Ireland down to the non-seeded batch.

Ireland would initially be outside of the seeded positions (until the rankings change)

4

The rankings should change though

The last time the UEFA coefficient was updated was back in June 15 after Ireland had drawn with Scotland. Since then, a lot has changed and you'd fancy that both Denmark's rankings will decrease whilst Ireland's will increase and Martin O'Neill's men should take over them as a result.

Since the last rankings:

  • Denmark have played three and won none (2 draws, 1 loss).
  • Ireland have played three and won three.
  • Denmark haven't scored.
  • Ireland have scored six.
  • Ireland have accumulated 123,006 points to be calculated into the rankings system.
  • Denmark have accumulated 49,500.
  • Ireland beat the world champions (UEFA ranked 1st) and should be bumped up even higher as a result.

5

The biggest issue would be if Holland (ranked 4th) came in ahead of Turkey. We'd then have to catch Sweden (ranked 14th) from our 23rd spot. It depends how high we climb when the UEFA rankings are updated.

So just keep an eye out for Holland.

But, hey, screw it. We beat Germany. Let's just beat Poland too.