Tuesday October 17 2017
O’Neill: ‘NI don’t want Italy’

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill admits he doesn’t want to face Italy in today’s World Cup play-off draw.

The Azzurri will face either Sweden, Greece, the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, and the boss of the latter wants to avoid Giampiero Ventura’s men.

“I think you always want to avoid the Italians,” O’Neill told the BBC.

“We've played Croatia and it was a very difficult game. They had some players missing, we played some of our fringe players as well, so it wasn't a true reflection of the game.

“I think, certainly, Denmark and Switzerland would provide a stiff test but I definitely thing that out of the four teams, they're possibly the two teams that you would favour over the two teams that I previously mentioned.

“It's going to be a very difficult game whoever we play, but equally there's teams in there you probably would rather avoid as opposed to some that you may rather play.”

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