The European pots are no longer a secret, with the FIFA World Ranking to be updated in 7 days and no official matches in between
Pot 3: Northern Ireland
Pot 6: Gibraltar
Congrats on Latvia for leaving the ultimate bottom, Andorra as well, but that's a real improvement, considering where Latvia was already!
Made a possible draw myself
Group D: NIR
Group E: GIB
Most open group must be B, maybe E either. The Nations League finalists would have to rush themselves trough their groups, Portugal/Switzerland and Netherlands/Poland would lock the first two places in their groups I guess
I´m not the biggest football fan but usually I watch the World Cups or the Euros but this time around I couldn´t care less about the competition in to be honest. I don´t know whether it´s the rumours about bought votes or the crisis of the German national football team, but my interest in the coming World Cup is really below zero.
Group G looks nice.. Netherlands are the favorites but Turkey played a fantastic qualification campaign for the Euro and is certainly eager to go on this way. Then there is Norway with their amazing youngsters Ödegaard and Haaland and the new coach Solbakken who will hopefully breathe new life into the Norway team. However, Montenegro has been on the downgrade for a few years now, Latvia and Gibraltar not worth a mention.
Group I is interesting, too. England has one of the most gifted squads atm, Poland has established as a constant force right behind the big nations. Hungary is on the rise and Albania is not a minor side anymore, they are compact and uncomfortable to play against and have some huge quality (thinking of Hysaj)
another favorite group of mine is Group D with the world champion France, and Ukraine who are pretty strong on home ground, the shooting stars from Finland and Bosnia, which is by far the best side from Pot 4.. Maybe thats actually the best group tbh.
Now, as I am supporter, some words about our Group J
I think it's an unattractive (based on the opponents) yet doable group. Germany and Romania are one of the weakest teams of their respective pots, even though I expect a better German side when they finally get a new coach, which might happen after the looming Euro disaster... About Romania... we handled them quite comfortably in the play-off match in October, their low average age seems to be deceiving, imo their talent is rather limited. No way Romanias current team is a golden generation whatsoever (Ive read people saying that). Away matches against North Macedonia and Armenia are rather unpleasing but we should certainly beat them on home ground. Actually, getting Armenia from Pot 5 was the only annoying happening for me cause they are by far the most unpredictable team from that pot. On good days they can beat the shit out of European middle class teams (whereas on bad days they lose to Gibraltar).
Liechtenstein is a likeable country and a harmless makeweight. In fact Iceland have a score to settle with them. In the qualification for Euro 2008 they were beaten by Liechtenstein with 3:0 goals which was certainly on of the dark hourse in the younger Icelandic football history.
What I am looking forward the most are the matches against my home country Germany. If Germany keeps struggling and we reach our best shape, we can get a draw in Reykjavik. The last time Iceland managed that it caused a legendary yet amusing burst of rage of German coach Rudi Völler. Let's hope history repeats (with a different coach obviously )
The big word is consistency. It's not a big problem to lose against Turkey away as long as you win the rest.
I think for us, it's good drawing Turkey, that is a country that often loses and draws third and fourth placed teams. Norway can be dangerous, but I don't believe they are a team yet. Montenegro, Latvia aren't as good anymore. Gibraltar is a relative joke.
Please. Microstates' participation in the WC and EC qualifiers is like their participation in ESC. The only thing they could ever aspire is winning a couple of matches in the Nations League, that's it.