Wes Hoolahan’s Republic of Ireland draw Denmark in World Cup play-off; Michael McGovern’s Northern Ireland land Timm Klose’s Switzerland
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The draw for the World Cup qualifying play-offs has thrown up an interesting potential Norwich City duel with Michael McGovern’s Northern Ireland landing a two-legged tie against Timm Klose’s Switzerland.
Klose was on standby for the Swiss in the recent international window while McGovern has been an ever-present for Michael O’Neill’s men as they look to follow up their impressive display at Euro2016 by reaching Russia next summer.
Switzerland will travel to Belfast for the first leg before hosting Northern Ireland, in ties to take place next month.
Meanwhile, club mate Wes Hoolahan’s Republic of Ireland must get past Denmark to join the likes of England at the finals. The Republic will travel to Denmark for the first leg before the return in Dublin.
Klose has not featured for his country in the latest qualifying campaign, but was poised to appear at Euro2016 until a knee ligament injury suffered in the closing stages of City’s Premier League relegation in 2015/16.
The Swiss agonisingly missed out on an automatic World Cup qualification spot when they finished level with Portugal on 27 points in Group B but with an inferior goal difference after losing 2-0 to the Portuguese in the final group game earlier this month.
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Northern Ireland finished second in Group C behind current World Champions Germany with 19 points from 10 games.
Martin O’Neill’s Republic squad edged a dramatic final Group D derby against Wales 1-0 in Cardiff to finish second behind Serbia. Hoolahan was an unused substitute but did play 79 minutes in the 2-0 win over Moldova in the penultimate group game.
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In the other play-off ties, Italy face Sweden and Croatia have been drawn against Greece.
The first legs are scheduled to take place between November 9 and 11 and the second legs between November 12 and 14.