Today the semi-final draw took place in Baku. In my view this draw is not overly important in the grand scheme of things. Therefore I won't go on and on. You can see the results here.
Overall this has been a relatively good draw for Ireland. We are in the second half of the smaller semi. However we are missing some of our key supporters such as UK, Sweden, Norway, Malta. On the other hand we do have countries such as Switzerland, Austria, Latvia and The Netherlands on our side.
In semi-final 1 Romania, Russia, Denmark, Greece and to a lesser extent Israel, would all have very good prospects of reaching the Final. However it is notable that while many countries have some of their closest neighbours in with them as you look at the draw for longer you see that there will be quite a lot of points floating around without any real place to go.
In semi-final 2 There are quite a lot of countries with a history of qualifying and I think this could like last year's intense first semi-final. The high number of Balkan countries could lead to some very interesting results and I think that despite what people think by the time jury votes are taken into account we will see very surprising results from semi 2. Ukraine, Sweden, Turkey and Georgia should comfortably make it over the line.