Italy to face Sweden in World Cup playoffs

AP , Tuesday 17 Oct 2017

Former Spanish soccer player Fernando Hierro draws Italy against Sweden at the FIFA World Cup European play-off draw at the headquarters of FIFA in Zurich, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP)

Italy will face Sweden in the European playoffs next month to qualify for the World Cup.

The four-time World Cup champions were drawn Tuesday to play away first against the Swedes in a two-leg playoff.

In other pairings it was: Northern Ireland vs. Switzerland; Croatia vs. Greece; and Denmark vs. Ireland.

The eight teams were the best runners-up in the nine European qualifying groups.

The first legs will be played from Nov. 9-11, with the return games from Nov. 12-14.

The four winners will take part in the World Cup draw on Dec. 1 at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow.

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