Tuesday October 17 2017
Italy to learn play-off opponents

Italy will learn their World Cup play-off opponents later today, facing one of Sweden, Greece, the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.

The Azzurri finished second in Group G, five points behind Spain, meaning they must win a two-legged play-off to reach the World Cup.

Giampiero Ventura’s side are seeded, thanks to their world ranking, so can’t face Switzerland, Denmark or Croatia.

Slovakia were eliminated as the ninth best of the second place sides, so there are only four possible opponents for Italy.

Northern Ireland are the worst possible opponents according to FIFA’s world rankings, as they sit eight points behind Italy in 23rd.

Sweden are 25th and Ireland 26th, with Greece theoretically the most desirable draw with a ranking of 47th.

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