Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Denmark seeded for World Cup play-offs

World Cup play-offs: Fifa rankings keep Ireland and Northern Ireland apart

The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will both be unseeded in the World Cup play-off draw following the latest Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings release. Even Portugal and Argentina aren't the most daunting top seeds-especially the latter, after its qualifying campaign-but nobody wants to gameplan for Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in a World Cup.

"Peru have climbed into the top ten of the FIFA World Ranking for the first time in an edition shaped by the latest decisive FIFA World Cup qualifiers", the FIFA said in its statement on Monday.

The eight teams qualified for the play-offs are will be divided into two pots.

Martin O'Neill's side will be unseeded for tomorrow's draw for the play-offs with confirmation that Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Denmark are the seeded nations. Slovakia, as the worst-ranked second-placed team, miss out. That draw takes place on Tuesday.

Federation Internationale de Football Association uses its October World Ranking to decide all four seeding pots, despite nine places in the 32-team World Cup line-up still to be decided in November. Based on the rankings, Switzerland (11th), Italy (15th), Croatia (18th) and Denmark (19th) will be in pot one and will play one of the four teams in pot two.

Four two-legged ties will be played, with the first leg taking place between 9 and 11 November and the return between 12 and 14 of the same month. The team drawn first will be at home in the first leg.

The men's national team, which qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup last month, started 2017 as the world's 37th-ranked team.

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