South Africa 2010 – UEFA Qualification Round: England get Croatia again!!

South Africa 2010 – UEFA Qualification Round: England get Croatia again!!


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While the qualification race for the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup has already started (in the region of South America), the build-up to the biggest football show on Earth is about to step up a gear, with the staging of the UEFA (Europe), CONCACAF (North-America), CAF (Africa), and AFC (Asia) regions Preliminary Draw in Durban this week-end. The whole ceremony will be broadcast live at who will also be providing live commentary of the event, including a special application showing the draw as it unfolds.

The Sun online headline: Update:
The European Groups have been drawn: England have been drawn in group 6 with Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Andorra, and… get this: Croatia!! There will undoubtedly be an air of revenge at Wembley stadium…

Other interesting clashes include Portugal/Sweden/Denmark in Group 1,  Czech Republic/Poland in Group 3, Germany/Russia in Group 4, Spain/Turkey/Belgium in Group 5, France/Romania/Serbia in Group 7, Netherlands/Scotland/Norway in Group 9.

Current World Champions Italy have been drawn in Group 8 with Bulgaria, Ireland, Cyprus, Georgia, and Montenegro.

Full list of the groups after the jump.


Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5
Portugal Greece Czech Republic Germany Spain
Sweden Israel Poland Russia Turkey
Denmark Switzerland Northern Ireland Finland Belgium
Hungary Moldova Slovakia Wales Bosnia-Herz.
Albania Latvia Slovenia Azerbaijan Armenia
Malta Luxembourg San Marino Liechtenstein Estonia


Group 6 Group 7 Group 8 Group 9
Croatia France Italy Netherlands
England Romania Bulgaria Scotland
Ukraine Serbia Ireland Norway
Belarus Lithuania Cyprus Macedonia
Kazakhstan Austria Georgia Iceland
Andorra Faroe Islands Montenegro


Seems like UEFA and FIFA like to coordinate things, because the Euro 2008 Group Stage draw is set to take place just a week after the World Cup Prelim draw. In any case, this time the way the teams have been seeded should provide for a more equal balance of the European groups. World Champions Italy have been inserted in Pot 1, along with Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Croatia, and Greece. England, who are currently 12th in the FIFA Rankings, have been excluded from the Top Seeds and inserted into Pot 2.

53 European countries will be separated Sunday in 6 pots (5 pots of 9 teams, 1 pot of 8), which will be used to draw 8 Qualifying groups (6 groups of 6 teams, 1 group of 5). The top-ranked team from each group will automatically earn their ticket to South Africa 2010, while the 8 second-best will have to go through a two-legged play-off qualifying round.

For a preview of the CONCACAF draw (which includes teams like USA, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica), you can check the Climbing the Ladder blog article

The draw will take place today in Durban, South Africa at 17:00 local time (i.e. 15:00 UK time and 10:00 ET).

Italy, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Croatia, Greece
England, Romania, Scotland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Israel
Norway, Ukraine, Serbia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium
Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Moldova, Wales, Macedonia, Belarus, Lithuania, Cyprus
Georgia, Albania, Slovenia, Latvia, Iceland, Armenia, Austria, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan
Liechtenstein, Estonia, Malta, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Andorra, Faroe Islands, San Marino

Marco Pantanella writes for the mCalcio blog

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  1. Bilic will be pleased, now croatia have another chance to kick england’s piss poor overrated ass again, twice!

    After the final euro qualification group game at wembley he told one reporter in regards to england’s awful performance “guys, wake up…we were the better team”

    The trouble though is whether england will finally wake up into the real world of modern football where they are not masters of the universe just because of ONE world cup triumph achieved at home via a dodgy linesman’s decision 41 years ago?

    Time will tell, but don’t count on it.

  2. I really cant wait till the new manager is revealed if we get mourinho im confident we can show croatia the England do have class. Mourinho wont take any shite from the players he well tell the young boys who say “hey let us have a go in” that they wll wait their turn and Shearer would just be a dream

  3. Hmm…that’s not a bad group for Ireland. We should finish second or above because Bulgaria only really have Petrov and Berba that spring to mind. I’m ,for once when it concerns my national team, actually optimistic.

  4. This is the easiest possible draw England could have got following their defeat on Wednesday. Greece is tricky (they had 31 pts in qualifying for the Euros – more than anybody else) and everyone else would have killed England. Against Croatia they have a chance.

    I don’t think there wil be too many surprises and the runner-up in group one will miss out on the play-offs I think – that group is too tough. Scotland will qualify and this is a golden chance for Israel. Irelan do look pretty good, but only for the play-offs, no chance they will win the group. Hope they prove me wrong.

  5. This draw will help England nail the right coach. A good coach will look at England’s group and the players England have at their disposal and say to himself: “With me in charge, I really fancy England’s chances of winning the group”.

  6. HAHA I dont think England will qualify for the 2010 World Cup either because they will fail against Croatia again and Ukraine will slip thru in second place.Ukraine will be underestimated again just like Russia so England will have a tough time qualifing. My Predictions:
    Grp 1:Portugal,Denmark
    Grp 2: Greece,Switzerland(Jews fail under pressure)
    Grp 3:Czezh Rep., Poland
    Grp 4:Russia,Germany
    Grp 5:Turkey,Spain
    Grp 6:Croatia,Ukraine
    Grp 7:France,Romania
    Grp 8:Italy,Ireland
    Grp 9:Scotland, Holland


  7. BECKS MUST PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Come On You Filthy Croats!!! Do it again, do it again

    Australia to win the Cup! 😀

    And Yes, I am drunk but not on drugs.

  9. IMO england will or will not qualify depending who will be the coach. Croatia & Ukraine game will not be easy.
    btw, england need play maker to compete at highest level. Gerrard/Lamp not the answer. Maybe Rooney can do this.

  10. I am from Montenegro and I think that we have a chance to continues with Italy to South Africa !!!
    Who knows where is Montenegro?

    Puno pozdrava iz Crne Gore iz Zetske ravnice :)

  11. We’ve done once, we can do it again. Greece is a little country we play this deffencing game but we can win everyone like this. My opinion for the qualifing are….
    grp1- sweden,portugal or albania
    grp2- greece,switzerland
    grp3- poland,czech rep.
    grp4- germany,russia
    grp5- spain,turkey
    grp6- england,croatia
    grp7- france,serbia
    grp8- italy,boulgaria
    grp9- nederland,norway

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