Greece’s four possible opponents in the World Cup qualifying playoffs
Greece will be unseeded in the World Cup qualifying playoffs draw and will be matched up against Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, or Denmark.
The group stages of UEFA World Cup qualifying concluded on Tuesday with Greece securing second place in Group H after an easy 4-0 win over Gibraltar. The Ethniki finished their group campaign with 19 points from 10 matches, recording 5 wins, 4 draws, and one loss. Undefeated Belgium were crowned the group winners with 28 points (only drew one game against Greece) while Bosnia finished third with 17 points.
The playoff qualifying draw will be held on Tuesday, October 17th, in Zurich at 3:00 PM local Greek time, 8:00 AM EST. The eight runner-ups (Slovakia was left out), will be separated into seeded and unseeded pots for the draw based on the FIFA Rankings released on October 16th.
Greece will be unseeded due to to their low FIFA ranking, the lowest out of all the runner-up sides, and will be drawn with a theoretically more difficult opponent. Joining Greece in the unseeded pot will be Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Sweden. These three nations cannot be drawn with Greece in the playoffs.
The seeded sides, who are Greece’s possible opponents in the playoffs, will consist of Croatia, Italy, Denmark, and Switzerland, who lost today to Portugal dropping to second in their respective qualifying group.
The eight teams (seeded and unseeded) will be paired into four knockout pairs where two legs, home and away, will be played for a spot in the 2018 World Cup. The order of home and away fixtures will be determined based on the draw and is NOT pre-determined on seeded and unseeded sides. The first legs will be played on November 9-11 and the return legs will be played on November 12-14.
Switzerland (1317 points)
Italy (1066 points)
Croatia (1013 points)
Denmark (1001 points)
Northern Ireland (889 points)
Sweden (872 points)
Ireland (866 points)
Greece (682 points)
A reminder, Greece has qualified for the last two World Cups via the playoffs eliminating Ukraine in 2010 and Romania in 2014. Let's hopes for the same in 2018…