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Who can Ireland get in the Euro 2016 draw?

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Republic of Ireland Martin O'Neill and Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill wait to hear their fate
Republic of Ireland Martin O'Neill and Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill wait to hear their fate

The nation is set to draw a collective breath on Saturday evening as the identity of the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 rivals is revealed in Paris.

Martin O’Neill’s Ireland will be among the bottom seeds in the 24-team draw that will be crucial to our hopes of mounting a challenge in France next summer, with the hordes of Irish fans planning their trips to Euro 2016 just as interested the locations for the Irish team.

Tickets for the competition will go on sale on December 14th and supporters who have registered on UEFA’s website are set to be informed of how they can purchase tickets shortly after the draw.

Prices for the Euro 2016 finals are set at €25, €55, €105 and €145 for each of the opening group stage matches, with Ireland games certain to be among those with the highest demand with so many fans from this country expected to travel to the event.

Tickets for the deciding match of Euro 2016 on July 10th will range from between €85 to a whopping €895, with the best seats for semi-final tickets set at a wallet busting €495, so you need to starting building up that savings fun if you are planning to spend the full month in France next summer.

An alternative plan may be advising the wife and kids that the all-inclusive summer holiday they had in mind for next June or July will not be happening….and good luck if you take that option! 

Ireland head into the draw as the 20th ranked team according to UEFA’s coefficient system, with only Iceland, Wales, Albania and Northern Ireland ranked lower than O’Neill’s men.

Yet that lowly seeding does not mean we are certain to face a terrifying draw when the groups are decided at the Palais des congrès de Paris venue, which will be the subject of a huge security operation after the recent tragic events in the French capital.

Ireland will be certain to face one of the following teams from the group of top seeded nations: France, Spain, Germany, England, Portugal or Belgium.

The host nation are the lowest ranked among the top seeds by UEFA, but a tie against Roy Hodgson’s England or a Portugal side that will be led by Cristiano Ronaldo may be the best options open to Ireland.

The second pot of seeds will feature the likes of Italy and Russia, although clashes against Austria and Switzerland would encourage O’Neill and his players to believe they can make it through to the second phase. 

With up to three teams from each group making progress to the last-16 of Euro 2016, Ireland’s hopes will be hugely affected by the team they pull out of the third set of seeds.

Matches against the Czech Republic, Sweden or qualifying rivals Poland would be tough, but clashes with Romania, Slovakia and Hungary would be more enticing.

Get all the best coverage of the Euro 2016 draw in this weekend’s Sunday World and extensive coverage on sundayworld.com.

EURO 2016 SEEDS

Pot 1 - France, Spain, Germany, England, Portugal, Belgium.

Pot 2 – Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, Ukraine.

Pot 3 – Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary.

Pot 4 – Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Iceland, Wales, Albania, Northern Ireland.

BEST SCENARIO

Portugal

Switzerland

Hungary

Republic of Ireland

NIGHTMARE DRAW

Germany

Italy

Sweden

Republic of Ireland

EURO 2016 ODDS

Germany 7/2

France 7/2

Spain 5/1

Belgium 9/1

England 12/1

Italy 16/1

Portugal 18/1

Wales 50/1

Republic of Ireland 100/1

Northern Ireland 200/1