France to face Ukraine, Portugal take on Sweden in World Cup playoffs

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 21, 2013 12:52 hrs

Former world champions France will play Ukraine for a place in the World Cup finals in Brazil next year following the draw for the European playoffs on Monday.

Didier Deschamps, the coach of unseeded France, was desperate to avoid facing seeded Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal must instead beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden to advance to the World Cup in Brazil.

Iceland, who have never reached the finals of a major tournament, will meet Croatia while 2004 European champions Greece take on Romania.

The eight were the best runners-up from the nine European groups and the four qualifiers will complete Europe’s 13-team representation at the finals.

The first legs will be played on Nov. 15 with the return legs on Nov. 19.

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