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Ireland still have hope of a Euro 2016 play-off seeding

SoccerBy Sunday World
O'Neill still dreaming of a Euro 2016 play-off seeding
O'Neill still dreaming of a Euro 2016 play-off seeding

The Republic of Ireland still have a chance of securing a seeded position in the Euro 2016 play-offs, but they need a whole host of results to go in their favour on the last night of qualifying matches.

UEFA's national team coefficient system will decide the seedings for Sunday's draw at with one night of matches left to play, Martin O'Neill's Ireland are the sixth ranked team in the play-offs.

Yet that could change in the last round of matches, with Israel, Turkey, Cyprus and Norway all in the mix for a play-off place.

This is what Ireland need if they are to leap into the seeded positions in the Euro 2016 play-offs:

(i) Cyprus beat Bosnia-Herzegovina at home and Israel to fail in their bid to beat an already qualified Belgium side.

Those two results would see Cyprus leap above Bosnia and Israel to claim third place in their group, which would move Ireland up one place to fifth in list of teams that will compete in the play-offs. A draw between Cyprus and Bosnia would also be good news for Ireland if Israel win in Belgium and claim a play-off spot, but don’t hold your breath on that happening.

(ii) Norway to lose in Italy and Croatia to win away in Malta.

That scenario would see Croatia hop above Norway to seal automatic qualification to Euro 2016, leaving the Norwegians (who are ranked below Ireland) to drop into the play-offs.

Ireland also need Turkey to fail in their bid to win their final Euro 2016 qualifier against Iceland that could give them the one automatic qualifying spot for the best third place finisher in the nine qualifying groups. Kazakhstan also need to win away win against Latvia for that to happen, so don't worry too much about this conundrum.

(iii) Turkey to fail to beat Iceland.

A win for the Turks would see them leap above Ireland in the UEFA coefficient and scupper any Irish dreams of a seeding position.

TEAMS CURRENTLY IN THE PLAY OFF POSITIONS (provisional UEFA ranking in brackets)

Ukraine (12)

Sweden (13)

Croatia (14)

Bosnia-Herzegovina (15)

Denmark (21)

Ireland (22)

Slovenia (25)

Turkey (26)

In conclusion, Ireland need these teams to find a way into the play-off on the final night of qualifiers:

* Israel (28) or Cyprus (45) to claim third place in Group B ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

* Norway (24) to be knocked out of the automatic play-off places and forced into play-off action.

* Turkey to fail in their bid to progress as the best third place finisher and draw with Iceland.

Here is the state of play as it stands.

Confirmed Euro 2016 qualifiers: France (hosts), Iceland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Wales, Spain, Slovakia, Germany, Poland, England, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Romania, Austria, Russia, Italy, Portugal, Albania.

Confirmed in play-offs: Republic of Ireland, Ukraine, Slovenia, Sweden, Denmark.