World Cup play-offs: Sweden to face Portugal in pick of the ties as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo prepare to clash
France are handed a testing encounter against Ukraine while Greece face Romania and Croatia take on Iceland
Monday 21 October 2013
Portugal have been drawn against Sweden in the pick of the ties after Uefa announced the draw for the European play-offs for the 2014 World Cup.
France face a testing encounter against Ukraine, who qualified for the play-offs after finishing second to England in Group H, while Greece will face a potentially tricky clash with Romania.
European minnows Iceland face the difficult task of beating Croatia if they wish to qualify for their first World Cup, although they are yet to make the European Championships, let alone the showcase Fifa tournament which will take place in Brazil next summer.
The two-leg face-offs will get underway on November 15, with the Portugal, Greece, Ukraine and Iceland all set to host the opening matches, with the second leg taking place just four days later on November 19.
With Sweden set to take on the Portuguese, fans will be treated to a meeting between two of the best finishers on the planet in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo, although the fear has now become a reality that the World Cup will take place without one of the two superstars.
Portugal go into the play-offs as the bookies favourites to progress out of all eight teams, with Greece not far behind and Croatia third. There is little between France and Ukraine, although the 1998 World Cup winners slightly edge ahead having impressed in a qualification group that also contained current holders Spain.
Despite being the lowest ranked side left in the play-offs, Iceland aren't at the longest odds to progress with Sweden surprisingly the unlikeliest to go through due to their difficult task of beating Portugal.
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