Top seeds Wales have been one of the form teams in Euro 2016 qualifying but they have not qualified for a World Cup since 1958.
Martin O’Neill will be relieved to have avoided the continent’s biggest guns in the draw for the European section of the World Cup 2018 qualifiers this afternoon in St Petersburg where Ireland were placed in Group D along with Wales, Austria, Serbia, Moldova and Georgia.
It’s a long time since Greece won Euro 2004, and two recent defeats against the Faroe Islands suggest that the team is not exactly at their peak. It’s never easy going to places like Moldova and Georgia and we know about the quality of Austria, Republic of Ireland and Serbia.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the draw…
“Austria and Wales and Serbia will be happy enough to be in the group”.
The 52 European teams were divided up into nine groups.
Germany and Italy are obvious enough, old foes with whom we are far too familiar at this point.
Meanwhile, England and Wales are in the top seeding group, but they could still face opponents that would pose a serious threat to their qualification hopes.
Scotland and Northern Ireland were among the third seeds, and Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland side in the pot of fourth seeds.
World Cup winners Germany were pitted against Czech Republic and Northern Ireland in Group C that also features Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino. The Northern Ireland boss revealed on Friday that he is open to the possibility of staying for the World Cup campaign.