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2022 World Cup Qualifying


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I know with the Euro 2020 play-off final next month and the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League, a lot of people haven't really starting looking towards the next World Cup but the games qualifying matches to start as early as March and the next 4 games could have a big impact on our chances.  

The draw for the WC should be done in early December.  There will be 10 groups of 5 or 6 teams.  The group winners will qualify.  The 10 runners-up, plus two group winners of the current Nations League go into play-offs for 3 places (semi-final and final like the Nations League).  That means, if we win our Nations League group, we'd be ranked 4-8th in the group winners table and we'd be hoping that all the teams ahead of us in that table finish in the top 2 of their WC qualifying group so we have a play-off place if we don't finish in the top 2.  

As it stands, we are likely be in pot 3 for the draw.  These are the pots as they stand now and these are the projected groups (and these seem to have been made with predictions of Czech Rep winning our Nations League group.  We cannot reach pot 2 but we could drop down into pot 4.  That could be the difference between having Russia or Norway from pot 3 or Albania or Luxembourg from pot 4. 

As such, I think the match against the Czech Rep is important for 4 reasons -

  1. We want to keep the momentum and unbeaten run going before we play Serbia in the final.
  2. A win will put us in a great position to win our Nations League group and promotion to League A.
  3. Winning our Nations League group will give us a great chance of earning a play-off position for the 2022 World Cup, as you would expect most of the group winners from League A (currently Italy, England, Portugal and Spain) and League B (currently Austria, Scotland, Wales and Russia) to finish in the top 2 in their WC qualifying groups.  
  4. It can help us stay in pot 3 for the WC qualifiers.  

For these reasons, beating Czech Rep on Wednesday could be HUGE for us.  

Does that all make sense? 🤣

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11 minutes ago, PASTA Mick said:

I know with the Euro 2020 play-off final next month and the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League, a lot of people haven't really starting looking towards the next World Cup but the games qualifying matches to start as early as March and the next 4 games could have a big impact on our chances.  

The draw for the WC should be done in early December.  There will be 10 groups of 5 or 6 teams.  The group winners will qualify.  The 10 runners-up, plus two group winners of the current Nations League go into play-offs for 3 places (semi-final and final like the Nations League).  That means, if we win our Nations League group, we'd be ranked 4-8th in the group winners table and we'd be hoping that all the teams ahead of us in that table finish in the top 2 of their WC qualifying group so we have a play-off place if we don't finish in the top 2.  

As it stands, we are likely be in pot 3 for the draw.  These are the pots as they stand now and these are the projected groups (and these seem to have been made with predictions of Czech Rep winning our Nations League group.  We cannot reach pot 2 but we could drop down into pot 4.  That could be the difference between having Russia or Norway from pot 3 or Albania or Luxembourg from pot 4. 

As such, I think the match against the Czech Rep is important for 4 reasons -

  1. We want to keep the momentum and unbeaten run going before we play Serbia in the final.
  2. A win will put us in a great position to win our Nations League group and promotion to League A.
  3. Winning our Nations League group will give us a great chance of earning a play-off position for the 2022 World Cup, as you would expect most of the group winners from League A (currently Italy, England, Portugal and Spain) and League B (currently Austria, Scotland, Wales and Russia) to finish in the top 2 in their WC qualifying groups.  
  4. It can help us stay in pot 3 for the WC qualifiers.  

For these reasons, beating Czech Rep on Wednesday could be HUGE for us.  

Does that all make sense? 🤣

Good post, Mick, and you’re right on all those reasons as to why it’s important to win against the Czechs. I was hoping that if we won our NL group, we’d make it into pot 2, as then we’d obviously have a much better chance of finishing the WC qualifying group in the top two. We’ve struggled in recent years precisely cos our seeding has been pot 3 or 4. Success begets success.

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I've also just ready that winning this group would ensure we are a Pot 2 team for the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.

This match against the Czech Rep is massive for us for 3 or 4 different competitions!!  

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Are they missing many players due to COVID this time?

IMO, the Czech Rep have a much stronger squad than either Israel or Slovakia. Although the result, in terms of goals, wasn't much different between the Israel game and the Slovakia game, the performance against Slovakia was far, far better. I think we will need to step up that performance once again to beat a Czech team that is anywhere near full strength. 

You're right this is such a huge game for us and we must go all out for the win but a draw wouldn't be a disaster considering we have already beaten them in the Czech Rep. That doesn't mean we should play for the draw though, that would be mental.

The players should only be focused on Wednesday's game but as fans we can look a wee bit further forward. Regardless of the result on Wednesday, the game against Serbia will be even more important. The obvious reason is because it could get us to EURO 2020, but also because of all the reasons you have already mentioned. It's one of those games that if we win, all the players will be bouncing and really up for our last two Nations League games. All of them will be desperate to try to book their place in the Euro squad. We could win those last two games even though they are away from home. If we lose to Serbia everything goes flat, players start calling off, folk start asking questions about Clarke's future, we could end up losing both games. 

Next two games are huge. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Orraloon said:

Are they missing many players due to COVID this time?

IMO, the Czech Rep have a much stronger squad than either Israel or Slovakia. Although the result, in terms of goals, wasn't much different between the Israel game and the Slovakia game, the performance against Slovakia was far, far better. I think we will need to step up that performance once again to beat a Czech team that is anywhere near full strength. 

You're right this is such a huge game for us and we must go all out for the win but a draw wouldn't be a disaster considering we have already beaten them in the Czech Rep. That doesn't mean we should play for the draw though, that would be mental.

The players should only be focused on Wednesday's game but as fans we can look a wee bit further forward. Regardless of the result on Wednesday, the game against Serbia will be even more important. The obvious reason is because it could get us to EURO 2020, but also because of all the reasons you have already mentioned. It's one of those games that if we win, all the players will be bouncing and really up for our last two Nations League games. All of them will be desperate to try to book their place in the Euro squad. We could win those last two games even though they are away from home. If we lose to Serbia everything goes flat, players start calling off, folk start asking questions about Clarke's future, we could end up losing both games. 

Next two games are huge. 

 

They certainly had a good half a dozen out yesterday. Apparently Israel were unlucky. Seems to be a developing situation with lots of retesting going on.

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2 minutes ago, killiefaetheferry said:

They certainly had a good half a dozen out yesterday. Apparently Israel were unlucky. Seems to be a developing situation with lots of retesting going on.

Yes, five out of their squad with COVID-19 issues, but the rest of their squad are awaiting results of tests, which were originally inconclusive. They have a 32-man squad on stand-by if they are needed.

The five out include their captain Dočkal (attacking centre mid/just behind striker) and Hložec, who played lone striker in their 3-1 win in Slovakia.

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2 hours ago, Orraloon said:

Are they missing many players due to COVID this time?

It's hard to say for sure.  They only had a 18-man squad for the game against Israel (below) so they were certainly missing some key players for yesterday.  Novák, Dočkal, Jankto, Kopic, Krmenčík and Schick being the obvious ones for their original squad.  I'm not 100% if they were missing because of injury or isolating because of covid.  Image

They have created a reserve squad to face us but as far as I'm aware, they aren't going to be needed.  I expect we will face a fairly similar team to the squad in the graphic above.  

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I think Wednesday's game will depend a lot on squad management and strength in depth. We've had two tough games in a short space of time and injuries too. We will now have to do without Robertson (suspended) and Cooper (injured). Plus we've had the likes of Gallgher, McTominay, O'Donnell, McGinn and Dykes having played the majority of or all of those two matches. I can see McGregor starting and Taylor coming in for Robertson.

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3 hours ago, RabtheBruce said:

Good post, Mick, and you’re right on all those reasons as to why it’s important to win against the Czechs. I was hoping that if we won our NL group, we’d make it into pot 2, as then we’d obviously have a much better chance of finishing the WC qualifying group in the top two. We’ve struggled in recent years precisely cos our seeding has been pot 3 or 4. Success begets success.

The World Cup qualifying seeding pots will be decided on world ranking. We are currently the 28th best team in Europe I think (going by world rankings) so there’s no way we will get into the top 20 and get into pot 2. 

We need to make sure we don’t fall any further down though so we need to maintain our current ranking prior to the draw. A win on Wednesday night would go a long way to helping us stay in pot 3. 

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I’ll be interested to see our 3-5-2 against a really top nation (not necessarily Czechs). It is quite hard to create chances with our current players in that formation. Are we a good counter attacking team with this set up? Will be interesting to find out. Again it will depend to a large extent on personnel. 

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1 hour ago, er yir macaroon said:

I’ll be interested to see our 3-5-2 against a really top nation (not necessarily Czechs). It is quite hard to create chances with our current players in that formation. Are we a good counter attacking team with this set up? Will be interesting to find out. Again it will depend to a large extent on personnel. 

International football and this formation against top teams does require pace.  We do have some fast players in Robertson, Forrest, Fraser, Armstrong, Burke and Griffiths.  

You are right, it would be interesting to see it against someone like Russia who easily beat us twice before this run we are now on started.  

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50 minutes ago, PASTA Mick said:

International football and this formation against top teams does require pace.  We do have some fast players in Robertson, Forrest, Fraser, Armstrong, Burke and Griffiths.  

You are right, it would be interesting to see it against someone like Russia who easily beat us twice before this run we are now on started.  

This run of one decent game?

 

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10 groups isn't there this time so looks like uefa want to make sure as many of the big nations are number one seeds rather than having groups like 2018 when France and Italy were in same group and Italy missed out in play offs.

Basically have to hope to get one of the weaker top 10 seeds For example Iceland were ranked at 10th a few years back although they've probably dropped a fair bit now.

Qualifying for a world cup is very tough nowadays and with 10 going through automatically rather than 8/9 means less places in play offs. Think only 3 go through in that.

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53 minutes ago, Tartan Chris said:

10 groups isn't there this time so looks like uefa want to make sure as many of the big nations are number one seeds rather than having groups like 2018 when France and Italy were in same group and Italy missed out in play offs.

Basically have to hope to get one of the weaker top 10 seeds For example Iceland were ranked at 10th a few years back although they've probably dropped a fair bit now.

Qualifying for a world cup is very tough nowadays and with 10 going through automatically rather than 8/9 means less places in play offs. Think only 3 go through in that.

Sums up how important Wednesdays game is. 

 

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9 hours ago, Tartan Chris said:

10 groups isn't there this time so looks like uefa want to make sure as many of the big nations are number one seeds rather than having groups like 2018 when France and Italy were in same group and Italy missed out in play offs.

Basically have to hope to get one of the weaker top 10 seeds For example Iceland were ranked at 10th a few years back although they've probably dropped a fair bit now.

Qualifying for a world cup is very tough nowadays and with 10 going through automatically rather than 8/9 means less places in play offs. Think only 3 go through in that.

The wc is probably slightly beyond us these days unless we produce a golden generation of players. 

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10 hours ago, Tartan Chris said:

10 groups isn't there this time so looks like uefa want to make sure as many of the big nations are number one seeds rather than having groups like 2018 when France and Italy were in same group and Italy missed out in play offs.

Basically have to hope to get one of the weaker top 10 seeds For example Iceland were ranked at 10th a few years back although they've probably dropped a fair bit now.

Qualifying for a world cup is very tough nowadays and with 10 going through automatically rather than 8/9 means less places in play offs. Think only 3 go through in that.

Aye, 12 teams go into the playoffs and only 3 of them qualify.

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1 hour ago, mccaughey85 said:

The wc is probably slightly beyond us these days unless we produce a golden generation of players. 

No denying it will be tough but a couple of things could help greatly. Firstly, getting a favourable draw with us getting the weakest teams from the first two pots. Secondly, if we can elevate ourselves into pot 2 would greatly enhance our chances.

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Hate the Qatar world cup so would have minimal interest in it anyway.

Target must be qualifying for next two euros (think 2024 edition is in Germany so that would be fantastic tournament) and then you'd like to think with that momentum and rankings increase then 2026 would be a decent chance just like Iceland kicked on from making euro 2016 QFs to get to the next world cup.

That will alos have 48 teams in it although think europe will only get 1-2 more places so not a huge increase.

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3 hours ago, mccaughey85 said:

Lol I must of missed the last 22 years. We don't go to world cups anymore. Euros is within our grasp nowadays purely because its 24 teams. 

It's 24 years since we went to the Euros, we tend not to go to them either.

I'm with Mr macaroon, you don't half talk some pish.

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1 minute ago, Orraloon said:

It's 24 years since we went to the Euros, we tend not to go to them either.

I'm with Mr macaroon, you don't half talk some pish.

Euros have went to 24 teams in recent years. We should be capable of going to the euros most years now its 24 teams. The world Cup is big ask imo, there's alot of good European teams that miss out. 

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8 hours ago, Caledonian Craig said:

No denying it will be tough but a couple of things could help greatly. Firstly, getting a favourable draw with us getting the weakest teams from the first two pots. Secondly, if we can elevate ourselves into pot 2 would greatly enhance our chances.

Getting a favourable group from the sides in Pot 1 & 2, assuming we're in Pot 3, will be our best chance in the 2022 qualifiers.

As it stands, Denmark are in Pot 1 and I think they're beatable, especially at home. Pot 2, right now, has nations like Wales and Slovakia - each of whom are beatable both home and away. On the flip side, Belgium and Switzerland from the top two pots would probably see us finishing third at best.

Otherwise, hopefully by qualifying for Euro 2020 and winning our Nations League group, to ensure Pot 2 for Euro 2024's qualifiers, will give us a Pot 2 place for the 2026 qualifiers.

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26 minutes ago, mccaughey85 said:

Euros have went to 24 teams in recent years. We should be capable of going to the euros most years now its 24 teams. The world Cup is big ask imo, there's alot of good European teams that miss out. 

Not Qualifying for a 24 teams Euros is embarrassing. Oh but we had Belgium and Russia in our group well in the nations league Russia beat Serbia 3-1 , scraped past Hungary 3-2 and drew at home with Turkey so far. I could bore every one with the stats for those games but the truth of the matter is we let them look good against us.

I don't know how the finals work but if two teams qualify for the last 16 from each group and we make out that is is qualifying for the latter stages of the tournament we have pretty low expectations.

The world cup is a huge ask from pot three although if we get one of the weakest second seeds we could make the playoffs but even then we will get past teams that on paper are a fair bit better than us.

The game tomorrow is massive for us even to dream of a world cup finals.

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