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Here's what Ireland now need to do to qualify for the 2020 Euros

The Boys in Green have just three group games left.

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Above is how Ireland’s group, from which two teams will qualify, currently looks. It seems fair to assume that everyone will beat Gibraltar in the remaining games, so here is the points adjusted for those prospective victories.

Ireland 11

Switzerland 11

Denmark 11

Georgia 6

Consequently, the following are the remaining fixtures, ignoring Gibraltar games.

Georgia v Denmark (8 September)

Georgia v Ireland (12 October)

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Denmark v Switzerland (12 October)

Switzerland v Ireland (15 October)

Switzerland v Georgia (15 November)

Ireland v Denmark (18 November) 

Therefore, the following situations could pan out from the Irish side’s last three games.

  • 9 points — Ireland qualify
  • 7 points — Ireland qualify
  • 6 points — A win over Georgia and Switzerland and a loss to Denmark. Ireland would be guaranteed to qualify provided Denmark avoid defeat against Switzerland. Should Switzerland win that game, it would come down to head-to-head records between the teams provided both also manage to beat Georgia.
  • 6 points — A win over Georgia and Denmark and a loss to Switzerland. Ireland would qualify provided Switzerland avoided defeat against Denmark. Should Denmark win that game, it would come down to head-to-head records between the teams provided both also manage to beat Georgia.
  • 6 points — A win over Denmark and Switzerland and a loss to Georgia. Ireland qualify.
  • 5 points — A win over Georgia and draws with Switzerland and Denmark. Ireland qualify if Switzerland and Denmark doesn’t end in a draw. If it does, and both beat Georgia, then it would come down to head-to-head records.
  • 5 points — A win over Denmark and draws with Switzerland and Georgia. Ireland qualify.
  • 5 points — A win over Switzerland and draws with Georgia and Denmark. Ireland qualify.
  • 4 points or even less could also theoretically see Ireland qualify, though it is unlikely, as they would be reliant on an improbable set of results from elsewhere.

There is one other important aspect of qualifying to note. If everyone beats Gibraltar and games involving Ireland, Switzerland and Denmark keep ending in draws, it could be decided on goals scored in the head-to-head matches. The fact that Switzerland and Denmark have already drawn 3-3, therefore, puts Ireland at a significant disadvantage in that regard. 

However, even if Ireland don’t claim one of the top-two spots in the group, they could still qualify via the Nations League, as explained in detail here.

So to summarise, there is strong chance Ireland will have to win at least one of their games with Switzerland and Denmark in order to secure direct qualification, while anything other than a victory over Georgia would be a major setback.

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Bernard Jackman make the case for Ireland winning… and tanking at the Rugby World Cup, as we gear up for Wales again: 


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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