Ireland u21s drawn against familiar foes in Euro qualifying group

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Their opponents have been announced as Italy, Sweden, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Luxembourg.

The u21 European Championships 2023 qualifying draw took place today with 53 teams eagerly awaiting their fate.

Ireland were amongst those teams in anticipation after narrowly failing to qualify for the 2021 edition of the tournament which is being hosted by Romania and Georgia.

Coincidentally, they were drawn in an almost exactly identical group as the last qualifying campaign. 3 of their 5 opponents – Italy, Sweden and Luxembourg – were also included in their previous qualifying group.

Maybe luckily for Ireland, though, several of the players which turned out in the last campaign are also available for selection for the upcoming one. That is not the case with the other countries.

Although some of those players have since graduated to the senior squad – Parrott, Idah, Knight etc. – there is still a number of quality players that could excel at u21 level, as well as those which will inevitably come up through the age ranks.

The experience at that level that Ireland have over their opponents could prove to be a decisive factor in regards to their qualification chances.

u21 boss Jim Crawford may already have a squad in mind with the qualification campaign kicking off in March.

Ireland can only qualify given they finish top of their group or as best runner-up.


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