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Portugal and Serbia await Ireland
Stephen Kenny’s Ireland team will face Portugal and Serbia in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. The Boys in Green suffered a heavy defeat last time they played Portugal, losing 5-1 back in 2014. Whilst their last competitive fixtures both ended all square in the lead up to the 2002 World Cup.
As a consequence of Ireland’s poor recent form, they found themselves in pot three for the draw meaning they will also face Serbia. Since 2008, Ireland and Serbia have gone head to head five times, resulting in three draws and two wins for the Serbians. Similar to Ireland, Serbia suffered their own EURO 2020 qualifying heartache after losing to Scotland on penalties in the play-off final.
Luxembourg and Azerbaijan make up the remainder of Group A. It will be the first time Ireland have ever played Azerbaijan, and it will have been over 30 years since they have faced Luxembourg.
Group A is now complete
3⃣ Ireland 🇮🇪
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) December 7, 2020
The ten group winners will automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. An additional three spots are up for grabs, with each runner-up along with the two highest-ranked teams from the UEFA Nations League set to contest in a play-off format for the last available places.
The qualifiers commence at the end of March 2021 with three opening fixtures scheduled. You can find the full World Cup 2022 qualifying draw below.
Group A: Portugal, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan.
Group B: Spain, Sweden, Greece, Georgia, Kosovo.
Group C: Italy, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania.
Group D: France, Ukraine, Finland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kazakhstan.
Group E: Belgium, Wales, Czech Republic, Belarus, Estonia.
Group F: Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Israel, Faroe Islands, Moldova.
Group G: Holland, Turkey, Norway, Montenegro, Latvia, Gibraltar.
Group H: Croatia, Slovakia, Russia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta.
Group I: England, Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra, San Marino.
Group J: Germany, Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein.