Ireland draw Ukraine and Scotland in Nations League group

French legend Robert Pires drew out the balls from the bowl in Ireland’s section
Ireland draw Ukraine and Scotland in Nations League group

Digital Desk Staff

The Republic of Ireland and Scotland have been drawn together in League B, having last played each other during qualification for Euro 2016. Scotland won 1-0 at home, while the return match at the Aviva finished 1-1.

The other teams alongside them in Group B1 are Euro 2020 quarter-finalists Ukraine and Armenia.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland, who were relegated to League C in the 2020-21 competition, face 2004 European champions Greece in Group C2. They also face Kosovo and the winner of the playout tie between Cyprus and Estonia, which will be played in March next year.

Northern Ireland won their two most recent competitive meetings with Greece, en route to qualification for Euro 2016.

Group matches will be played in June and September next year, with the four group winners in League A competing in the finals in June 2023.

A decision on whether, and how, the 2022-23 Nations League will slot into qualifying for Euro 2024 will be taken when the regulations for that tournament are fixed next June.

League B in full

Group B1:Ukraine, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Armenia

Group B2 Iceland, Russia, Israel, Albania

Group B3 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Romania, Montenegro

Group B4 Sweden, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia

Ukraine

Fifa ranking: 25 Manager: Oleksandr Petrakov (appointed caretaker in August 2021, permanent November 2021).

Performance in 2022 World Cup qualifiers: Finished second behind France, winning just twice and drawing their six other qualifiers. Will meet Scotland in the playoff semi-final in March.

Star player: Andriy Yarmolenko: He might be out of favour at high-flying West Ham United but even at 32 the striker is still his country’s talisman. He’s just four goals off equalling Andriy Shevchenko’s record of 48 goals.

Ireland’s record against Ukraine: Zero. Ukraine are one of just four European nations – along with Slovenia and relative newcomers Kosovo and North Macedonia – to never meet Ireland at senior men’s level.

Scotland

Fifa ranking: 38.

Manager: Steve Clarke (appointed May 2019).

Performance in 2022 World Cup qualifiers: Clinched a playoff with a six-point cushion on third-placed Israel in Group F. Wins away to Austria and at home to group winners Denmark contributed to their impressive haul of 23 points from 10 qualifiers.

Star player: John McGinn: The Aston Villa playmaker came of age after joining Aston Villa and translated that form onto the international stage by eclipsing Andy Robertson as their biggest influence.

Ireland’s record against Scotland: Played: 11. Won 4, drew 3, lost 4.

Armenia

Fifa ranking: 92.

Manager: Joaquín Camino (appointed March 2021).

Performance in 2022 World Cup qualifiers: Sealed fourth place in Group J, ahead of Iceland, with 12 points from their 10 games.

Star player: Sargis Adamyan: Born in Yerevan, the striker moved to Germany at the age of five and has played in the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim since 2019.

Ireland’s record against Armenia: Played: 2. Won 2.

Additional reporting by PA

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