LNTUP

FIFA 2018 World Cup playoffs round confirmed

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The world cup which is to be staged at Russia next year unrevealed its playoff round draw on 17th October. Eight nations discovered their next obstacle who stands behind their faith to secure the qualification for the group stages at Russia next year in a two legged tie which are to be organised on 9 and 14 November respectively.

Four time World Champions Italy face a stern test in Sweden for a place in finals. They finished second to qualified Spain losing 3-0 to then and then drawing with Albania to confirm the place. Their opponents whom they will meet at Stockholm in the opening leg of the tie, Sweden finished behind group winners France and above Netherlands, who missed on back to back major competitions. They almost dragged France out of the first place with a win against them at home but then failed to Luxembourg and succumbed to Netherlands in the last game to complete second.

Croatia are dreaming for their second successive world cup finals after finishing runners up in a group where Iceland directly went to the group stages. They will now have to outsmart the challenge of troubling Greece who overturned Bosnia in the last game to attain the second place of their group.

Both the Ireland got relatively easier task in the draw avoiding the likes of Italy, Sweden and Croatia in the playoff round. Northern Ireland at one stage seem to lack behind but they recovered with victories over Czech Republic, Norway and Azerbaijan to finish second to defending champions Germany.

Their neighbours Republic of Ireland beat Gareth Bale less Wales in their last group game to justify their place behind Serbia.

Their opposition Denmark improve their FIFA World rankings by placing themselves at seven and will now look to step on for their fifth WC finals in their history. Switzerland topped Portugal throughout the campaign but eventually surrendered the place to them with a 2-0 loss to them in the concluding Matchday. They now face Northern Ireland as a result.