Here's what the Irish team now must do to qualify for the Euros

The Boys in Green’s chances improved following a crucial win against Georgia last night.

Updated at 10.30am


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What games are left to play in the group?

8 October

Georgia v Gibraltar
Ireland v Germany
Scotland v Poland

11 October

Germany v Georgia
Gibraltar v Scotland
Poland v Ireland

How does the group look assuming Gibraltar lose their final games?

Germany 19
Poland 17
Ireland 15
Scotland 14
Georgia 9
Gibraltar 0

What are they
really like?

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N.B. The top-two sides qualify, while the third-place team go into a playoff (unless they are the best third-placed team across Europe, in which case they also qualify automatically).

The following scenarios are possible following last night’s results…

  • Ireland win both their games: Not likely to happen, but football’s a funny game. This would leave Ireland assured of a top-two place. They’d still probably finish second rather than first though, assuming Germany beat Georgia at home.
  • Ireland earn four points from a possible six in their upcoming games: If Ireland beat Poland and draw with Germany, they’d be on 19 points and assured of a top-three finish. They would also be guaranteed second if Poland fail to beat Scotland. Alternatively, if Ireland beat Germany and draw with Poland, they would need Scotland to beat Poland or Georgia to beat Germany to be guaranteed a top-two finish. In the second scenario, if Poland draw with Scotland to go level on points with the Irish, the Boys in Green would likely have to settle for third by virtue of the Poles’ current far superior goal difference, unless they secure a high-scoring draw (i.e. greater than 1-1), which would mean Ireland qualify on away goals.
  • Ireland earn three points from a possible six in their upcoming games: If Ireland lose to Germany and beat Poland, it would leave them on 18 points and guaranteed third place. They would also finish second and qualify if Poland fail to beat Scotland — if not, they’d have to settle for third. If Ireland beat Germany and lose to Poland, they would again be destined for the third spot.
  • Ireland draw both their remaining games: This is where it gets a little nervy. If Ireland draw with both Germany and Poland, they would almost certainly have to settle for third, unless Scotland beat Poland, in which case, they will be eliminated outright, with Scotland level on points with the Irish but possessing a superior head-to-head record (which comes into play before goal difference is taken into consideration).
  • Ireland earn one point from a possible six: If Ireland lose to Germany and draw with Poland, they will finish third so long as Scotland don’t beat Poland and eliminate the Boys in Green in the process. Similarly, if Ireland draw with Germany and lose to Poland, they will finish third so long as the Scots don’t beat the Poles.
  • Ireland lose both their remaining games: Ireland can still come third and reach the playoffs, though the difference from the above mentioned scenarios is that Scotland would only need a draw against Poland to leapfrog Martin O’Neill’s men in the group.

So that’s that clarified then. While all the remaining games are obviously important (with the exception of the dead rubber between Georgia and Gibraltar), the Ireland v Poland and Scotland v Poland games look especially vital. Essentially, if Ireland can match or better Scotland’s result against the Poles, then they are guaranteed third place and a playoff spot at worst.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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