NEWS
Saturday July 25 2015
WC: Italy face Spain and Albania

Italy will face Spain, Albania, Israel, Macedonia and Liechtenstein on the road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Azzurri were hoping to avoid Spain, but also challenge Gianni De Biasi’s surprising Albania.

Italy have not won any of their last four competitive meetings with Spain.

The draw for the qualifying round was held today in St Petersburg, involving 141 nations.

Russia have already qualified as hosts, but World Cup holders Germany must go through the process and get a tough group with the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino.

The Azzurri were not top seeds among the 52 European sides due to the latest FIFA rankings, which placed them in 17th place.

The seeds were Germany, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Romania, England, Wales, Spain and Croatia.

Winners of each group will qualify for the World Cup, while the eight best runners-up go into a play-off in November 2017.

Group A

Netherlands

France

Sweden

Bulgaria

Belarus

Luxembourg

 

Group B

Portugal

Switzerland

Hungary

Faroe Islands

Latvia

Andorra

 

Group C

Germany

Czech Republic

Northern Ireland

Norway

Azerbaijan

San Marino

 

Group D

Wales

Austria

Serbia

Republic of Ireland

Moldova

Georgia

 

Group E

Romania

Denmark

Poland

Montenegro

Armenia

Kazakhstan

 

Group F

England

Slovakia

Scotland

Slovenia

Lithuania

Malta

 

Group G

Spain

Italy

Albania

Israel

Macedonia

Liechtenstein

 

Group H

Belgium

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Greece

Estonia

Cyprus

 

Group I

Croatia

Iceland

Ukraine

Turkey

Finland

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