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THE LUCK OF THE IRISH! BOTH AVOID BIG GUNS IN WORLD CUP PLAY-OFF DRAW

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NORTHERN IRELAND have been drawn against Switzerland in the World Cup Play-offs with the first leg in Belfast. Manager Michael O’Neill will be delighted to have avoided the two big guns in the seeded top four in the draw.

Meanwhile the Republic of Ireland have also got an excellent draw, and will play away to Denmark before the tie concludes in Dublin. This is the draw that Scotland would have had had they not collapsed in that horrible second half in Slovenia.

Croatia were drawn at home to Greece in the first leg and Italy are to play their first leg away to Sweden in what looks like a tremendous play-off.

Martin O’Neill will be delighted with the Republic’s draw and will feel he has a real chance of taking his side to Russia next year.

Northern Ireland v Switzerland (9 and 12* November)
Croatia v Greece (9 and 12 November)
Sweden v Italy (10 and 13 November)
Denmark v Republic of Ireland (11 and 14 November)

*Kick-off at 18:00CET. All other kick-offs 20:45CET.

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