World Cup Qualifying- European Play-offs
October 19, 2009 9:18am CST
The draw for the European play-offs was held today. The draw was: Ireland v France Portugal v Bosnia Greece v Ukraine Russia v Slovenia First of all I think it was wrong that FIFA at the last minute decided that the draw was to be seeded. This was obviously done because teams like Portugal and France were in the play-offs and they do not one of the so-called big teams not to qualify for the finals. I think Ireland are capable of toppling France, who really have been poor during qualifying. With a packed Croke Park behind them I think that the Irish will win the first leg and then all the pressure will be on France. Portugal will not have it their own way against a dogged Bosnia but I reckon they will just have a little too much quality and will qualify. Obviously FIFA will love this as it means Ronaldo will be in South Africa! The other two ties are also hard to call in my opinion, but I reckon Russia and the Ukraine will prevail and qualify. What do fellow mylotters think and do you think that FIFA were right to seed the draw?
19 Oct 09
I would agree that Ireland have a chance of upsetting France, but France had good games during the final two group matches. Perhaps the are starting the gel. Overall, this is just a mess, to say that they teams would not be seed at the beginning and to go back on that is an absolute joke.
20 Oct 09
I think all 8 runner up are have chance to get a ticket to South Africa. My Prediction : France - Ireland ; France will qualify Portugal - Bosnia ; Portugal will qualify Greece - Ukraine ; 50 : 50, but I think Greece will qualify Russia - Slovenia ; Russia will qualify
20 Oct 09
I'm a bit disappointed because some big team doesn't perform well in 2010 WCL. Especially France. They seem so difficult to win any match in 2010 WCL. I still hope they will qualify even they have to do a Play-Off. After Zidane retired, till now they don't have a maestro that can dominate the midfield like Zidane does. Argentina already qualified. Portugal wasn't. But I think they will qualify, I have a faith in them.
19 Oct 09
madmillionaire, In the first place, I think the seeding so far has been ambiguous since the start of it and it has never been addressed by FIFA. It is just pure shame here where they can implement it and never tried establishing further measures to make it more consistent. So, this ambiguity is just making most national soccer associations baffled and fans even more bewildered. But seeding aside, I just feel that the play offs are quite open. Being a 2 legged format, I feel that the team with the away match consistency might actually fall favorable. So, I would not be too fast with Ireland as the second leg is being played in France. Being a veteran with the World Cup campaign, I just wouldn't put my last dollar on Ireland, especially when their away performance is so poor. My call here on these qualifiers will be France, Portugal, Russia and Ukaraine. Lest of course, there are some serious injuries to any of the 1st team line ups. Portugal would be a favorite as their performance has been consistent even when they were without Ronaldo on their last match and home ground on the first leg. I cannot imagine them being defensive playing in front of their home crowd. As for their away matches, they are very sound defensively and I am sure they are going to let this chance slip by.
19 Oct 09
I agree with what you are saying about the France/Ireland game to a certain extent. The reason I fancy Ireland is that they are playing at home first and could get a good win and the French are not really that good when they are under extreme pressure in recent years. But football is all a matter of opinions. I feel that they with the seedings they should of made it: Best runner up v 8th best runner up 2nd Best runner up v 7rh best...........etc
21 Oct 09
madmillionaire, I understand your point of view and believe me the bottom of my heart is really rooting for Ireland. For one, they have been working very hard on every World Cup qualifiers, their gutsy play and zest. However, sadly the elements just did not fall in their favor during those previous campaigns. France is really a gamesmanship team and I just hate their leaving everything to the last minute. Their attitude just sucks if I may say here! I mean look at the spoiled brats in the team. However, credit must be accorded to them especially when they are undergoing a major transition with the retirement of veteran players like midfield maestro Zidane and if you have been following France, you would know what I mean here. Let's hope that Ireland will bring the game to France with a credible catching up score line at home. Shake off their away game jinx and get a hold of themselves on the return leg in France. Then, it will be an interesting 2010 for Ireland with Irish eyes smiling in South Africa. As they say in soccer, the ball is always round! So, let's keep our fingers crossed on this one and Ole Ole Ole Ole Ole.....!