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Discussion Starter #1
We are on the critical moment of Euro 2016 campaign still with reasonable chances to qualify but this weekend in St. Petersburg will be held the draw of the World Cup qualifiers.

Differently from the previous campaigns Israel will be on Pot 4 instead of 3 (based on the last FIFA ranking of July 15th and final date to determinate the pots) and this certainly will make things even harder for the Israeli side to qualify for a major tournament ever since 1970 WC.

Russia will be the host thus automatically qualified.


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
Ireland
Norway
Bulgaria
Faroe Islands
Montenegro
Estonia


Pot 5:

Cyprus
Latvia
Armenia
Finland
Belarus
Macedonia
Azerbaijan
Lithuania
Moldova

Pot 6:

Kazakhstan
Luxembourg
Liechtenstein
Georgia
Malta
San Marino
Andorra


The Blue & White are ranked 51st (according to the much contested FIFA ranking) in the world but still this was not enough to guarantee the pot 3. Differently from the Euro 2016 where the two first places automatically qualify while the third places go to the playoffs, in the WC only the top teams qualify together with the best runner up, while the remaining second placed teams fight for the spots.

Euro 2016 is our best shot to qualify in a short term. If not we should begin preparing on long term for 2020.
 

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Being in Pot 4 stinks but to me theres not much of a dropoff in quality between the two pots although it is surprising to see France and Italy in pot 2.

Best possible group for Israel:
Romania
Iceland
Hungary
ISRAEL
Armenia
San Marino


Worst Possible group for Israel:
Germany
Italy
Ukraine
ISRAEL
Finland
Kazakhstan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Being in Pot 4 stinks but to me theres not much of a dropoff in quality between the two pots although it is surprising to see France and Italy in pot 2.

Best possible group for Israel:
Romania
Iceland
Hungary
ISRAEL
Armenia
San Marino


Worst Possible group for Israel:
Germany
Italy
Ukraine
ISRAEL
Finland
Kazakhstan
IMO opinion the best scenario would be similar to yours only replacing Armenia for Moldova.
As for pot 2 we are a level below Iceland who are simply playing solid football. We should really rethink and start from scratch.
Any opponent from pot 3 is tricky and would not be easy. We would not be behind Albania as well.

As for the worst possible, instead of Ukraine it would be Sweden. And from Pot 5 i would rate Armenia, Finland and Azerbaijan in the same level of difficulty. Let´s remind that in the WC campaign we drew them twice 1-1.

As for the minnows, San Marino or Andorra.

FIFA rankings are a joke and having France and Italy on pot 2 while Wales and Romania on Pot 1 it can´t be true.

Ok, they had good displays recently, but how can one year have such a great weight on the pots?
Uefa coefficient system is more realistic.
 

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IMO opinion the best scenario would be similar to yours only replacing Armenia for Moldova.
As for pot 2 we are a level below Iceland who are simply playing solid football. We should really rethink and start from scratch.
Any opponent from pot 3 is tricky and would not be easy. We would not be behind Albania as well.

As for the worst possible, instead of Ukraine it would be Sweden. And from Pot 5 i would rate Armenia, Finland and Azerbaijan in the same level of difficulty. Let´s remind that in the WC campaign we drew them twice 1-1.

As for the minnows, San Marino or Andorra.

FIFA rankings are a joke and having France and Italy on pot 2 while Wales and Romania on Pot 1 it can´t be true.

Ok, they had good displays recently, but how can one year have such a great weight on the pots?
Uefa coefficient system is more realistic.
Yes the fifa rankings are a joke. Israel deserve to be in pot 4 since they've looked terrible over the past few games. But if the draw was taken 4 months ago Israel would have been in pot 2:pp

Noticing other national teams, Iceland is having a great qualification tournament so if they do draw Israel they would be clear favorites. Also Albania has improved alot over the years and has great results recently. I think of them very highly.
 

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Being in Pot 4 stinks but to me theres not much of a dropoff in quality between the two pots although it is surprising to see France and Italy in pot 2.

Best possible group for Israel:
Romania
Iceland
Hungary
ISRAEL
Armenia
San Marino


Worst Possible group for Israel:
Germany
Italy
Ukraine
ISRAEL
Finland
Kazakhstan
Doesnt matter which group Israel is in the chance to qualify is almost zero, even finishing second in a group is no guarantee of getting into world cup.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes the fifa rankings are a joke. Israel deserve to be in pot 4 since they've looked terrible over the past few games. But if the draw was taken 4 months ago Israel would have been in pot 2:pp

Noticing other national teams, Iceland is having a great qualification tournament so if they do draw Israel they would be clear favorites. Also Albania has improved alot over the years and has great results recently. I think of them very highly.
That is true. With the new FIFA ranking a meaningless friendly could be the difference between the pots. But what should be counted is on money time and Italy and France on pot 2 while Romania who has not qualified for any major tournament since Euro 2008 is in Pot 1 is a really strange criteria. These rankings managed to create a group in the World Cup with England, Italy and Uruguay all together while Colombia were in pot 1.

As for Iceland and Albania certainly they are better than us currently. We are not worse of what we used to be. We are only stagnated while other countries managed to improve and pass us. We should really rethink if we wish to qualify to anu tournament. We have the talent, we just need to work it better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Until the Pot 3 draw we had a decent group but then we came with Italy and Spain to ruin any chances of qualifying :D
Actually if the draw followed the normal path we would get Bosnia once again but due to the policy that the main European footballing teams should fall in groups with six teams, then Italy was allocated to our group. If we had Bosnia we would have a chance for a playoff.

Now at least fight for third place and we have an opportunity to build a future and play a qualifier with no expectations which will do us good.
 

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We will get our asses kicked in this group:spank:
Probably all games from now will be practice for 2020.

That being said Israel always plays better when they have no expectations.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We will get our asses kicked in this group:spank:
Probably all games from now will be practice for 2020.

That being said Israel always plays better when they have no expectations.
That is a fact indeed!

We should take this opportunity and test new players, start from our youth teams and develop a unified training system and a more professional approach. When we reach a point where we really do have a chance to qualify then we will be prepared for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The fixtures were realeased:

Israel opens against Italy on September 9th 2016 at home and in sequence right in the period between Rosh HaSHana and Yom Kippur against Macedonia away and Liechtenstein at home. It ends the qualifiers at home against Spain on October 9th 2017

Full schedule:

5/9/16 vs Italy

6/10/16 at Macedonia

9/10/16 vs Liechtenstein

12/11/16 at Albania

24/3/17 at Spain

11/6/17 vs Albania

2/9/17 vs Macedonia

5/9/17 at Italy

6/10/17 at Liechtenstein

9/10/17 vs Spain
 

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Not going to hide it...
This is one of the toughest groups we have gotten since we joined UEFA.
Im trying to compare it to the time we were in the group for the 1994 Qualifiers and it just doesnt make justice......... In any given day id take a group where you have Sweden/France/Austria over this.

At the same time, my Cyprus-Syndrome is creeping up on me and i feel uneasy with Albania/Macedonia and they seem to be the new Cyprus for us. Problem is i cant tell who will be it....
not really looking forward to it...but...can someone explain how the 3rd place wild card works?
If we win most games and/or most points/goal difference we can get a birth at the playoffs from Third?


I also dont like the fat that we have an away game at Italy, then away at Vadus followed by Spain at home..maybe spain would clinch it by then and not care ? who knows
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not going to hide it...
This is one of the toughest groups we have gotten since we joined UEFA.
Im trying to compare it to the time we were in the group for the 1994 Qualifiers and it just doesnt make justice......... In any given day id take a group where you have Sweden/France/Austria over this.

At the same time, my Cyprus-Syndrome is creeping up on me and i feel uneasy with Albania/Macedonia and they seem to be the new Cyprus for us. Problem is i cant tell who will be it....
not really looking forward to it...but...can someone explain how the 3rd place wild card works?
If we win most games and/or most points/goal difference we can get a birth at the playoffs from Third?


I also dont like the fat that we have an away game at Italy, then away at Vadus followed by Spain at home..maybe spain would clinch it by then and not care ? who knows
It is possible to reach our usual place (3rd place) but I really fear we might have a hard time away in Albania and Macedonia. Maybe I just lost a bit of confidence in the team after the three straight defeats at the Euro qualifiers. There is still a long way ahead and now we have important matches where we actually have a chance to qualify.

But as i mentioned previously it is important we take this opportunity and build from scratch. Develop a good system for the future.
 

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It is possible to reach our usual place (3rd place) but I really fear we might have a hard time away in Albania and Macedonia. Maybe I just lost a bit of confidence in the team after the three straight defeats at the Euro qualifiers. There is still a long way ahead and now we have important matches where we actually have a chance to qualify.

But as i mentioned previously it is important we take this opportunity and build from scratch. Develop a good system for the future.
Based on the Israel I have seen over the last 6 months it does not look good. I can see Israel finishing 3rd at best to 5th at worst. Spain and especially Italy are in bad moments right now but I dont expect that to be the case 1.5 years from now when the qualifiers start.

I do agree now is the perfect opportunity to pull a Belgium and invest in infrastructure and youth systems. That way in a couple years when Israel has a chance they can look to become competitive because from now until then I'm not expecting much. Even if they suffer huge defeats by experimenting, we are already in pot 4 so theres not much to lose at this point.
 

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Isnt there tension between Albanians and Macedonians?
And what does Lichenstein care?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Btw it seems that all the teams in group G hate this draw:howler:
Indeed :D

Italy and Spain because one could easily fail to automatically reach the world cup while Israel, Albania and Macedonia have no chances at all.


Based on the Israel I have seen over the last 6 months it does not look good. I can see Israel finishing 3rd at best to 5th at worst. Spain and especially Italy are in bad moments right now but I dont expect that to be the case 1.5 years from now when the qualifiers start.

I do agree now is the perfect opportunity to pull a Belgium and invest in infrastructure and youth systems. That way in a couple years when Israel has a chance they can look to become competitive because from now until then I'm not expecting much. Even if they suffer huge defeats by experimenting, we are already in pot 4 so theres not much to lose at this point.
Yes, Belgium is a good example. Now they are talking of a golden generation.
IMO we have the technique. Israeli player generally speaking has good technique but needs to improve a lot in many other aspects such as tatical and professional approach to the game. Not mentioning it needs a complete guide to perform and develop physically. We have very few players who could evenly compete in these terms such as the likes of Rami Gershon, Ben Sahar and Tomer Hemed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Isnt there tension between Albanians and Macedonians?
And what does Lichenstein care?
There is tension but for the moment it hasn´t been debated. Maybe in the game in Macedonia the tendency is to get a bit more heated as they have a significant minority of Albanians there.
 

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What happened guys? 0-3 vs Albania. This is a terrible result. Explain.
 
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