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Ireland World Cup 2022 qualifying fixtures confirmed

Ireland

A big match to begin with.

Ireland’s fixtures for the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign have been confirmed.

Stephen Kenny’s side will begin with a huge match away to Serbia on March 24, with many viewing the Serbians as Ireland’s main rivals for second place.

That is followed by a home qualifier against Luxembourg on March 27 and a friendly with Qatar, who have been placed into the qualifying group for their own preparatory reasons, three days later.

Ireland then face group favourites Portugal away on September 1 before hosting Azerbaijan and Serbia on September 4 and 7 respectively.

October sees the Boys in Green travel to Azerbaijan before a second game against Qatar.

The qualifying campaign will be rounded out with a double-header in November with Portugal visiting Dublin on November 11 before a trip to Luxembourg three days later.

Speaking after Monday evening’s draw, Ireland boss Kenny described the group as ‘interesting’.

โ€œItโ€™s an interesting draw,” said Kenny.

โ€œPortugal being European champions and Nations League holders, they have great pedigree. Serbia, on paper, are very strong and they havenโ€™t qualified for the Euros.

โ€œLuxembourg, checking their results, they are a vastly improved team, got 10 points in the Nations League and Azerbaijan are a bit of an unknown quantity, we will have to prepare accordingly. Itโ€™s interesting being a five team group rather than six.

โ€œThe concept of three games in a window is a new concept, initially with the Nations League and the playoff.”

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