Monday, November 26, 2007

UEFA World Cup Qualifying Draw Analysis

Someone at FIFA has a sense of humor. Why else would England and Croatia be paired in the same World Cup qualifying group less than a week after Croatia showed England the door from Euro 2008?

The European groups are pretty bland to be honest. Group 1 is a killer with Portugal, Sweden and Denmark clawing for one automatic berth. But the remaining eight have a pretty clear-cut winner (I'm not making predictions today, but you can figure it out yourself).

The nine group winners qualify for South Africa, and the eight runners-up with the best records will go in to four playoff matchups, knockout style, to produce four more finalists, 13 in all from Europe.

Going group by group:

  1. Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Albania and Malta.
  2. Greece, Israel, Switzerland, Moldova, Latvia, Luxembourg
  3. Czech Republic, Poland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, San Marino
  4. Germany, Russia, Finland, Wales, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein
  5. Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Bosnia, Armenia, Estonia
  6. Croatia, England, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Andorra
  7. France, Romania, Serbia, Lithuania, Austria, Faroe Islands
  8. Italy, Bulgaria, Ireland, Cyprus, Georgia, Montenegro
  9. Netherlands, Scotland, Norway, Macedonia, Iceland

If you’re looking for analysis of the UEFA groups, try:

Soccer by Ives


Euro Football Highlights blog

Road to 2010 Final blog

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