Friday 20 October 2017

Here are the teams that Ireland could face in the World Cup playoffs

Martin O'Neill celebrates his side's victory
Martin O'Neill celebrates his side's victory
Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Wales vs Republic of Ireland - Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Britain - October 9, 2017 Republic of Ireland’s James McClean celebrates with David Meyler after the match. Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland will take their place in next week's World Cup playoff draw following their famous 1-0 win in Cardiff last night, but another daunting challenge awaits if the Boys in Green are to qualify for the marquee tournament next summer.

While there are still qualifiers to be played on Tuesday night, Ireland have a good idea of who they might be drawn against next week.

The draw takes place on Tuesday October 17 in Zurich, and Ireland will be among the bottom four seeds, which will be sorted by the FIFA world rankings.

The four higher seeds based on today's rankings are set to be Italy, Denmark, Croatia and Portugal/Switzerland, so one of those will almost certainly be Ireland's playoff opponent.

Jeff Hendrick shows his strength up against Ben Woodburn. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Jeff Hendrick shows his strength up against Ben Woodburn. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Portugal and Switzerland play tomorrow night with the winner qualifying automatically. The loser will be a top seed in the playoff draw.

The play-offs will take place over two nights in November, between 9-11 and 12-14.

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