Former German striker Oliver Bierhoff shows the name of Wales during the preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Photograph: Getty Images

‘Wales?” George Hamilton’s exclamation was disbelieving, as though a little part of him suspected Oliver Bierhoff and Jérôme Valcke were playing some (...)

Chris Coleman says Wales are starting to face expectations, but each game ‘will be about those 90 minutes’. Photograph:  Nick Potts/PA Wire

The speed with which they’ve climbed the world rankings over the last couple of years always marked Wales out as desirable top seeds but if Martin O’N(...)

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ireland must get through another difficult start to a qualifying campaign if they are to make it to Russia in 2018. Three of Martin O’Neill’s four ope(...)

Former Russian international Alexander Kerzhakov draws out the  Republic of Ireland during the European zone draw for the 2018 World Cup. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The Republic of Ireland face a challenging start to their campaign to qualify for the next World Cup with Martin O’Neill’s side having been handed tri(...)

Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova starts a kiss-a-thon with Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke on stage during the preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup in Saint Petersburg on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images.

“And Djibouti play Swaziland.” (Silence.) No more than ourselves, George Hamilton tuned in to the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw a bit early, like whe(...)

Martin O’Neill has said he is pleased with ireland’s World Cup 2018 qualification group. Photograph: Reuters

Though dutifully respectful to top seeds Wales, Martin O’Neill admitted in the aftermath of this afternoon’s World Cup draw that he was worried midway(...)

 Aleksandr Kerzhakov draws Ireland in World Cup qualification Group D. Photograph: Reuters

Martin O’Neill will be relieved to have avoided the continent’s biggest guns in the draw for the European section of the World Cup 2018 qualifiers (...)

The preliminary draw for  the World Cup qualifiers will take place in St Petersburg on Saturday. Photograph: EPA.

Spare a thought for Zimbabwe as you tune into Saturday afternoon’s draw for the next World Cup’s qualifying stages: thrown out of a Fifa tournament(...)

The draw for the 2018 World Cup groups will take place in St Petersburg on Saturday. Photograph: Afp

Q: When is the draw? A: It’s due to start at 4pm on Saturday and is taking place at the Konstantin Palace in St Petersburg, with Russia the host count(...)

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny: “We’re looking to absolutely outplay them at home. That’s our ambition.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

More than a decade after his Bohemians side bounced back from a first leg defeat by BATE to go comfortably through, Stephen Kenny is setting the ba(...)