World Cup 2018: England Face Scotland, Wales Meet Republic Of Ireland As Qualifying Draw Throws Up Mouth-Watering Clashes

Alan Duffy

25th, July 2015


By Alan Duffy

The EURO 2016 qualifying campaign is yet to finish but already plans for afoot for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. On Saturday afternoon in St. Petersburg, the draw was made for the qualifying stages with some intriguing combinations thrown up.

Most fascinating of all is Group F, which sees England go head to head with Scotland. The presence of Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta makes this a rather unpredictable group (beyond England’s qualification, which shouldn’t be too difficult). The last time the Three Lions met the Scots came back in the 2013-14 season, with Roy Hodgson’s charges winning 3-2 at Wembley as well as registering a 3-1 victory away at Celtic Park.

Group D also throws up a couple of mouth-watering Home Nations clashes, with the upwardly mobile Welsh facing the Republic of Ireland. Odd Home Nation out, Northern Ireland, face a rather tricky Group C, alongside holders Germany and the Czech Republic.

With nine group winners qualifying and the eight runners-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their groups, making it to play-offs, it’s going to be a fascinating campaign for every team involved.

Here’s the European draw in full. Groups A and G look particular tasty…

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-Hercegovina, Greece, Estonia, Cyprus

Group I

Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland

Photos: Getty Images