With the World Cup just two years away, talks of who will be making it to Qatar has begun taking shape. Some countries are expected to make it to each showpiece, some have an outside chance, and there are others whose qualification comes as an absolute surprise to everyone.
The republic of Ireland falls in the second category. No one is overly surprised either when they qualify, or when they don’t. So what are their chances concerning the 2022 edition in Qatar?
The Republic of Ireland is ranked 36th in the FIFA world rankings. This puts it just outside the number 22, which is the number of teams that makes it to the competition. Thankfully, qualification is determined on the field and not just by ranking.
Ireland falls under the UEFA region which produces 13 teams to play in the World Cup matches. The qualification process in the area is changing, with the UEFA Nations League taking precedence as the primary qualification route.
The country is in League B for the 2020-21 Nations League, pitted against Finland, Slovakia, Turkey, Northern Ireland and Bulgaria in group C. This is a pool that the team can dream of topping. To that end, their chances remain solid.
Against Top Teams
Beyond the group stages, they will have to come up against much bigger teams if they are to make it to Qatar. Teams such as England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and France are also from the same confederation.
Team Set Up
How the team is set up will determine how they can fight it out. They have a mix of experience and talent, most of whom are plying their trade abroad. The likes of Troy Parrott, David McGoldrick, Jeff Hendrick, James McClean, and Shane Duffy all have experience at the highest level.
Ireland has what it takes to qualify for the World Cup, but it won’t be an easy task.