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Sweden-Italy, Croatia-Greece in Uefa playoffs for World Cup

World Cup 2018

Sweden-Italy, Croatia-Greece in Uefa playoffs for World Cup

Sweden-Italy, Croatia-Greece in Uefa playoffs for World Cup

FABRICE COFFRINI

AFP

The Azzurri landed the 1958 runners-up while Croatia will take on the Euro 2004 champions. The other games are NI-Switzerland and Denmark-ROI.

Italy will have to get past Sweden to reach the 2018 World Cup while Croatia will play Greece for their place in the finals after the Uefa playoff round draw was made on Tuesday.

Denmark were drawn against the Republic of Ireland and Switzerland paired with Northern Ireland after the draw.

Croatia, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland went into the draw as the seeded teams with the remainder in the second pot.

Italy hold historical advantage over Sweden

Italy and Sweden are no strangers on the international stage having met 23 times with 11 wins for the Azzurri, six for Sweden and six draws. The last time the teams encountered each other was at Euro 2016, Italy winning 1-0.

Greece and Croatia have played each other six times with the balance favourable for the Hellenic side, who have only lost once to Croatia, in qualifying for the 1998 World Cup. The last meeting between the sides was in qualifying for Euro 2012, Greece coming out on top 2-0.

Denmark and Northern Ireland have met on 11 occasions, the Scandinavians enjoying a slight historical advantage with four wins and five draws. However, NI won the most recent game between the nations 2-1 in November 2007.

Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland first met in 1935 and have played 16 times in all, the Irish victorious on eight occasions to five wins for the Swiss and three draws. Switzerland have not beaten Ireland since qualifying for Euro 2004, with the Irish drawing two and winning one of their last three meetings, the most recent of which was a 1-0 friendly victory in 2016.

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