Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland can be drawn against England at next summer’s European Championship finals – but they can’t play France.
Trap’s team qualified for the finals with ease on a 5-1 aggregate win over Estonia after a 1-1 draw in Dublin on Tuesday night.
Already in discussions with the English over a pre-tournament friendly next May, Ireland could now meet England at the finals.
UEFA announced the seedings for the tournament on Wednesday with the draw to be held in Kiev on Friday, 2nd December.
Ireland are in pool four for the draw along with France while England go into the hat as second seeds.
The top seeds are hosts Poland and Ukraine along with reigning European and world champions Spain and beaten World Cup finalists Holland.
England are in pot two alongside Euro 2008 runners-up Germany, 2006 world champions Italy and Russia.
Portugal, Greece, Croatia and Sweden are in Pool Three of the seedings, based on UEFA’s co-efficient.
Ireland, France, Denmark and the Czech Republic are in Pool Four of the seeds.
A dream group would see Ireland in with Ukraine, Russia and Greece.
A nightmare group would contain Spain, Germany and Portugal while manager Trapattoni would love to see Ireland in with his native Italy.
The Euro 2012 seedings are:
Pot 1: Poland, Ukraine, Spain, Netherlands
Pot 2: Germany, Italy, England, Russia
Pot 3: Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Sweden
Pot 4: Denmark, France, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland
* Poland already allocated to Group A, Ukraine already allocated to Group D.