Unless of course Andorra beat Russia, the Republic of Ireland’s best hope of reaching UEFA Euro 2012 is through the playoffs, rather than as winners of Group B.
Should they defeat or draw with Armenia tonight, Giovanni Trapattoni’s team would be a two legged tie away from the finals, but could find themselves in the unlikely situation of depending on France to gain a playoff seeding.
France of course were the team to deprive the Irish of a place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa – thanks to a Thierry Henry handball in the build-up to William Gallas’ goal at the death.
Now though, they could represent the Republic of Ireland’s best chance of reaching a major competition.
Should France manage at least a draw at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Irish win tonight, they would receive their seeding.
However, Armenia have qualification dreams of their own, and with record goalscorer Robbie Keane missing for the Irish, they will fancy their chances.