Top Stories

France to face Ireland as UEFA World Cup playoff draw is set

Shay Given (Getty Images) 

France and Ireland will square off in the marquee match-up of the UEFA World Cup play-offs after the draw was held on Monday.

France finished second to Serbia in its group while Ireland finished second to Italy in its qualifying group.

In the other drawn match-ups, Portugal will take on Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece will face Ukraine and Russia will take on Slovenia. The teams will play each other in two-leg series set for Nov. 14 and 18, with the winners of each series qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

While France-Ireland is the most well-publicized of these match-ups, Bosnia-Portugal has the chance to be the best of the bunch, with Bosnia standing a very good chance of knocking off Carlos Queiroz's squad. Ukraine comes in with some momentum after finishing strong to edge Croatia for its playoff spot, while Russia will be heavily favored to run over Slovenia.

What do you think of the draw? Think Ireland and France got unlucky? Can you see Bosnia pulling off the upset vs. Portugal? Think Slovenia has any chance of slowing down Russia?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Bys

    Who cares if the Irish play the French. I don’t want Ireland to just go to the world cup so I can feel good that they made it and maybe get eliminated from the first round or something.

    I want Ireland to win the gold! and for that to happen were going to have to start playing the top contenders eventually, so i say screw it, lets start now.

    We can beat the French, with old man Trapattoni on the side and Ireland playing its hard, do or die football with the support of the nation (and indeed most of its descendants across North America) victory is within our grab!


  2. Ireland did not lose a single match in qualifying, and for that, they must get thru France to make it to SA.

    So, yes, CONCACAF is a cream puff compared to that.

  3. France, Bosnia, Ukraine, and Russia.

    Every matchup is extremely even. I love how everyone is all pissed at eufa or fifa for rigging the competition, when in reality france would have an easier job against portugal than Ireland and any of these teams could knock off greece. This way it is more likely that the big dogs won’t make it than if not seeded. France ireland is going to be close, as will bosnia, portugal; but Russia will beat whoever they would have been drawn against.

  4. lets go ykpaiha!! im glad we got greece although im not lookin forward to their defense. i hope ireland pulls through too. france is gonna have a tough test ahead

  5. We need a 2 goal cushion from the first leg to take to Paris. I really feel we’re capable of it but our canny Italian manager may not ‘risk’ going for it. France are there for the taking.

  6. I would love to see Ireland send the frogs home crying, it’ll be a game well worth watching. And for all his glam appeal Cristiano Ronaldo has been performing terribly at an international level, so Bosnia stand a good chance. I for one would love to CR stay at home next summer, watching his teammates on TV.

  7. TimN,

    Concaf qualifying IS easy compared with UEFA and not just because they have way more top level teams.

    Picture a group with the US, Honduras, Canada, Jamaica, Guatemala and Panama, with only 1 team getting a direct qualification.

    CONCACAFs system allows for a good team to have a bad patch and still qualify (Mexico). UEFA’s format really punishes teams that have a few poor results.

    CONCACAF is also a region where it is much harder to get a point away from hom when compared with UEFA.

  8. No way the US gets a seed. Look no further than 2006. We were ranked #5 in the world and won Concacaf, but somehow Mexico were ranked ahead of us.

  9. @Bud,

    I hope you’re joking in your comment about CONCACAF qualifying being easy. Did anything strike you as easy about Mexico, the U.S, or Honduras’ qualifying runs. Once you get into the Hex, CONCACAF qualifying can get very difficult. I’d love to see how Portugal, France, or Ireland would do in Estadio Azteca, San Pedro Sula, or Saprissa Stadium…my strong suspicion is not very well. Let’s not even get into talking about places like Guatemala and Cuba, which are total hellholes to play in.

  10. So if Ireland qualified and Italia was going to the playoffs, I guess Greece wouldn’t be seeded?

    Not that it matters now, but the potential, had FIFA not changed the rules, to see an Italy vs France playoff would be interesting.


Leave a Comment