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Discussion Starter #1
So, the draw will be taking place in a little more than a month. I believe we have secured the 22nd Pot, but at the end of the day, it's all about luck anyways. Here are the seedings (either Croatia or Italy make it into the 1st Pot depending on Italy result against Portugal tomorrow):

1st Pot

Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Romania, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, Croatia/Italy

2nd Pot

Croatia/Italy, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Denmark, Bosnia-Herzegovina

3rd Pot

Poland, Ukraine, Scotland, Hungary, Sweden, Albania, N Ireland, Serbia, Greece

4th Pot

Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Bulgaria, Faroe Islands, Montenegro, Estonia

5th Pot

Cyprus, Latvia, Armenia, Finland, Belarus, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Moldova

6th Pot

Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Georgia, Malta, San Marino, Andorra

If somehow we get a 2014 WC-type of draw, it'd probably look something like this:

Romania
BiH
N. Ireland
Faroe Islands
Moldova
Andorra
 

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So, the draw will be taking place in a little more than a month. I believe we have secured the 22nd Pot, but at the end of the day, it's all about luck anyways. Here are the seedings (either Croatia or Italy make it into the 1st Pot depending on Italy result against Portugal tomorrow):

1st Pot

Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Romania, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, Croatia/Italy

2nd Pot

Croatia/Italy, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Denmark, Bosnia-Herzegovina

3rd Pot

Poland, Ukraine, Scotland, Hungary, Sweden, Albania, N Ireland, Serbia, Greece

4th Pot

Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Bulgaria, Faroe Islands, Montenegro, Estonia

5th Pot

Cyprus, Latvia, Armenia, Finland, Belarus, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Moldova

6th Pot

Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Georgia, Malta, San Marino, Andorra

If somehow we get a 2014 WC-type of draw, it'd probably look something like this:

Romania
BiH
N. Ireland
Faroe Islands
Moldova
Andorra
These are the confirmed pots?
 

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Not really a fan of predicting groups, so I'll just narrow it down to who I don't really want from each pot.

Pot 1

Would only want to avoid Germany or Spain there. Belgium, Romania, and Wales are definitely beatable sides, England would be interesting as we've never played them before and the games would make for some great atmospheres, Holland and Portugal are going to be going through transitional periods with their best players ageing and likely gone after the Euros, and Italy now are probably as weak as they've been in decades so not impossible to cope with them either.

Pot 3

Obviously avoid Serbia because of fan trouble, maybe Poland and Ukraine too who are tough. Wouldn't mind playing this Greece or a Sweden without Ibra though. The rest are doable.

Pot 4

Wouldn't want R. Ireland because their playing style doesn't suit us or Turkey who we've played plenty of times in recent years. Don't really mind the others. Faroe Islands would be a dream obviously. :D

Pots 5/6

Most of the teams there we should really be beating so don't really care who we get. Armenia and Finland can be tricky so if there's anyone to avoid from there it's them. Maybe not Kazakhstan, Georgia, or Azerbaijan as they're long distance travels but it's just one game anyways so that's only a minor issue.

---

Thank goodness we changed coaches when we did and that the results this week went in our favor otherwise we'd be in Pot 3 and potentially looking at a group pitting us with Spain/Germany and France or Italy which would have been a disaster. Hopefully we'll get a good draw, but just by looking at the pots alone we should at least have a decent chance of making the playoffs regardless of who we get so qualifying again isn't too unrealistic.

Still, this isn't all that important right now. More important to focus on the Euro qualifiers which aren't over by any stretch and we still have hopes again to make it thankfully.
 

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I think England from pot 1 would be great for us, the attention the game would receive would be enormous. Like wise from pot 3, Scotland. We have avenged losses to Izrael, Romania, Mexico, Greece, Iran. Next Scotland!

Pot 4 and below, no preference. Any team is below our standards.
 

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England would be quite bad imho, they are the team with the best record this qualifiers having not lost a single game (or even drawn one).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, we may not end up in Pot 2 after all.

Long story short, the reason we were gonna be in the 2nd Pot was because Poland had a friendly against Greece and no matter the result, they were going to drop in the FIFA Rankings, allowing us to move ahead of them into the 2nd Pot. Well, the referee got injured during the match :)howler:) and it is not clear if FIFA will count that as an official friendly, so they may stay in the 2nd Pot.

That would be hilarious.
 

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Here is my mock draw. I did it using Random Number generator for each pot.

Very undesirable. As usual, it would fall on us to stop a bad run of results for a team (in this case Serbia). I think it would be in UEFA interests not to pair us with the Serbs.
 

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According to football-rankings Austria failed to secure Pot1 due to recent draw vs Bosnia-Hezegovina (while at the same time BIH secured pot 2 with draw with AUT and win vs Izrael):

http://www.football-rankings.info/2015/06/2018-fifa-world-cup-preliminary-draw.html

Austria

Elo Pot: 2
September simulations Pot: 3

Very similar to Slovakia. Won all their competitive games, with the exception of a home draw against Sweden. However, they decided they needed a glamour game vs. Brazil in November 2014. I assume they've paid a hefty appearance bill for Brazil and, of course, lost the game. Without that loss, or without the March 2015 friendly draw vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina they would have been in Pot 1.
Sorted in correct order as per football-rankings.info on 26 June 2015:

Pot 1: Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, England, Wales, Spain, Croatia

Pot 2: Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Denmark, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Pot 3: Ukraine, Scotland, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Albania, Northern Ireland, Serbia, Greece

Pot 4: Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Bulgaria, Faroe Islands, Montenegro, Estonia

Pot 5: Cyprus, Latvia, Armenia, Finland, Belarus, FYR Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Moldova

Pot 6: Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Georgia, Malta, San Marino, Andorra
 

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Maybe BiH not playing any friendlies prior Izrael in June was a good thing, preventing us from missing out on pot 2 (regardless of result / someone explain)?.
 

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Maybe it was competence on their part, and we were the ignorant ones this whole time?
Doubt it, with their track record. Will we get a September friendly?

edit: Never mind. The only free slot for us is in November if we qualify direct or fail to advance to playoffs.
 
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