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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The draw is still months away but today UEFA released the format of the qualification cycle. Although not yet official and still a lot of speculation, it appears UEFA will keep their 13 spots for the 2018 World Cup but they will be 'fighting' for 14. I don't believe they will get anything more than 13, especially if Blatter wins re-election

52 nations will be involved, Russia as hosts and Gibraltar who are not a FIFA member will not be in the draw. As usual there will be 9 groups (7 x 6, 2 x 5) with the nine group winners + four playoff winners qualifying, if the 13 spots remain

Unfortunately, FIFA rankings will be used as seeding so a team like Romania which has done nothing for 6-7 years will be seeded. Basically with FIFA Rankings its better to not qualify for a tournament than go to one and get eliminated in the group stage :doh:

We will have to wait until May to get the official allotments to each confederation. UEFA is the federation that is at most risk of losing spots so we will see if that happens, but based on today it appears it will remain status quo

edit: Mods I guess you can change the title as I jumped the gun on it being official :D You can change it to "general news" or something
 

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with the current (May 2015 rankings) ....
(NOTE- this is no official) - rankings could change after Euro 2016 qualifiers in June.

The pots will be like this -

Pot 1 : Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, France, Romania, Italy

Pot 2 : England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Wales, Greece, Austria, Denmark, Scotland

Pot 3 : Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ukraine, Poland, Iceland, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Hungary, Serbia, Israel

Pot 4: Slovenia, Turkey, Albania, Republic of Ireland, Bulgaria, Norway, Montenegro, Armenia, Finland

Pot 5: Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Faroe Islands, FYR Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Moldova

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

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Discussion Starter #3
FIFA confirmed today that UEFA will retain 13 spots despite some speculation it would be reduced. That should calm UEFA down a bit
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There can be a scenario where Wales will be in Pot 1 :drunk:

By the time of the draw Romania will be 4-5th best team in Europe based on FIFA Rankings :drunk:

I understand FIFA control the draws but I much prefer the UEFA coefficient as they only take into account official matches, not friendly games where teams experiment but still get punished/rewarded by meaningless games. I mean ffs we had teams miss out on seeds at the last World Cup just because they played a weak friendly game
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The seeded teams for the draw: Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Romania, Wales, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy/Croatia

If Italy win their friendly against Portugal they are seeded, if they fail to win Croatia is seeded. Once again ridiculous that FIFA Rankings are used + midway through qualifying

Faroe Islands will jump to Pot 4 :D
 

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Calling it now Italy will be in Pot 2 with France, they will be the two teams who draw Wales and Romania.
 

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Here are the pots for UEFA qulaification:

1st Pot

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

2nd Pot

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
 

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Here are the pots for UEFA qulaification:

1st Pot

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

2nd Pot

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
Are you confident that BiH will be drawn from pot 2? In Poland v. Greece the referee was replaced by Marcin Borski ... if the referee isn't from a neutral country (Borski is Polish), the tie won't be included ... when you exclude that friendly, Poland would replace BiH in pot 2.
 

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Germany
Austria
Israel
Cyprus
Malta

That group would be great, some cracking (sunny) away trips there. Although quite frankly as long as we don't draw the ROI I'll be happy.
 

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Wales and Romania in group 1 is just plain ridiculous.

Italy and France were not always convincing but are still better teams.
 

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Croatia would be the best opponent from pot 1 because its only a matter of time they bite themselves in the foot and get some points deductions for fan behaviour.
 

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Romania and Wales in Pot 1 shows how shit the system is, practically the FIFA Classification with progressive 4 years makes a Romanian victory over Northern Ireland this autumn more important than Spain 4-0 Italy in Kiev or let's say a Germany 1-0 France 1 year and a few days ago.
Greece is so weak and demotivated that they lost both games against Faroe, Romania actually struggled to beat them in Piraeus, but Hungary is clearly not a Pot 2 team ( again, the classification system brought them up there ).
A group like that was ideal for a World Cup since 1st place actually matters and it was achievable even by a mediocre "Pot 3 worthy" team.

Anyway, if I would want to see Romania play in Russia, I would want this group:

Romania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Moldova and blank or San Marino.

A group that people will consider nice but will leave Romania in tears like in Copenhagen 2003 :pat:

Romania, Denmark, Poland, Norway, Azerbaidjan, Georgia


A group lol:

Romania, France, Sweden, Turkey, Cyprus, Liechtenstein
 

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UEFA First Round

Group A: Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Belarus, Luxembourg

Group B: Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Andorra

Group C: Germany, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan, San Marino

Group D: Wales, Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova, Georgia

Group E: Romania, Denmark, Poland, Montenegro, Armenia, Kazakhstan

Group F: England, Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Malta

Group G: Spain, Italy, Albania, Israel, FYR Macedonia, Liechtenstein

Group H: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Estonia, Cyprus

Group I: Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland
 
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